For years now PC game developers have used security keys to do their utmost to suppress the sale of used games. In recent years console developers have begun to do the same by introducing online passes. The idea is that to play games online you must enter a password which comes freely with a new game or can cost up to ten pounds to buy if you buy the game used. The hope is that used game sales will suffer. There are rumours circling now that Microsoft will go a step further and prevent the next Xbox from playing used games full stop.
I understand that developers don't profit from used game sales but surely banning them will hurt the gaming industry as a whole more than it would help it? High street shops as Game make vast sums of money from selling used games, the loss of used game sales could cripple them, potentially forcing them out of business. This would result in game sales plummeting and in hundreds of people losing their jobs, something that would obviously harm the gaming industry both in terms of revenue and reputation.
On top of this it would cripple word of mouth potential for games. How many families have a parent who buys a game who then lends it to their son or daughter who then buy it and who also then recommend that their friend buys it? If parents can no longer do this then the gaming industry risks losing an entire new generation of gamers, can it afford this in the long run?
Also if Microsoft choose to implement their idea of making a console that simply won't play used games, but Sony or Nintendo's next efforts don't, then how many millions of Microsoft fans are going to buy the Wii U or the PS4 instead? Although I know longer an own Xbox I think it would be a shame if Microsoft were to kill it off with such a foolish idea.
Ultimately if companies choose to continue on down this path then the games industry is going to have a crisis on its hands and surviving it will be an immensely difficult task. Perhaps then it would be better to avoid it entirely and allow such a crucial part of the industry to live on as it does?