Say hello to the brave new world of console gamingThe next evolution of home console gaming is shaping up like a dystopian Philip K. Dick short story. Refueled by the latest PlayStation 4 rumor, signs continue to point to a future in which games are no longer really yours to own, instead just a virtual right to play — just as long as you’re connected to the Internet, have a unique ownership ID, and aren’t playing a used copy.This isn’t the first we’ve heard of this either; a January report says Microsoft’s next machine will attempt to thwart used games too.Think this worst-case scenario is that far off? Think again. It’s already starting to happen. Every EA game sold for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 now has anti-used game components built in. New games ship with one-time use codes that give the original owner access to online game play and features. If you try and play one of these titles without the code on a different console or gamertag, it’ll cost you extra to get online.So what does the future of gaming look like? I think a good indication of what might come to be is how Activision has approached Modern Warfare 3. Encouraging gamers to hop on board a subscription-based gaming experience not only shifts focus away from those who might want to sell a game back, but also increases overall game play value.Photo Credit: (Blake Stevenson)

Say hello to the brave new world of console gaming

The next evolution of home console gaming is shaping up like a dystopian Philip K. Dick short story. Refueled by the latest PlayStation 4 rumor, signs continue to point to a future in which games are no longer really yours to own, instead just a virtual right to play — just as long as you’re connected to the Internet, have a unique ownership ID, and aren’t playing a used copy.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of this either; a January report says Microsoft’s next machine will attempt to thwart used games too.

Think this worst-case scenario is that far off? Think again. It’s already starting to happen. Every EA game sold for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 now has anti-used game components built in. New games ship with one-time use codes that give the original owner access to online game play and features. If you try and play one of these titles without the code on a different console or gamertag, it’ll cost you extra to get online.

So what does the future of gaming look like? I think a good indication of what might come to be is how Activision has approached Modern Warfare 3. Encouraging gamers to hop on board a subscription-based gaming experience not only shifts focus away from those who might want to sell a game back, but also increases overall game play value.

Photo Credit: (Blake Stevenson)