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Has The Second Hand Games Market Been Saved By Microsoft’s U-Turn?

Posted In Game reviews, Technology Reviews - By Techtiplib on Thursday, August 8th, 2013 With No Comments »

Earlier this year, Microsoft and Sony went head to head – there was the Microsoft Xbox One in the blue corner and the Sony PS4 in the red. The fight didn’t last long, however, because Microsoft appeared to abandon a win and instead chose to kick itself repeatedly in the face with stupid statements and ludicrous claims. It’s fair to say that Microsoft fans are still a little mad at the company for their behaviour over the last four or five months. Being told to stick with the old model if you don’t like the new one – well, it isn’t the best marketing ploy in the world, says IGN journalist Luke Reilly. Hands up if you think Microsoft’s Don Mattrick will still be working at Microsoft in a year’s time. 

The list of concerns about the Xbox One has steadily grown, says expert Dave Parrack. There’s the ingenious plan to make the Kinect camera permanently turned on, so that sensors can pick up your every frown, smile or furtive attempt to fap over a Lara Croft nipple slip. Then there’s the determined effort to stamp out second hand game trading, by charging users a penalty if they share or swap games too often or with too many people who aren’t close friends. This last policy was the real kicker, the real bug bear amongst true Microsoft fans. 

Now, the company may have been forced to do a humiliating U-turn on both issues, but will it make any difference to the second hand games market? Is the second hand games market worth having in the first place? Will it always be there or will future console advancements inevitably squeeze it into nothingness? 

Should we care about the health of the second games market? 

The simple answer is yes, of course we should. Multi billion dollar corporations like Microsoft and Sony can, of course, offer consumers a world’s worth of spiel regarding the reasons why second hand games are damaging. The truth is that they’ll cost these multi billion dollar corporations a little bit of cash – just a little bit. Now, Sony seems to realise the importance of the second hand game market and its influence on the spread of independent games like the recent masterpiece, Journey. Sony somehow seems to ‘get’ that video games are becoming more than just a way to pass an otherwise empty half an hour – they’re slowly morphing into fully interactive cinematic pieces of art. 

Can you really put a price on that, on a cultural shift so vital and so promising? 

It seems that you can if you’re Microsoft. Or at least you can until your own fans start turning tail and hopping over to Sony’s side, says Independent journalist Varun Mathure. The second hand games market would have been dealt a huge blow if Microsoft had gone ahead with their original plans to outlaw trading – that much is clear. It wouldn’t have killed it off entirely, but it would have sounded a death knell. This would have been an  awful shame, because it’s not what people want. Consumers enjoy lending and swapping games, they enjoy being able to buy the really big titles at full price when they come out, but then also being able to experiment with unfamiliar titles for less cost. 

At a time when so many consumers are still struggling with the effects of the financial recession, it is more important than ever that companies support their fans. They will continue to buy brand new titles, if they feel valued and if the products that they are being offered are worthwhile. It’s like a strange sort of marriage – you’ve got to ride the stormy weather as well as the sunshine and the rainbows. If video games are to continue in their evolution, it is vital that games consoles like Microsoft and Sony can support the current needs of fans and consumers – even if those current needs include swapping, sharing and buying second hand games. 

Author Bio:

Lisa jane is an international games journalist and an avid gaming fan. She recommends Cash In Hand Pawnbrokers for a great selection of used gaming consoles. Lisa can be found blogging about the latest in gaming console news.

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