A new generation of consoles should be exciting, but if the current rumors are true the next generation will quickly become the worst one yet. Something that’s making a lot of gamers reach for the nearest pitchfork is a feature that would block (or limit) used games. Now, obviously this would suck because everyone would be forced to buy new, or pay a fee. Yet, there’s another reason this is a bad idea. Basically, it would guarantee a short lifespan for the Next Xbox and PS4.
You can go find your old N64, plug it in, and the games should still work. This is a wonderful thing because the console is still useful as long as you can play games on it. But this wouldn’t be the case for Orbis and Durango; if the rumors are true they’ll basically be worthless 15 years after launch.
By then all their games will be out of print, so you’ll have to turn to the used market if you want to play an old gem that you missed out on (outside of pirating it). Well, if you do get your hands on a used game, do you think you’ll still be able to activate it? What if Sony and Microsoft are no longer making consoles, you’ll be left with a trial version.
Even if they are still around, will they support games that are 10+ years old? Probably not, eventually they’ll take them offline, and then what? I’ll tell you what, the game is dead—the only way you’ll be able to play it is if you picked it up before the plug was pulled. Actually, at this point you may not even be able to play it, period, since it may require an online connection to a non-existent server.
Sure, you may be able to download it—but the price will be ridiculous since they’ll know that’s the only way you can acquire the game. So now your old console is basically a paperweight. You paid for it, but now you can’t use it. Who cares if it’s old, it’s still yours—and if you can find games for it, nothing should stop you from playing them.
Microsoft and Sony shouldn’t want to take that away from us. There’s something strangely refreshing about finding an old game, taking a console from the attic, and just spending a Saturday afternoon laughing at how terrible the graphics were back in the day. “Oh look at Uncharted 4, can you believe that used to be cutting edge?”
Still, even if you don’t plan on keeping your consoles forever, locking out used games is a bad idea. If they do this prices should go down, since you won’t truly own your games anymore. Sadly this wouldn’t happen, they would still cost the same amount, publishers may even find some excuse to increase prices. Luckily I’m certain that these rumors will be proven false, Sony and Microsoft are in a great place right now–why blow it? Fuck the publishers and their greed, they should only get paid once. Games should only require electricity, a console, and a TV to work.