When Sony revealed at the PlayStation for they left many questions unanswered, one of the most talked about things of the next generation console is the fact that it will not play used games.
In the past with the release of a new console it is just assumed that it will play used games. People would buy a game and then when they had played it, sell it on someone else. There was also the fact that if money was tight you could wait for a game to come out and then a few months down the line pick up a used copy, far cheaper.
We know now that the PS4 will not play used games and are waiting for Microsoft to reveal the next generation Xbox 720 to find out if this will. Used games are fast disappearing from the PC as games sold in boxes typically come with an activation key that can only be used one time. Some game makers require that the owner of the game be connected to the Internet before they are able to run the game. There are some games that require the owner of the second hand game to purchase an online pass before they are able to use the multiplayer functions.
Before the release of the PS4 there were rumours going around that neither of the next generation consoles would be able to play second then games, however it was thought that they would not lockout used games entirely. However, earlier in the year a person found patents from Sony, relating to a “system that reliably restricts the use of electronic content dealt in the second-hand markets.”
So the biggest question now is will fans be able to play used games on the Microsoft console?
One likely system that may be used to allow used games to play on the next gen consoles is the online pass system, if you have a game that has already been played on another console, when you place it in your machine, the console will tell you that you need to purchase a license, in some cases it may allow you to play the first level only.
If you were to buy a game from Game Stop, is possible that the activation code will be on your purchase receipt. This was seen with the cat woman content for Arkham City. This is one way of stopping people buying and selling used games.