Sony never had any intention to block used games, says exec

Sony president Andrew House says that the company never thought about blocking used games, but adds that there's a "very careful balance" to be had.

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Sony Computer Entertainment president and group CEO Andrew House has said that the company never had any intention of introducing DRM policies to block used games with the upcoming PlayStation 4.

Questions about the PlayStation 4's policies towards game ownership started shortly after the machine was announced in February. "Dating from about our February event, there had been questions about what our online policy would be," said House in an interview with The Guardian (via Polygon).

While Microsoft initially tried to include measures restricting used game sales with the Xbox One, House said that Sony never had any intention to deviate from the traditional retail model. "I have to say that we were slightly perplexed, because we had no intention of changing from a model that I think has served us really well for several platform life-cycles."

The debate over used games and DRM has been one of the key themes surrounding the upcoming launch of the two next-generation consoles later this year, with Sony not clarifying its policies until its E3 2013 press conference. "Of course, it was really the actions of others, and the reaction coming from consumers, which led to more speculation. So we felt that with E3, and Monday night's press conference, it was a really good opportunity to set the record straight. But there weren't any changes that we'd been considering."

House said that he wasn't aware of any lobbying to include restrictions on used game sales from publishers like EA and Activision, either. "We didn't feel any sense that we needed to respond to any external pressure," he added.

The PlayStation executive also added that there's a "very careful balance" between game creators, customers, and retailers when it comes to the thorny issue of used sales. "We're a game publisher ourselves," said House, "so there's a certain argument for us that there should be something of a model for content-creators to participate in second sales."

"Having said that, however, the consumer sees ownership as a very key benefit when purchasing a physical product. And the flipside of the argument is that retailers will tell you that the vast majority of trade-in value gets immediately repurposed into new purchases of games, and those people in turn generate word of mouth and create more interest."

The Xbox One launches in November. Sony has yet to put a firm date on the PlayStation 4, but has assured customers it will be released before Christmas.

Discussion

1234 comments
djtobiwan
djtobiwan

Lol, really? Have been living under a PS4 brick?

Both consoles offer nice new ip's and exclusives. Exclusives makes your console.that's why you buy both at the end.

You should really have some respect for someone's opinion and start stating some facts. However. I couldn't except more from Sony troops.

trophyboost
trophyboost

Sony, I love the way you lie.

I would have bought your console even if you said that you waited until E3 (and Xbox mess up) before you decided. I am thinking that they had a huge meeting from their hotel room that discussed switching to PLAN B. Plan B also included a very effective price point.

objectivity0
objectivity0

..and that is why Sony is going to the right direction

KimCheeWarriorX
KimCheeWarriorX

the translated text of this is actually, "don't listen to microsoft, we're better than them."

Chris5148
Chris5148

Well if Sony Computer Entertainment president and group CEO Andrew House said so than It must be true. 

edviges
edviges

Gotta love Sony. Must visit Japan one day.

Arcturuss
Arcturuss

I don't care if you considered it.

A company should consider all possibilities.  Its the decisions that matter.

SniperFire17
SniperFire17

Never mattered for me.
Still buying a Xbox One for the force feedback controller, Achievements carrying over , 100 friends on my list and Dead Rising 3. Among other games. TITAN FALL!

ArataWata
ArataWata

This is awesome and all but I can't help but think that maybe the temptation to do it was there for Sony.

But they chose to do nothing and that's what won everyone over.

deadlykam
deadlykam

I remember during last year December and early 2013 that there where lot of articles stating that the new PS4 was going to block used game. They also gave details on how to do it like once you bought a game you will be given a serial number (something like that) and then need to be connected to the net. You could only use the serial number only once etc etc. I guess all those where rumor then created by some unknown entity *cough Mic.....ro..soft.... *uncough.

K Out!

rawkstar007
rawkstar007

Don  Mattrick during his exit interview: WHAT?! You mean we had a marketing department THIS WHOLE TIME?!

brainiac1988
brainiac1988

Its obvious they didnt have that intention. 

They thought about it... They already heard rumors from MS plans WAY back... So it probably was brought up and discussed at a meeting.  But they figured it would do them more harm than good.

The smart thing they did was to keep quiet about it until the very last moment.  If MS found out early, they would have done the 180 way before the unveil and no one would have ever found out about it.

When MS publicly announced their plans the guys at Sony must have been grinning :P  

Then they waited until the E3 conference when everyone was watching and opened fire.  Smart people, those japanese.

HAMMERCLAW
HAMMERCLAW

Did they send out a Japanese booth-babe to say it, too, with a toothy grin and nervous giggle?

