Speaking with MCV India on the state of boxed releases, Eidos president Ian Livingstone indicated that the next Xbox would include a feature where discs would have to be verified online and locked to a console. “With the next Xbox, you supposedly have to have an internet connection, and the discs are watermarked, whereby once played on one console it won’t play on another. So I think the generation after that will be digital-only.”
The scheme, which has been linked to both the PS4 and the next Xbox seems legit whenever it pops up, an end-run by the console makers to ostensibly combat piracy but in truth lock in that new retail purchase.
Whether Livingstone was simply regurgitating one of the many, many rumors about the next-gen console or instead has the insight of a developer with early access to the hardware, he believes--like some other game industry professionals--that this will likely be the last traditional console cycle where you buy a machine with an optical drive to put discs in.
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