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Will PLAYSTATION 4 "Orbis" Kill Used Games, Backwards Compatibility?




Will the PLAYSTATION 4 “Project Orbis” Kill Used Games, Backwards Compatibility?

Rumors rumors rumors.  We all love ‘em, but this one is kind of scary.  Today, insiders at Kotaku say that Sony’s new console, which is now codenamed Orbis, will have some sort of “content restriction” on Used Games.  Yes, this is a rumor, but this is the same rumor we heard about the new XBOX back in January.  That can’t be coincidence.  Game companies believe they are losing millions due to the used game market and are finding ways to profit. 

Here at The Game Capsule, we talk about how games and gaming culture affect our lives in some way or the other.  What happens to the video game industry if used games are limited upon purchase? 

Let’s give an example outside the video game realm.  You go to a used car lot and buy a used Honda Civic.  It looks good.  Good mileage.  Not bad. You pay $8,000.  Drive it home.  The next day, you get your car, ready to drive to work when uh oh, the car doesn’t start.  You get out the forms from your glove compartment from yesterday that you signed and realize that by purchasing this used car, you get a trial run, but after the trial runs expires, you have to pay a used car fee to Honda, and must to send Honda $4,000 so they can send you a new key to start your car.

So, you buy a game used from a used game store for $20, go home, and a icon pops on the screen that says, to play this game, please pay in the amount of $$$$ made up number we decided to charge you.  Wouldn’t you be pissed that you just spent money to play the game, a price that you thought was reasonable, and now you have to spend more money to play the game?

This wouldn’t just apply to used game stores.  You bring a game you have to a friends house so he can try it out, but because it’s a part of your Playstation Network account, he can’t play this game unless he pays Sony to do so, because the console is reading it as a game that is not registered to his console / PSN account.

I personally buy most of my games used because of price.  We somewhat talked about this in the video, small games, BIG PRICES.  I bought Metroid: Other M for $50 brand new, and it only took me 6-7 hours to beat.  Last black Friday, they were selling it at Best Buy for $5.  Let’s say I bought it for $5 new and Nintendo was doing this “no used games” policy too.  I sell it on ebay for $10, someone buys it, and then they have to pay Nintendo an extra 20 dollars to actually play the game.  I spent $5 on it new, while someone just spent $30 on it USED.  The question:  is that fair? 

That's less change than a combo meal at any fast food joint.  

Now, we knew the backwards compatibility thing was coming.  Don’t deny that.  The Wii had already started it with the Virtual Console, claiming that the console was full backwards compatible since it could play games from all of Nintendo’s past consoles, yet you had to pay for them.  This shouldn’t be a surprise to people.  This is why I say not to get rid of old games.  You could have a vast video game collection and this wouldn’t matter, unless you really have a problem having all of your consoles hooked up. 

The big question to ask yourselves is that if next gen consoles truly go this route, and it turns out to be more than just a rumor, how will this affect your decision in buying the newest Sony console?  The newest Microsoft console?  Will it not matter to you because you always buy new games?  Will it make you hold on to your current generation console a little longer to see where things go? 

Will this decision ruin gaming on consoles forever? 

- Anthony J. Gomez

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