There’s always been a used/pre-owned market associated with console gaming. I used it quite a lot back in the day when I had a SNES and Sega Mega Drive (Genesis). It’s a great way to try titles, trade in stuff you may not have enjoyed and to raise cash to by new releases. I think the latter is a very important factor among gamers. Times are tough and most peoples have pockets that are only so deep. As a gamer I have a budget and I tend to stick to it. Furthermore, the sale of previously owned titles has kept a lot of retailers afloat during recent years. It accounts for at least a third of the store space in my local branch of Game.
Both the two main console vendors, Sony and Microsoft have often claimed that the resale market is detrimental to their businesses, as they don’t receive any money from it.Well it seems that the tide may be finally turning in their favour. Sony has patented new technologies that could potentially halt the resale of games on the next generation of console. Games media would come with RFID chips embedded, that would write a unique identifier to the disc upon first use. This would prevent use on any other console. At present it has not been made clear whether this technology is to be implemented on the next incarnation of the Playstation but it bound to surface eventually.
I suppose this is an inevitable step in the evolution of console gaming. Large numbers of PC gamers have already come to terms with the control of games software through platforms such as Steam. Perhaps this new technology from Sony is just an intermediate step before they remove media altogether from the equation. However, I do think that once the second hand games markets is closed, that it will be wider consequences. Unless game prices fall, then I think gamers will simply be far more discerning with regard to what they buy. If you’re on a fixed budget then you’ll choose a lot more wisely if you know that you cannot sell on a “bad choice”.