Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Next Xbox to prevent you from playing used games?

Microsoft might add used-game restrictions on its next Xbox, according to Kotaku--though it's not clear how such a technology would be set up.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Will the next Xbox restrict you from playing your favorite used games?

Gaming news site Kotaku reported yesterday that the so-called Xbox 720 will incorporate some type of anti-used game technology. Citing a "reliable industry source," Kotaku admitted that it's not clear how such a technology would be set up and if it means the Xbox wouldn't play used games at all.

One theory is that a game would be tied to an Xbox Live account so that only the original buyer could play it. But as the gaming site points out, that type of restriction could be beaten by Xbox owners who simply keep their consoles offline.

However it is accomplished, such a move would bring smiles to game publishers losing sales over used games being bought and sold at stores such as GameStop. But it would also tick off Microsoft's core gaming crowd, many of whom buy and sell used games to avoid the sticker shock they'd face if they had to purchase every game new.

Despite Kotaku's "reliable source," I have to bet that Microsoft wouldn't be so foolish as to implement such a restriction. This type of move would certainly damage sales of the next Xbox right from the get-go, especially among hardcore gamers. It would also seemingly make it difficult to even give someone else a used game for free.

Beyond rumors of an anti-used game technology, Kotaku's sources said that the next Xbox will upgrade its DVD player to a Blu-ray player.

The console would also come with a new version of Kinect powered by an onboard processor more accurate at detecting the movement of players.

Responding to a question about the used-game restriction, a Microsoft spokesperson sent CNET the following statement:

As an innovator we're always thinking about what is next and how we can push the boundaries of technology like we did with Kinect. We believe the key to extending the lifespan of a console is not just about the console hardware, but about the games and entertainment experiences being delivered to consumers. Beyond that we don't comment on rumors or speculation.

Promising six times the processing power of the Xbox 360, the next model of the popular game console could hit store shelves by the fall of 2013.

Updated 9:35 p.m. PT with direct statement from Microsoft.