As you might have heard there are rumours flying around the internets that the next PlayStation will be called “Orbis”. Make of that what you will but the article also says it will lock games to a user, meaning no more second hand games. This backs up what developers have been saying to us for a while – second hand sales massively affect their revenue. The problem is – what if consumers want to borrow their mates games because they can’t afford a new one? What will become of them?
Thus the argument begins. Is the games industry more important or its customers? Take me as a good example, I’m a student. I can’t afford to buy new games, I can’t remember the last time I bought a game, instead I’ve been borrowing friends games (or even letting them borrow mine!). I also know many other friends, who do buy games fairly often, also borrow games off each other. What happens to us? Boo hoo you can’t play new games so you say but this means I become a dissatisfied customer. I start losing faith in my PlayStation and move onto a different console and then the games industry still gets affected. Or I spend my money on games and become poor when the games industry becomes rich. Can I really win?
Shops will also suffer, CEX could close down (let’s not forget that there are rumours the new Xbox is going to use the same anti-second-hand disc system too). GAME relied heavily on second-hand sales because it’s where they got their biggest profit margins and HMV no doubt do the same. Surely keeping our high-street open is more important? Or at least, just as important. Blockbusters would also be affected if there was no more borrowing going on.
Some would say – so what? You can’t really borrow PC games and they do okay but their games are cheaper to start off with and with services like Steam, I’m pretty sure people trade account details to “borrow” the odd game. Do those devs suffer…?
However, if it really IS affecting the games industry like they say it, then surely having a games industry at all is more important because if we didn’t there would be less jobs, no gamers and no games shops. So maybe it’s better to support it and give up our hard earned cash for every brand new game. But if there are no customers, there’s no games industry, swings and roundabouts…
Will you lose faith in the industry if the rumours are true? Perhaps it’s all part of Nintendo’s secret plot to win everyone over if the next Xbox and PS really do decide to follow through with such an idea.