Report Suggests Next Xbox Will Require “Always On” Internet Connection, No Second Hand Games

According to sources this afternoon, Microsoft’s next console will require a constant internet connection just to be able to play games and will – crucially – dispense with the ability to run pre-owned (or, presumably) rented games.

It’s a damning article that will no doubt instantly put some potential owners off the console. It claims that whilst games will be available to buy physically (on 50 GB Blu-rays) the discs will come with one-time activation codes and won’t work past whoever plays them first.


It’s not made clear whether prospective second hand owners can pay their way to re-activate an already activated game, although it’s assumed that this will be the case.

Edge say that the next Xbox will be “absolutely committed to online functionality”.

Whilst the article remains confident, it’s unlikely that this will actually come to fruition. At worst, it’s likely to be an option that publishers can go for – dropping restrictions like this on every single game makes literally no sense to consumers. We’ll see soon enough.

Both new consoles, the PS4 and the Xbox 720, are highly likely to come with motion control in the box. The Xbox will obviously feature a new Kinect revision, whilst Sony’s platform will probably come with the dual camera array we’ve seen hinted at several times recently.

Sony is expected to showcase the PS4 in just two weeks. Sony have already filed a patent that deals with pre-owned games via a clever tagging mechanism.



  1. I wonder what David patcher has to say about this, what it will do to GameStop if no second hand games next gen

    • Dunno. Michael Pachter might have something to say tho.

      • David Patcher will just patch that shit right out anyway. Go David!

  2. If this turns out to be true, Sony literally just have to promote the fact that they do not have such harsh restrictions in place and people will flock to the Sony camp.

    • Despite the fact it has long been rumoured for Sony’s machine too?

    • Very true. If Sony have it planned they could change it around and suddenly PS4 becomes top selling. If this does continue though across the whole gen then the prices are gonna have to adjust to a more friendly level. After all we buy digital titles which are one time purchase but we do so with distribution licenses and usually a cheaper price.

  3. They and Sony as well may go the route of tying the ability to play used games to a subscription model like XBL and PS+

  4. Still yet to hear anything on next gen consoles that makes me want one. There’s so many potential problems with these latest rumours.

    • Indeed, I’m collecting cheap PS3 games to keep me busy as I doubt I’ll buy a next gen console.

      • Yeah I’ve been doing the same. Good thing these days is there are plenty of cheap, good games about.

      • Me three. I bought a PS3 in June 2007, that’s the closest to launch I’ve ever splashed out on a console and I think this time I’d rather wait a few more years and bleed the black beasts range of games dry first.

      • that’s a very good idea.

      • The PS3 library of unplayed titles is massive enough to warrant me playing a PS3 for many years to come. Although PS4 may yet surprise us with backwards compatibility and a good price.

      • I have a huge backlog of already-paid-for games, so why splash out on a new console (when I don’t really like the route it’s going down) and games – I’ll probably keep my PS+ sub for £11.99 a quarter, as there are loads of game I’ve still not touched, and I’ll have my Vita of course.

        And you can pick up top titles for nearly half the price within months of launch now – I got Rage for £9 two months after release; Max Payne 3 went down to £14.99 3 months after; Hitman was £17.99 (or something) on the Store with the Christmas deals; I picked Dishonored up for under £20 within 8 weeks of launch.

        I also have another baby on the way so they’ll be no time for PS4!

    • Hear hear!

      • Totally going for the backlog route first, and playing all the random games I missed out the first time on PS3…and trying to get as many platinums as possible. By the time I get to GT5 the PS4 will be out for several years! There’s enough games in the beast to keep me going for years yet :)

        I doubt Microsoft or Sony will go for DRM issues that strict, the Online Passes will most likely be as far as it goes for now. The developers get money, even from preowneds that way, and those who don’t play online won’t have to. Don’t like that its gotten to this point already though.

      • Same here (regarding trophies), I’m working on any multiplayer trophies for games, so I can just enjoy the single-player campaigns and still earn some platinums whilst others will be playing PS4s!

        I might actually get around to finishing long games such as the Final Fantasy games I bought and never started!!

  5. As said in the article, would be surprised if this is actually 100% fact. Would seem a silly and dangerous move by Microsoft….unless they know something about Sony and their announcement that we don’t.

  6. It could be that both the PS4 and the Xbox both have this restriction. I wouldn’t be surprised if all the third party publishers got together and gave MS and Sony an ultimatum about including single-use codes or they’d remove support.

