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This is how Xbox One game trade-ins will work, apparently

UPDATE: You won't have to pay the activation fee, Eurogamer understands.

Update #2: Microsoft has finally attempted to explain its used-game strategy, and it seems like the responsibility per title will rest on publishers' shoulders. They'll set the fee a retailer must pay per copy of a resold game, and apparently none of that money will go to Microsoft.

Publishers will choose to opt-in per title and will need to select a "participating" (read: Azure/Xbox One cloud-linked) retailer to resell its games at. If a publisher decides not to opt in then that title cannot be resold or, indeed, given to a friend.

Has Microsoft killed game ownership?

Update: You, the shopper, won't have to pay the activation fee for a used Xbox One game - the shop will. Therefore, the price you see on a second-hand Xbox One game in a shop is the price you'll pay to be able to play it.

That's what a high-ranking UK industry source explained to me this afternoon.

The reason there's all this confusion is because Microsoft hasn't decided what the activation fee will be yet. The £35 figure reported in the story below sounds too high - perhaps it includes the shop's sale price as well.

My source confirmed that part of that activation fee will go to a publisher and part to Microsoft.

What this means for second-hand games is that Microsoft effectively controls how much they cost, because it controls the activation fee. Whether that fee will move up or down or diminish over time isn't clear. But it does mean second-hand games will probably be more expensive than they are now.

My source didn't know what Sony was up to but doubts the PlayStation maker will do the same thing, not because it's angelic but because it lacks the kind of pricey infrastructure something like this requires.

Original story: If you want to trade in an Xbox One game you will need to find a shop that has agreed to Microsoft's terms and is therefore connected to the Xbox One cloud.

The game will be registered as traded in and will be wiped from your Xbox Live account. The shop can resell it for whatever price it likes but the game's publisher now takes a cut and so does Microsoft, a source-based MCV report revealed.

Anyone buying that second-hand game will need to pay an activation fee of £35, a separate unconfirmed report on claimed.


The same report [did not say a shop's cut from that second-hand sale could be as low as 10 per cent -Bertie] said shops could be forced to sell second-hand games at a maximum discount of 10 per cent.

Combine that measly 10 per cent discount and the £35 activation fee and you have figures that add up to not much sense at all for the shopper.

"We have only confirmed that we designed Xbox One to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail," said Microsoft on the matter.

We know that Xbox One games will be tied to both a gamer's account and their Xbox One. Everyone who has an account on that Xbox One can play the game linked to it. If the game is played elsewhere on another Xbox One, however, only the owner's Xbox Live account can play it.

Rumours of an activation fee are what we believe has been holding Microsoft back from explaining second-hand Xbox One sales so far. Whether that's because the fee is high, as claimed here, or because there are specific retailer partnerships to announce, as also suggested here, isn't clear. Both, perhaps? E3 should clear the matter up, unless Microsoft's forced to respond sooner.

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