While Sony has already confirmed that the PlayStation 4 will allow consumers to play used games, to date the company has not detailed specifics of how second-hand software or any associated digital rights management (DRM) will be handled. Still unanswered is the question of whether or not players will be required to pay additional fees to activate a previously owned game. GameTrailers TV host Geoff Keighley believes that Sony may be looking to follow Microsoft's lead by considering DRM for used games in the upcoming generation.
"Sony I think has been seen as this kind of white knight so far that’s not going to restrict used games. 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," he said during a dissection of the Microsoft press conference.
Keighley’s comments, which can be heard at the 17 minute mark, suggest that while Sony has not yet officially unveiled details of used games on the device, he doesn’t anticipate it being drastically different to the approach taken by its biggest competitor, Microsoft’s Xbox One.
In February this year Sony vice president of Worldwide Studios, Michael Denny said the company would "do the right thing" by consumers with used games on the PlayStation 4.
"It's not something that I feel I have any further announcement or comment to make on other than to acknowledge with you that it's a massively important issue, and of course we are going to do the right thing," he said at the time.
User famousmortimer on the NeoGAF forum has called for displeased gamers to respectfully tweet at key Sony employees and third-party publishers asking them to (re)consider the move prior to the new console going on sale this holiday season.
Head of Sony Hardware Marketing, John Koller responded to the outreach by gamers, tweeting: "This is why I love PlayStation fans--the passion bucket overflows". SCEA producer, Nick Accordino also replied, saying he was: "Humbled by the outpouring of passionate PlayStation fans and their willingness to talk to us directly. Please know that we hear you."
GameSpot contacted Sony seeking clarification regarding DRM for used games on the PlayStation 4. A spokesperson declined, saying "we don't comment on rumour and speculation."