Could Nintendo’s Wii U be the LAST game console to be built that you can play used games on?
If all of the rumors surronding the next PlayStation and XBox consoles are to be believed then the answer is yes. Gamers have suspected this for months, but there’s even more bad news for the used game market lurking out there.
Let’s review the evidence, starting with the big two. The next Playstation– for the sake of argument we’ll call it the PS4– has been rumored for almost a year now to include a system that will tie a game disc to a an online account. The word leaking out about the succesor to the XBox360 is that it will require an always online connection in order to authorize games.
That right there is a giant pain in the console.
So where can gamers who are up in arms about not being able to trade games going to go?Nowhere.
Sure, Valve may be getting into the console market with their Steam Box program, which boils down to a series of specs for Linux based devices that can play Linux-coded Steam games. As currently described Valve’s plan is more like the THX audio seal of approval than a single sku destined for store shelves.
Nor would Steam Boxes support used games. The whole point of Steam is the digital marketplace that is piped in with it.
The same is true of the GameStick, the Android based mini-console that was recently funded on Kickstarter. It’s older “cousin”, the Ouya– also an Android-based, Kickstarter funded device– will rely on a digital storefront as well. Pre-sales for the Ouya at Best Buy and Game Stop stores began just this week.
An Apple built television with a games marketplace? Definitley all digital, if such a thing were to be released at all.
So there you have it. By this time next year used games will be deader than disco. Unless you’re playing on the WiiU.