Retailers have reportedly leaked details about how buying and selling used games will work on the Xbox One system, and how it will give money back to publishers and Microsoft itself. Speaking at a conference with "key retail partners," MCVUK is reporting that Microsoft representatives said that the new system will integrate with its own cloud-based Azure game tracking system. Gamers will only be able to buy and sell used Xbox One games at pre-approved retail partners who have integrated their computer networks with the Azure system. Both Microsoft and the game's original publisher will automatically receive a percentage whenever a customer buys a used game.
When a gamer chooses to sell off an old game, the retailer will register that person's copy of the game as having been sold on Azure. After that, Azure will automatically wipe the game and its license from the seller's account. To play the sold-off game again, the seller must purchase another copy. Chances are this erasure would happen when the Xbox One was "checking in" with Microsoft's servers, a process described by Microsoft vice president Phil Harrison as taking place every 24 hours. Once sold, the retailer can set the price of the used game for resale, although rumors (see below) suggest that used game prices might have to include an "activation fee" set by Microsoft.
It is unknown what percentage of the profits from a used game sale will actually go to the retailer. A rumors reported by ConsoleDeals.co.uk suggests that the retailer's share of proceeds from used game sales could be as low as 10%. That's close to the retailer's share of the profits from a used game sale, and much lower than the share retailers currently receive from sales of used Xbox 360 games. The same rumor suggests that the price Azure would set for used game activations would be around $50 (£35). The rumor does not specify if this would be a blanket price for all games, or how it might change over time as games got older.
It's worth noting that we're likely almost a half-year from the Xbox One's release (every home console release since the PS2, including both the original Xbox and the 360, has launched in November), things could change, but the first reports of the Xbox One's unique architecture likely mean changes are in store for used game retailers.
I am sad for the loss of innovation, all gaming and gamers mourn the pushing back of the future to another time. The ice cream may be melting. E3 Save us all!