Despite a heap of speculation, there will be no attempt by Sony to block used games being played on the PlayStation 4.
Months of talk and even an unearthed patent led some to think a pre-owned ban was coming, but it seems Sony has sided with the consumer and its retail partners.
Though the PS4 was officially announced tonight, and some details of the product’s specifications and features were provided, Sony neglected to mention whether or not the console would let customers play second hand games.
When pressed on the issue by Eurogamer‘s Tom Bramwell, head of Sony Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida was at first evasive, and possibly stalling for time.
"Do you want us to do that?" he asked.
No, said Bramwell, arguing there was a moral contract with consumers who had bought physical media to honor their rights to re-sell the disc.
"Yes. That’s the general expectation by consumers," said Yoshida.
"They purchase physical form, they want to use it everywhere, right? So that’s my expectation."
Yoshida had apparently forgotten what he was told to say to such a question, so he asked a PR representative.
"So what was our official answer to our internal question?" The PR rep apparently didn’t know either, so Yoshida scrapped diplomacy and answered directly.
"So, used games can play on PS4. How is that?" he said.
Bramwell writes that he spoke to another Sony PR rep, who said the patent that caused so much controversy had nothing to do with the next generation console.
This will make it very difficult for Microsoft to proceed with any plans it may have had to block used games.
Unless both console manufacturers made a joint decision to ban pre-owned discs, consumers would doubtlessly flock to the system that allowed them more freedom.
With so much on the line, it is doubtful that either company would be willing to make the first move.
This may come as a dissapointment to some game developers, many of whom feel that pre-owned games leech their profits.
But there is shortly to be another contender in the living room and Valve’s Steambox, named for the company’s own DRM-protected digital distribution system, could attract a few developers keen to escape the used games market.