The next Xbox console will reportedly block second-hand gaming thanks to a combination of permanent internet connectivity and game activation codes.
Edge magazine notes that, although the console will still have the capacity to play games issued in physical form, these games could ship with activation codes effectively tethering them to the initial user's account.
The reports come courtesy of the publication's sources working on projects related to the next-gen console.
"Microsoft has asked itself what kind of consumer is going to buy its next Xbox and surmised that it's the kind of consumer with a decent internet connection," said Neil Long, online editor of Edge, as reported in the Guardian.
"Like the App Store and Steam, the next Xbox will be download-first, one account, one purchase, one storefront system. It will offer far greater flexibility on pricing, but games players are used to thinking in terms of £40 to £50 games in boxes. Microsoft could have a difficult time explaining that games will now be tethered to one account."
Looking at what the Edge article actually says, the combination of an always-online system and game activation codes could definitely be used to tie games to that particular account, but unless Microsoft makes code usage compulsory for developers, implementing such a strategy could just be a matter for individual studios.
A recent case study for the success (or rather the lack thereof) of always-online DRM in games comes courtesy of Ubisoft, which eventually abandoned its version of the system after rather a lot of irate gamer feedback.