Microsoft’s original Xbox One used-game policy (translation: “we won’t allow them”) was bold, and at least one high-profile developer said that’s where the industry is headed. But that end date is not today, nor is it in November when the Xbox One launches. Microsoft famously changed course just weeks after E3, saying the Xbox One supports used games. GameFly and RedBox investors were among the happiest, but it hadn’t been known when customers finally get their hands on Xbox One games. Turns out, Xbox One games from GameFly should be available at or very near the system’s launch.
Microsoft hasn’t yet announced an official Xbox One release date, so GameFly’s Xbox One section lists the games as being available at the end of December. This strategy is similar to the one used by Amazon and other online retailers to avoid spilling the beans about the Xbox One release date.
A quick review of the platform’s section at GameFly shows that the Xbox One games from GameFly will largely be identical with the Xbox One launch games confirmed by Microsoft. The digital-only titles aren’t there, but all disc-based titles are included.
GameFly has specifically listed all games with a 2014 release date — including The Evil Within, Titanfall and Mad Max — as having a “TBD” availability. The others, however, all show “Dec. 31, 2013,” which indicates they’ll be available to GameFly customers at about the same time. That time is apparently at or near the Xbox One launch, as GameFly has confirmed that PS4 games will be available to rent upon that console’s Nov. 15 launch, and its Xbox One strategy will be similar.
What’s unclear is the quantity of Xbox One games from GameFly. After all, the service could technically offer a dozen games, but if it only had 12 of each, a mere 144 customers would be able to rent a copy. Those quantities are completely representative, but you can see the quandary people would be in.
Say what you will, but Microsoft has done an outstanding PR job since E3 to rebuild its position among early adopters. Not yet knowing the official Xbox One release date is a pain, but more from an anticipation standpoint than from any practical need to know. But, having Xbox One games from GameFly available at or very near the console’s launch is a nice consideration for the owners shelling out $100 more for Microsoft’s console than they’d pay for Sony’s PS4.