PlayStation 4 won’t block second-hand games, but if the Xbox 720 does, it’s game over for Microsoft

In light of Sony’s patent application last year for a system in which discs contain an embedded chip that permanently and exclusively associates them with a specific device, it wasn’t unreasonable to assume that the PS4 wouldn’t play pre-owned games. However, following its launch (and I use that word loosely here) yesterday, Sony have quashed that rumour, telling Eurogamer that it will be able to. Meanwhile, there’s been much speculation this month that Microsoft’s successor to its Xbox 360 console won’t play second-hand titles. The head of Eidos Interactive, Ian Livingstone, seemingly confirmed such rumours in an interview with an Indian gaming website.

It’s obvious why Microsoft would want to do this, as there can be no doubt that the second-hand video game market is seen by both them and publishers as an enormous cause of lost revenue. But for Microsoft and its consumers, it’s an utterly terrible idea for so many reasons.