We're not sure how much stock you should put into this news, but we're putting it out there anyway because Microsoft has been so dodgy on the topic since it announced the Xbox One.
According to retailers who spoke under the condition of anonymity to MCV and industry sources who spoke with Eurogamer, Microsoft will require retailers to sign an agreement and use a system for tracking games that are resold back to retailers. Retailers who have agreed to Microsoft's "terms and conditions" for selling Xbox One games will let Microsoft know that a game has been traded in and that game will then be wiped from the Xbox Live account it was associated with.
When you sell an Xbox One game, Microsoft and the publisher of the game will get a cut of the profits. While the retailer can sell the game for whatever price it likes, it would have to take into account that it now has to share whatever profits it makes with both Microsoft and the publisher. Microsoft will charge an activation fee, but both MCV and Eurogamer say that users will pay for that at retail and not when first using the game on their console. Both publications also say that Microsoft and publishers will share the money from the activation fee.
One site cited by both reports (ConsoleDeals.co.uk) puts the average price of used Xbox One game at £35 (around $52). This price tag seems incredibly high, and it is tough to substantiate because no one knows what Microsoft and publishers will get for a cut. Both reports put the retailer's cut of the profits at around ten percent, which seems incredibly low and not a figure a retailer like GameStop would settle for…
When asked about this news, Microsoft offered a generic reply on the matter:
"While there have been many potential scenarios discussed, we have only confirmed that we designed Xbox One to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail. Beyond that, we have not confirmed any specific scenarios. Another piece of clarification around playing games at a friend’s house – should you choose to play your game at your friend’s house, there is no fee to play that game while you are signed in to your profile."
If we had to speculate, we'd say that publishers would want at least $10 because that's the price they were charging for online passes. We'll have more on this rumor as it becomes available, but we won't likely know more about whether the scheme is real or not until E3 in June.