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Gamestop warns Microsoft off next gen Xbox used game block

Demand for new console would be "significantly diminished", claims retailer

US mega-retailer Gamestop has commented on rumours that the next generation Xbox console will be an always-online machine that enforces one-use activation codes on all games, thereby stifling second hand sales. Unsurprisingly for a company that hauls in huge annual revenues from pre-owned, it's dead against the idea.

"We know the desire to purchase a next-generation console would be significantly diminished if new consoles were to prohibit playing pre-owned games, limit portability or not play new physical games," Gamestop's Matt Hodges told Bloomberg in an emailed statement.

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The original Edge report sent tremors through the gaming world earlier this week - Gamestop's share price fell 6.8 per cent within hours of its publication. Many pundits - including OXM's own Jon Hicks - have cast doubt on the story. Also speaking to Bloomberg, Piper Jaffray Cos analyst Michael Olson observed: "We are confident that both the new PlayStation and the new Xbox will support used games."

The consensus round these parts is that while a console that's permanently online and set up to deter used game purchases isn't unfeasible, that console is unlikely to be the new Xbox, given the state of the global communications infrastructure and consumer distaste for efforts to remotely manage how they make use of their purchases. What do you think?

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