    That being said, if this story happens to be true, and it’s not a factor for the PS4 – short of a huge disadvantage elsewhere in the system for Sony it immediately wins them the war for the next generation in many people’s eyes.

    If it’s true for the Xbox however, I imagine it’ll be the same for PS4.

    • Yes, it’s entirely possible the PS4 offers this option to publishers too.

      • Which ever console, if any, this actually happens to, I wont be getting.

      • Same here, I fear. My console world of games consists of only a few new ones. The majority of my purchases are reduced to hell or second hand. Oh well… still got my PC to game with.

        Oh, and what staggers me is that if this ever comes in (re: always online) some dodgy broadband connection for a day means you’re penalised with gaming too (offline). Sod that!

      • exactly, imagine if PSN is down every week like it has been recently? Fuck that. I buy a console to play games, not to wait until I can get online

  7. If I was thinking about getting the next Xbox the news of it requiring a constant internet connection would put me off completely.

    Saw an article on Product Reviews stating the PS4 controller will have a ‘share’ button which will let you record and share up to 15 min of gameplay. If true it’ll be a great feature. There’s also a pic of the controller which has a touchpad. It may be fake, but if not, looks good.

    • that picture has to be fake, the handles/grips are too fat to start with. It looks bloody horrible actually.

      • There are no pictures of the PS4 controller yet. Thankfully.

      • Just noticed the tops of the analogue sticks are not rounded like the DS3’s, more like the Xbox ones.

    • There’s plenty of similar images doing the rounds, this one was sent to me. I’m just going to wait for the official announcement.


      • that thing looks horrendous to me. Yuk.

        They could at least get the sticks correct. Its not an Xbox controller.

      • Can’t see how the touch pad plays out like that right in the middle. I’d reckon it is a fake, but I think we may well see a rear touch pad and possible cameras/optical sensors, gyro and accelerometers. That way the controller could offer more tactile contact with the game akin to the vita. it would also open up the opportunity for the Vita to become a control seamlessly.

      • Haha, nice Apple icon on the PS button in the middle there…

  8. Wouldn’t be surprised if it was anti-piracy measure rather than anti-used.

    New games sales would plummet even further if people weren’t able to subsidise their new game purchases by trading-in or reselling elsewhere.

    Unless of course, prices come down to that of PC games where you could buy DmC in launch week for £12.99 Vs £40ish for PS360. Will publishers do that? Hardly, EA etc are pushing RRPs up, not down in an effort to get more sales & make money through add-on content… EA are demonstrating through their actions they want both the high RRP AND the add-on money – probably a key reason console game sales are bombing and other platforms are becoming more & more lucrative.

    • I wonder why Steam are able to keep prices so reasonable looking for the big releases when Live and the PSN can’t? The Steam Box might yet dominate an online-only generation.

      • Yes that is intriguing. Steam does offer a very secure, fast and accessible means of distributing to consumers (barring the whole Dyad issue). PC has maintained it’s retail prices roughly as opposed to the branded console ‘editions’ of a game that rise in price with every generation. Take Bioshock Infinite, its £27.99 as opposed to the £40-45 console version.

      • Currently there is legal action against steam as there is no way to sell games on. A legal case was won in Europe last year making it legal to sell digital games on.

        If this case is won there are massive implications for steam, psn and xbox live

    • i can’t see console prices going down to pc levels, not with the console makers claiming their cut.

  9. Those restrictions would kill it before it even launched.
    Anyway, what happens if you use a game and you have to replace your console at some point – is there going to be some cumbersome re-activation process for all your games in those situations?

    • that’s a very good point. Based on what people have said in the comments section so far, there is no way this will happen.

    • I would imagine that, if this were to happen, it would be tied to your account rather than your hardware and you’d have a limit on registered consoles/devices. Then, when you try and play on a new machine, it just checks online that you’ve registered that game and allows you to play.

      • Ah, tied to the account would make more sense – like with psn games. Still , who said i was looking for a voice of reason Kris… ;)

  10. I’ve said it on more than one occasion, this is akin to killing the golden goose, and we all know how that turned out.

    Shelling out £40-£50 on a game in this financial climate is a risk, there are so many turkeys out there with game breaking flaws or 5 hour campaigns. Take away the safety net of trade ins or rental and people will buy fewer games.

    If this article proves to be true then I’ll stick with Steam, it may lock you to one account, but has a far more sensible pricing model.

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