The next generation Microsoft Xbox, called Xbox 720, will take unprecedented steps to combat piracy, according to a report by Edge magazine.
The magazine reports that the next-generation Xbox will require an Internet connection at all times, enabling an "always-on" digital rights management that will prevent users from playing pre-owned games on their Xbox. Games manufactured for the next generation Xbox will "come with activation codes" so Xbox enthusiasts can only play them on one device, according to Edge.
When asked by The Huffington Post to comment on the potential change, a Microsoft spokeswoman said via email, “We do not comment on rumors or speculation. We are always thinking about what is next for our platform, but we don’t have anything further to share at this time.”
A ban against used games could badly hurt the established industry. The most vulnerable business may be Gamestop, a franchise video game retailer that makes nearly half its gross profit from sales of pre-owned games, according to Bloomberg. The video game site Kotaku speculated early last year that Gamestop's profits would diminish spectacularly if the used games industry is crippled, and Gamestop's stock fell 6 six percent in January after Edge magazine reported the rumor.
The Telegraph speculated on Tuesday that a Microsoft-backed ban against used games would likely put the Xbox in the crosshairs of "hackers, who will seek to circumvent the restrictions." Various video game luminaries, including Saber Interactive CEO Matthew Karch, have already spoken out against the rumor, telling CVG that it is "unfair" and urging game developers to "lower the cost" of gaming experiences instead.