Trail_Mix
Trail_Mix

Now knowing this, what does it mean for me?

clone11
clone11

"Bullshit!" says anyone with a brain.

playniko69
playniko69

Alright Sony, we get it, you managed to lean toward the ethical side of gaming business. Don't over sell it.

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

Eh. You can never tell what's true or false either way, and to be honest, as long as the DRM isn't there, it doesn't matter anymore. People get too worked up over words, but if you ask me, actions speak louder, so let's see what happens rather than getting worked up about PR matters.

MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

If anyone doubts this, they only have to examine the fact that Sony haven't changed their controller in about 15 years. 

I kinda believe that they had no intention of fixing what wasn't broken in terms of DRM. Same thing can't be said for that awful controller though.

slainta
slainta

@SniperFire17 Yeah. Good luck keeping your 100 XBL friends. Half of them are moving already to PSN! :D

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

@SniperFire17 The question is, will all those friends still be there when the new console launches?

Hmmm...

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

@SniperFire17 I wish M$ had stuck by their guns just for guys like you. With used game blocking you'd have been paying more for your games because there'd never depreciate value. The used game market creates price pressure for new games. Driving prices down.

I would've liked watching you suffer. Paying full price for all your games. Then defending your stance on Gamespot. It would have been hilarious.

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

@SniperFire17 do you realize Titanfall is also coming to pc and yeah achievements are so important (sarcasm) it isn't like you get anything from them the only thing that I see that you mention are the 100 friends which btw most of them would probably go and get a ps4

supermarioooooo
supermarioooooo

@SniperFire17 aaahahahahaa  stupid boy. cmon m$ need your money. 

and when sony eleminated m$ will need your more money

kouji03
kouji03

@TenraiSenshi agree, no one knows who is telling the truth and its better to look into what they are going to do since its whats going to affect us not which one backtracked the last second or not

Shiftfallout
Shiftfallout

@MooncalfReviews Of course they changed it, many times in fact. They kept a similar form factor but there have been some major changes over the years. Its actually one of the better controller designs we have today.

Shiftfallout
Shiftfallout

@Redsyrup @SniperFire17 WRONG. Actually prices have gone UP since retailers have built an industry around used games. There is no "competition". Retailers dont order new copies when they can just pawn off used.

Dont forget games are not owned, they are licensed. Games are software. You buy the medium in which the software is held on, as well as the license to run the said software. Thats where it ends.

Anyone who thinks used games are doing anything good for the industry is living in a fantasy world. Its just not objectively true. The retailer is laughing all the way to the bank for every single entitled consumer they can get to believe that lie.

Finally, you do realize that third party publishers (which make up most of the games you will see released on the consoles) can still enforce their anti-used game stance. What this comes down to is Sony, and now microsoft, leading you to believe that all games for their console will be easily tradable and found used. Thats not the case at all. They intentionally didnt explain the specifics because its better for you, the consumer, to believe what you want to believe.

Every time you buy a current gen game used, when you could have bought it new, you are doing something far worse than piracy. Just remember that.

SniperFire17
SniperFire17

@shadowhunter0 I know it's coming out for pc. But why not get it for Xbox One? I bet it will look just as good.

And I already asked my entire friends list if they were getting a ps4 or Xbox one. I will be removing the friends who gave me stupid answers. 10 of them. though who knows that was before Microsoft announced the DRM change.

beardface21
beardface21

@SniperFire17 @Zero_Nitrous Hackers hacked Xbox, the DOD, CIA, numerous other government agencies and NGOs.

What makes you think anything is completely safe from a hacker who knows what they are doing?

DoctorsTardis
DoctorsTardis

@Shiftfallout The PS3 has one of the worst controllers I've ever used. And I've owned nearly every single console since the 8 bit era. 

slainta
slainta

@Shiftfallout @slainta Listen, you have no clue of what we are talking about. The European Court isn't the European commission. The first is made by judges, and what it decides becomes law, the second is made by politicians and they just make directives.

As for the prices, in UK they drop as much as in US. Maybe because UK is the largest video game market in EU. That's why I buy the games from there.  

In any case the point about used games making the price dropping is legit. If a game is very popular, so few people sell it, its used and new games prices usually stay high.Which is only natural after all.

Shiftfallout
Shiftfallout

@slainta Which will end up causing EU prices to go up. The EU courts are pretty idiotic though, so whatever they pass has a high chance of not being taken seriously, rather, their opinions are not necessarily smart or acceptable. EU is a mess right now in part due to the courts.

In addition to that, Valve, the largest digital distribution platform in the world has already come out and said it wont play ball with that court decision. Few will. That means all the courts did was write a big angry letter with no impact.

