Xbox "Durango" Could Feature Always-On DRM

Reselling and sharing pre-owned console games is going the way of the dinosaur, but not because people don't like them. Further, Microsoft is giving in to pressure from game publishers that could only end up hurting its next-generation console.

According to a HotHardware report, Redmond is planning to implement an always-online DRM scheme with its next-generation Xbox "Durango" game console. The scheme requires games to stay connected to the internet throughout the duration of gaming, and even a momentary loss of connectivity (due to technical snags with your ISP) could halt your game progress. What the scheme also means is that Xbox owners, regardless of being Xbox Live subscribers, will have to tie their purchased games to a Microsoft account. Each time a game is launched, the system authenticates the user's rights to the game online.

Always-online DRM schemes have been toyed with by PC game publishers such as Ubisoft, which drew a lot of flack for the way it's implemented. The company was forced to withdraw the DRM from some of its newer titles.

The lack of pre-owned console games could spell disaster to resellers such as Game Stop, and their customers, who purchase fairly recent pre-owned game copies for a fraction of the price you'd pay to buy a game new.