Used games are here to stay with Xbox One but details hazy

Xbox One users must install games on the console's hard drive, which means a disc can't be easily sold or shared. But Microsoft says it will support secondhand games.

Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One on Tuesday. James Martin/CNET

Fears of a death spiral for used games with the Xbox One may be a little premature.

A Microsoft spokesman confirmed to CNET that Microsoft will support used games with its new console, though it declined to provide much information at this time.

"We are designing Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games," the spokesman said. "We'll have more details to share later."

What we do know is that users have to install games from a disc onto the console's hard drive to access the information. Users can then play that game whenever they like without using the disc, but the action also limits how often that disc can be shared. If the install disc is used on another console, there will be a small fee for doing so.

While that doesn't mean the outright death of secondhand games, it could put a damper on the market. It's unclear how much the second installation fee will cost and how many additional accounts are allowed. It's also unclear if people can easily share games with friends or roommates and what the resale process will be like. Gamers who use a game for a couple weeks or months and then trade it in may find that much more difficult with the Xbox One.

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About the author

Shara Tibken is a senior writer for CNET focused on Samsung and Apple. She previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. She's a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."

 

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