two X-boxes – two copies of Battlefield 3? NO WAY!

Do people actually buy multiple copies of games?  Even if they own more than one of the same console?

We have two X-box 360s.   We almost always play on the big screen with surround sound.  It just blows away playing on the small living room tv.

To me, a big part of online gaming is just that – being online; playing with and against other players on Microsoft Live.  I enjoy sitting with my son playing Call of Duty on split-screen.  He often has a friend or two over doing the same.

Battlefield 3 just came out.  Wicked cool awesome game.  Alas, it only supports one player at a time, if on Microsoft Live.

So we’ve been playing by swapping the controller every other game.  It’s ok – at least we’re hanging out together – but nowhere near as satisfying as playing at the same time.

I suspect Dice and EA would suggest buying a second copy for the second X-box.  Then we could play together (albeit in separate rooms) and both be on Microsoft Live.

Not. Going. To. Happen.

How many gamers with multiple systems actually buy more than one copy?   I suspect not many.

So I have an Idea:   Allow both machines to play off the same game disk.

Both machines can only play if one has the game disk in it; we can’t give the disk to someone else and continue playing at home.  It’s trivial to detect we’re on the same LAN, rather than over the Internet.    It spreads the graphic work over each machine; the first machine is only reading the disk a bit more.   This really shouldn’t be difficult to implement.  Trivial in comparison to the games themselves.

As I see it, the only downside is the loss of those single-household second-copy sales.

But  I wonder… How many of my son’s friends will play here – and then buy their own copy for their own X-box?   I suspect the additional sales would more than make up for the lost copies.  And the good will?   Instead of “those greedy bastards want me to buy two copies” it would be “damn!  We can all play together!  That’s great!”

It could even be extended to allow all local consoles to play off one disk.  Imagine a LAN party playing off one disk.  How many times will people go and buy their own copy afterwards?  I doubt there are many people that only play when they’re physically together.  Although I’ll bet anyone that goes to LAN parties probably does buy their own copy anyway…

Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ll bet there are enough that would buy a game after “tasting” it at a friend’s to make this worthwhile.  People that hadn’t planned to buy that game.

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