A mockup of what the Xbox 720 logo could look like.
GameStop and Microsoft have both responded, to varying degrees of clarity, after GameStop Corp. took a hit yesterday on Wall Street after Xbox 720 rumors damaged the company's perceived viability.
Gaming magazine Edge reported an anonymous leak about the upcoming Microsoft Xbox 720. The rumor spread from that report that the new console would not allow players to play used games. The Edge story included possible specs on the new 720 and a speculation that the Xbox will require an always-on internet connection which will require users to enter an activation code and register each game they play.
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This would make preplayed or used games, often still bought at the mall at game stores like GameStop, completely useless and obsolescent. Yesterday, after those rumors spread across the internet, GameStop Corp. lost value on their shares, being down as much as 11.4 percent in the heat of trading.
Now GameStop has responded to the rumors, according to Yahoo Finance, with a statement by GameStop CEO Paul Raines. "We are excited about the potential of new consoles launching this year," he said. "As far as what features they may or may not have, we will have to wait until the details are officially released from the manufacturers."
Then Raines addressed the rumors: "We do know through our survey of the PowerUp gamer community that a substantial majority of our customers are unlikely to purchase a next-generation console that prohibits the play of preowned games, limits portability or does not play new physical discs." (PowerUp is GameStop's customer rewards program).
We'll have to wait and see whether this holds true, but let's face it, people like the shiniest new toy on the block - and next-gen consoles are going to sell regardless of the lack of second-hand games, if it is true.
Microsoft has "responded" with a statement simply saying, "We do not comment on rumors or speculation. We are always thinking about what is next for our platform, but we don't have anything further to share at this time."
So what does it sound like to you? It's obvious that GameStop is trying to put a stop to an idea that may put them under. But Microsoft's pokerfaced response, including "what is next for our platform," sounds ominous for the videogame retailer.