Microsoft reportedly to take cut on used Xbox One game sales

Each sale of a used Xbox One game will profit Microsoft and the original publisher, at least according to U.K. gaming news site MCV.

Microsoft's Xbox One
Microsoft's Xbox One James Martin/CNET

Microsoft's policy concerning used Xbox One games has proven a bit confusing, but a new report may have spilled more concrete details.

Citing information from "retail sources," gaming news site MCV claims that Microsoft and gaming publishers will take a bite out of the sale of each used Xbox One game. In the process of selling a used game, original owners would also see the game wiped from their online accounts so they no longer can play it.

Microsoft has already confirmed that Xbox One users who install a game on the console's hard drive will no longer need the disc as the game is then tied to their online accounts.

To deal in used games, retailers will reportedly have to agree to Microsoft's terms and use Microsoft's online Azure-based pre-owned system. After the used game is registered through Microsoft as having been sold, the seller's access to that game is then removed. That final step may shed some light on a comment from Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison that the Xbox One needs to check in with Microsoft servers once every 24 hours.

Retailers can sell the used game at any price they choose but with the understanding that Microsoft and the game's publisher will each share in the proceeds. MCV cited unconfirmed reports from U.K. Web site ConsoleDeals that the retailer's cut of the action could be a little as 10 percent.

The same reports also claim a customer in the U.K. would pay a total fee of 35 pounds to buy and activate a used game. Those 35 pounds translate into around $52, which seems a hefty price to pay for a used game, assuming the same cost would apply in the U.S.

Microsoft has been mum about specific details regarding used games and has said only that Xbox One customers would be able to trade in and resell games. A Microsoft spokesman relayed the following statement to CNET:

We know there is some confusion around used games on Xbox One and wanted to provide a bit of clarification on exactly what we've confirmed. While there have been many potential scenarios discussed, we have only confirmed that we designed Xbox One to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail. Beyond that, we have not confirmed any specific scenarios.

Another piece of clarification around playing games at a friend's house -- should you choose to play your game at your friend's house, there is no fee to play that game while you are signed in to your profile.

Update, 8:00 a.m. PT: Added statement from Microsoft.

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