Dear Microsoft: Just say "No" to used games

It's time.

I know people would freak out (like they currently are), but it's time for console gaming to grow up a little bit. People credit Steam for saving the PC gaming industry. Well, they did that without used games.

I would gladly trade the availability of used games for the ability to own all my games digitally and never have DRM checks other than upon initial installation. I understand the need for discs as a delivery method in today's world, but that is all they should be. Because you are trying to appease the used games market, we are all going to have to deal with daily DRM checks, which is much worse than just getting rid of used games.

And I have heard all the complaints...

  • "What if I want to play at a friend's house?" You can. Just log into your profile and play.
  • "What if I want to let my friend borrow a game?" Then give him your digital license and he can play it but you can't anymore. (Which by the way, you can't do on Steam) Why should you both be able to play at different places unless you both bought it?
  • "What about other users in my family?" They are allowed to play on the console the purchase was made on.
  • "What about letting my kids/spouse/roommates play on a second console in my home?" This remains the only legitimate argument against the new system. I have no doubt Microsoft is working with publishers to figure out an answer to this.

There are really only three options in the industry today:

  1. Require the disc to be inserted at all times to play. (This is the past, and completely ignores the cloud future that we all want.)
  2. Don't require the disc to play, but require DRM checks to prevent piracy because people can install as many times as they want from a single disc. (This appears to be the system we are getting.)
  3. Don't require the disc to play, but only allow single installs and lock ownership to one account - no more used games. (Used game purchasers are pissed, but we essentially don't have to deal with DRM anymore.)
Nintendo chose option one. It appears that Microsoft chose option two. And let's be realistic, Sony is probably choosing #2 also. Personally, I wish they would just choose #3.