Xbox 720 rumoured to have ‘always on’ Internet connection, effectively killing used game market

Visitors play with Microsoft's Xbox 360 consoles at the Tokyo Game Show. (REUTERS)Well, there goes the neighbourhood.

Neighbourhood video game stores, specifically, which have already suffered greatly at the hands of big box retailers. Their last glimmer of hope was the used video game market (and even that has been largely dominated by GameStop, EB Games and Best Buy). But if the rumours about Microsoft’s new upcoming game console are true, selling back your used games or trading them in for a new title may soon be a thing of the past.

The latest rumour about the upcoming Xbox 720 (not necessarily its final name) is that the system will require an ‘always on’ Internet connection to function, likely integrated with a new iteration of Xbox Live, according to a story from Edge Online.

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Unnamed sources have told Edge that games will be made available in physical form on 50GB Blu-ray discs, and will ship with activation codes that will only be usable for the initial user. Wanted to share a game with your friend? Perhaps sell it back for trade-in value, and make that next game a little more affordable? Sorry, not going to happen.

Back in April 2012, similar rumours surfaced around the upcoming PlayStation 4; at the time, it was reported that all games will be tied to a user’s PSN ID, which means that you need to be connected to the Internet to play, and once you’ve entered a code for a game, that’s it. With Microsoft looking more and more likely to make this move, it’s almost guaranteed that Sony will follow suit. We’ll know for sure when Sony holds its PlayStation event on February 20, which will most likely be the announcement of the new PS4.

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The sources quoted by Edge also confirm the leaked specs of the next Xbox: AMD eight-core x64 1.6GHz CPU, D3D11.x 800MHz GPU, 8GB of DDR3 RAM. There’s no word yet as to the capacity of the new Xbox. Microsoft will also be developing improved Kinect for the system, expected to ship at the same time.

Geek.com speculates in their coverage about the rumour that the move will push gamers towards the PS4. But if the new PlayStation turns out to block used games as well, this could end up being the one way Nintendo manages to get a leg up on the competition in the console wars.

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