During a presentation at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference this afternoon, GameStop chief financial officer Rob Lloyd said that 60 percent of gamers would not buy a new system if that system blocked the ability to play used games. The idea of blocking used games on a next-gen console has been rumored for a while now for both the Playstation 4 and the Xbox 720.
"It's really only about 4 percent of our used game sales are games that were games released in the last 60 days. So it does not have a big impact on the sale of new product. So that's why publishers understand how important the preowned business is to them. Sony has said publicly that they don't intend to block used games in their next console. Microsoft has refused to or has not commented on the rumors that have hit the marketplace."
Lloyd pointed out that consumers want control over the games they purchase. He explained that GameStop has conducted internal research on anticipated consumer buying behavior, and shared this information with platform holders. When asked for a specific percentage, Lloyd said, "I think it's approximately 60 percent of the customers who have said they wouldn't buy a new console if it didn't play preowned games."
Even if Microsoft’s next Xbox or Sony’s next Playstation do block used games, Lloyd said GameStop will adapt appropriately and still be able to sell the systems.
"We'll be able to sell the new consoles that come from Microsoft and Sony regardless of what features they have or what they do or don't allow. We'll have leading market share on the sale of those consoles. We'll adapt to what it does to the preowned business. And one of the ways we'll do that is through a continued healthy preowned business for today's generation of consoles."