The PS4 will share the PS3’s ability for publishers to lock certain content behind a paywall.
This opens up the possibility for the continuation of online passes but will not lead to Xbox One style content blocking.
"The Online Pass program for PlayStation first-party games will not continue on PlayStation 4,” Sony communications director Dan Race told Gamefront. Similar to PS3, we will not dictate the online used game strategy (the ability to play used games online) of its publishing partners.
As announced last night, PS4 will not have any gating restrictions for used disc-based games. When a gamer buys a PS4 disc they have right to use that copy of the game, so they can trade-in the game at retail, sell it to another person, lend it to a friend, or keep it forever."
EA has of course scrapped its online pass and will not re-introduce it.
There is one possibility that could conceivably haunt Sony – third party publishers could prove hesitant to release titles on the console when its rival platform, the Xbox One, offers them the ability to take full control of their software licensing activity.
Again, however, the consumer will prove the deciding factor here. This risk will be multiplied greatly should Xbox One perform as well as or better than PS4 on the market. If Sony’s machine enjoy stronger sales, however, third parties would be effectively forced to fall in line.
All of which presumes that publishers harbour intentions to exploit Microsoft’s infrastructure to block pre-owned. None have yet gone on record with the notable exception of Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemot. The publishing boss admits that decisions have not yet been made but suggests that many will shy away from a potential pre-owned block.