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Microsoft Xbox 720 will block pre-owned games

A fresh wave of rumours positing that Microsoft's next-generation Xbox will reject used video games had GameStop — the video game retailer that earns a hefty chunk of it profits from used video game sales — playing some defense this week.

GameStop spokesman Matt Hodges told Bloomberg that the company's internal polling suggested that many of its customers would simply boycott any new console that restricted the use of pre-owned games.

{MPU Placeholde

The spokesman's comments, confirmed by GameStop in an email, came in reaction to a story published by tech site The Edge this week. The site claimed unnamed sources had confirmed certain long-standing rumours about Microsoft's secretive plans for the Xbox 720, including the year-old rumour that the new console would have some form of game activation control process to prevent used games from being played on it.

"We know the desire to purchase a next-generation console would be significantly diminished if new consoles were to prohibit playing pre-owned games, limit portability, or not play new physical games," Hodges told Bloomberg, adding that GameStop had polled millions of its customers to determine just how unpopular such a theoretical console would be.

Microsoft issued a standard no comment about the used games rumour. While GameStop would not confirm any specific knowledge about Microsoft's Xbox 720 console, the retailer had motivation for saying as much as it did — GameStop shares reportedly tumbled 6 per cent once the story from The Edge began making the rounds.

The unconfirmed Edge report also claimed that the so-called Xbox 720 will require an Internet connection to operate, will ship with an improved Kinect hardware, and will move to the Blu-ray format for physical media discs.