Xbox One and Playstation 4 receive jabs from Redbox over used games DRM

By James Dohnert , Updated Jun 10, 2013 08:54 PM EDT
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Gamers are up in arms over the way the Xbox One and Playstation 4 will handle rented and used games. Sony and Microsoft recently said that gamers won't be able to loan or rent titles at launch. The companies say the game swapping won't be available at launch but may become possible in the future.

The console makers report that it will be up to publishers to decide if they want to offer their games to rent or buy used. Sony and Microsoft's decision is an interesting one because the publishers have the most to lose from used and rental copies of games.

Currently, when a used game is purchased or rented all the money earned from the transaction goes to the seller instead of the publisher. Publishers make money off the large quantities of games sold to rental companies. However, they do not make money off of individual rentals of games.

To implement a ban on rented and used games, the Xbox One and Playstation 4 will come with DRM which will require a 24-hour check in. A check-in will make sure copies of games being played are connected to the original owner of the title.

Interestingly, now a video game rental retailer is speaking out about the issue. Video and game rental service provider Redbox has created a website for gamers to sound off about their concerns and interests about the next generation of gaming consoles.

Gamingfuture.net offers a note which details what is going on with new consoles. The note doesn't discourage DRM but warns consumers that the feature could change the gaming ecosystem.

"The future of video gaming is being decided this week, as amazing new game consoles are beginning to be unveiled. Industry experts are talking right now about the potential features and benefits of these new consoles," writes Redbox on the site.

"Have you heard about what's coming? Reports say that Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4 might have enhanced graphics, enhanced motion control, cloud-based storage, new games and experiences. But you might not be able to play without an internet connection, lend games freely, buy used games or rent games."

Along with Redbox, gamers and the media have been complaining about the DRM issue. NeoGAF forum members had also launched an anti-DRM campaign on Twitter. The forum members report that a DRM for games is greedy and unfair to gamers.

The campaign looks to have made waves already. Sony producers responded on Twitter by writing 'we hear you'.

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