It's looking increasingly likely that both Sony and Microsoft will be introducing measures to kick the used games market to the kerb in its next-generation consoles.
Last month "a reliable" Kotaku source told the site the PlayStation 4 will feature inbuilt anti-used games measures. Although games will still be available both on Blu-ray disc and digitally, they're likely to be locked to a Sony Entertainment Network (read: PSN) account and the console will require users to be connected to the internet to start up games.
According to the tipster consumers purchasing games second-hand will have to pay an unlock fee to access the full game content, similar to the current online pass model.
In January whispers suggested Microsoft were planning to adopt a similar approach by linking purchased games to Xbox Live accounts. Then, earlier this week reports claimed Microsoft has been providing third-party developers with information on its next-generation Xbox, and has indicated it will crack down on piracy with an always-on internet connection requirement.
Regardless of how platform holders do it, eliminating the used games market is a risky move that's already splitting consumer and developer opinion.
On the pro side is Volition's Jameson Durall: "It would be a fantastic change for our business. Though consumers would be up in arms, they'd grow to understand it."
The Witcher 2's Adam Badowski disagrees: "Hardware solutions will be okay for short periods but long-term support is better." In other words, it's better to provide a stream of DLC, so no one wants to sell their games.
Publishers make no money when stores sell a pre-owned game, and would like this to change. Many games withhold content without a DLC token - like EA's 'online pass' - and it's possible next-gen consoles could block entire games without one-off codes, like in the PC market.
"The system is there," says Durall. "All they'd do is use DLC and codes to tie a game to your account."
So you couldn't lend games to a friend? Not necessarily. "They could implement something similar to Amazon's Kindle Books lending policy.", adds Durall.
We want to know what you think about the idea of used-games being eliminated in the next-gen. Do you think it will hurt or help? What do you think about the alternatives? Let us know in the comments below.