While the hardware has sometimes been derided as representing one of the smallest generational steps forward in the history of consoles, the business and soft side of things may just be driving one of the video game industry's most innovative eras. The latest ground-shaking idea to pop up this generation is the potential for digital trade-ins.

An Xbox customer survey screen-capped and shared on NeoGaf has been testing the temperature of waters of digital game sales, asking if consumers would be interested in trading digital titles in exchange for store credit.

"If the console digital games store for the console you owned offered customers the option to 'sell back' their digital games to the store for 10 percent of the purchase price in store credit, would you be interested in such an offer?" the survey asks.

It can be easy to balk at an offer of $6 for a $60 when comparing it to the returns offered on trade-ins for physical media – GameStop is offering up to 41 percent on Fifa 16 trade-ins for Xbox One, for example.

However, this offers credit for something that currently has no resale value. For digital library placeholders that may never again be called to fetch game data to be installed to a hard drive, Microsoft may be driving a hard bargain here.

And for the store owner's part, whether it be Xbox Live or another digital storefront, offering a bit of store credit would drive more sales. For gamers, this system would offer a way for them to get something for games they couldn't trade otherwise.

Another thing about this is that Microsoft's question indicates that the original purchase price will be honored. So if a game's retail price falls to say $40 or $30 after a few years, that 10 percent off of an original purchase price of $60 climbs to 15 percent and 20 percent respectively.

Credit for digital games is just the latest idea to seep out of a year that has already seen the confirmation of cross-network play, rumors of a modular Xbox One descendant and a PlayStation 4.5 that's capable of pushing out a 4K resolution.

Photo : Major Nelson | Flickr

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