Microsoft’s ambiguity over the subject of pre-owned resulted in the week from hell for its PR team last week. Let’s hope Sony’s PR team is sitting comfortably.
The Xbox One has had to endure a torrid few days as the world asks for an answer to a very simple question – what fees will be associated with pre-owned games?
Microsoft’s PR silence has been ultimately self-defeating. So why has the strategy seemingly worked so far for Sony?
Back in January momentum was already building behind the idea that PS4 would curtail pre-owned to some extent.
By the following month Sony had seemingly escaped unscathed after it was revealed in no uncertain terms that “used games can play on PS4”. Such uncertainty was toppled merely days later when Sony admitted that the blocking of pre-owned games on PS4 would be a “publisher decision”, with the platform holder adding the following week that it’s “mindful of what game devs want”.
And that was the last we heard.
However, such ambiguous silence is now unlikely to protect Sony any further. Fans have already begun an organised movement in an attempt to elicit the facts from the company. And now the media is beginning to catch up.
"Sony I think has been seen as this kind of white knight so far that’s not going to restrict used games,” GameTrailers TV host Geoff Keighley said over the weekend. “Based on some of the things I’m hearing, I don’t think that’s entirely true. I can’t see publishers allowing one system to do one thing more than another."
So what’s the official line from Sony? “We'll make further announcements at E3, which is just under two weeks away now.” Sound familiar?
Talk is increasingly pointing toward publishers being the driving force behind the ambitions, perhaps even against the will of the platform holders.
Expect lots more on this story to develop throughout the week.