Used gaming and the next gen....why incompatible? (kind of a long read)
After giving this issue some more thought, I could eventually come around to accepting restrictions put on used game sales. I for one tend towards the notion that used game sales do take a significant chunk out of profits from publisher's hands, but that's for another thread.
Plainly put, I have no problem with a "used game pass", similar to what EA does with online, and let me explain why.
They way I see it, using EA's model, there is no reason that used games cannot be sold and bought again, allowing people to profit from selling while still buying used games cheaper, while also allowing Gamespot and Gamespy to stay in business and in addition handing publishers profit, all in one move. I'm not sure what kind of pricing model would be implemented or be determined between parties. Regardless it strikes me as really not that difficult. After buying used (the market would eventually dictate what people would be willing to pay) the buyer would then have to pay a fee to the publisher who would then give out a code. Code unlocks it. A Internet connection would be needed once for validation, or if phoned in, not at all.
Then places such as Gamestop would still be able to sell used while the publisher also receives revenue, and places like Gamefly would be able to arrange some type of deal with MS, Sony, and third parties to pay a minimal charge to them for every rental (increased subscription costs obviously...but that's sure of a hell a lot better than not being able to rent at all, yes?) If MS and Sony are planning to utilize such a system you can rest assured they are in talks with Gamestop and Gamefly to come to some sort of mutual agreement with this before/if it becomes a reality. It'd be suicidal to simply come out and announce it without consolidation. I don't see a huge problem with this as to cease gaming on a particular platform forever. Yes, it would seriously suck not being able to bring over a game or lend it to a friend, but Internet play would still be an option as would split-screen.
I do see this as a loss of consumer rights, sure, but also see a plus to gamers if used game sales sent money back to publishers and in turn enabled them to be more willing to take larger risks, invest in new IPs, and not be so hesitant to explore untested waters. If publishers are able to get their hands on a piece of used game sales, there are consequences we'd suffer but I don't believe they'd outweigh the positives from more money in their pockets. On the contrary, it may be help the industry survive and flourish to our advantage. Besides....you'd still be able to buy/sell used. And if you're buying used, even after the initial purchase and then re-activation, in all likelyhood you'd still be getting it cheaper than if new, and the publisher would get money back in turn. So what's so wrong with that?
There is a huge change coming pertaining to used software and its impact on the industry. I don't think that's even arguable. It is inevitable at some point or another but it doesn't necessarily need to be so draconian as everyone seems to believe. MS and Sony, IF they do this, will not be so stupid as to render a used game into a permanent coaster once purchased for whatever reason, especially when they can start getting a slice of profits from their reselling. It's in their best interests to make selling/buying used a viable option for all. If they're smart they will find a way to get returns while not slamming the door in gamers/corporations faces. And as far as things such as an always-online requirement, I can't see this coming to fruition unless MS's Live's online is so integrated as to necessitate it.
If any anti-used system comes to pass I predict it will be somewhat similar to this. It makes sense to me; it brings back money to the publishers, allows Gamestop and Gamefly to continue their used games sales/rentals, and allows us to resell and rebuy used whilst still being able get the game for cheaper.