Reselling digital copies is just a braindead anti-business move to begin with. Hard to believe that officials can make jokes like that these days.

usedfanhalo117
usedfanhalo117

@beardface21 @SniperFire17 @Zero_Nitrous Cracker is the right word my friend, Hacker is only a person who have better computing ability than normal people wanted to test out a computer/server system, Cracker is a Hacker who is using his ability in bad ways

DoctorsTardis
DoctorsTardis

 @Shiftfallout Actually, you need to look up your history.. The Nintendo 64 was released in June of 1996 in Japan. The Nintendo Ultra 64 and it's controller was unveiled at the Shoshinkai Software Exhibition on November 24th 1995. The Dual Analog controller was a direct response to to the N64 controller and the first prototype of it was unveiled at Playstation Expo on November 1st 1996, almost exactly a year after the unveiling of the Nintendo 64 controller. 

Shiftfallout
Shiftfallout

@DoctorsTardisI am glad you posted this. I think there might be some bias involved which is keeping you from looking at the PS controller objectively. You say its a horrible controller, but nothing in your complaints makes it horrible, rather its just a preference on your end, including but not limited to conclaved trigger buttons and analog stick placement. These are subjective. The shape of a trigger button doesnt make one better or worse between the two.

There are some historical inaccuracies in your post which you use to give weight to your opinion and negative impression of the PS controller.

You say the PS controllers analog sticks were tacked on after the N64 (which wasnt really much of a success if you look at what happened to nintendo that lead up to the N64). The problem with that claim is that Sony had a prototype of the dual analog controller on display at game expos BEFORE the N64 was even released. The analog stick existed on controllers even prior to the N64. The N64's analog stick was actually pretty bad, along with the controller design.

So in short, factually, the PS analog sticks were not an after thought nor a tacked on feature.

Additionally, every iteration of the PS controller built upon itself perfecting the analog stick implementation. They were never bad. In fact the first implementation had the grooves in the analog stick which was adapted into the Microsoft controller. Microsoft also had much better controllers for the PC long before the xbox.

Addressing the placement of the hands on the controller. The PS controller is made to be more universally accessible. This means whether you have small hands or big hands the controller can fit both. The same cannot be said for the Xbox controllers, which target a much younger and smaller handed audience. These controllers are cramped depending on your hand size, and limit the way you can hold the said controller.

Like the N64 controller, the PS controller isnt limited to how you can hold it. You can stretch your fingers all the way out, move the right hand over to have both on the left side (one controlling analog stick, the other dpad). It was simplified in its form factor. That simplification is far more important than grooved form fitting controller frames.


BovineDivine
BovineDivine

@DoctorsTardis I agree completely with the convex triggers, weight, and placement of the analog thumbsticks. I prefer my ps3 over my 360, but the 360 controller fits in your hand like magic.

DoctorsTardis
DoctorsTardis

I can't believe I wrote Durboduo instead of TurboDuo. 

DoctorsTardis
DoctorsTardis

For reference, home consoles I've owned: Intellivision, Atari 2600+200, ColecoVision, Sega Master System, Nes, Famicom, Snes, Genesis, Sega CD, 32X, TurboGrafx, Neo-Geo, Cd-i DurboDuo, Virtual Boy, Jaguar, PS1, Saturn, 3D0, N64, Dreamcast, Gamecube, Ps2, Xbox, Wii, PS3, 360, and Wii U. 
Now, obviously it can't compare to the hell of using a CD-i controller, but it's still one of my least favorites. 
The ergonomics and feel of the shell of the controller itself are really, really poor. It still has the tacked on thumbsticks that were tacked on as an afterthought for the ps1 to compete with the N64.  Even the wonky thumbstick on the Saturn 3D controller feels more natural and is less prone to hand cramping during long gaming sessions than the one on the ps3 controller. It's also way to lightweight and could use a bit more bulk to it. 
The PS1's first controller was great for being part of the pre-analog era. The main source of imput was the face buttons, and the D-Pad, it was that way on a majority of consoles up to that point. Then the N64 came along and changed everything. The primary method of became the analog thumb-stick, placed in an easy to use position. (having the d-pad as a possible primary imput based on hand placement was actually a stroke of brilliance on the N64 controller, it was unclear at the time if analog thumbstick imput would actually take off) Tacking on the thumb-sticks and rushing the Dual Analog to market made sense because they wanted to compete with N64, and the N64's analog controller was a BIG advantage that they wanted to nullify as quickly as possible. However they sacrificed comfort for function to get it to market. Many games still used the D-pad as the primary source of imput.
However as time has gone on this has become more and more of a hinderance to the Dual-Analog/Dualshock line. The D-Pad has become much more of a secondary imput and has been placed as such on every major controller that has come since. So that's my first real issue with the thing is that thumb cramps up using the primary stick. That coupled with using both thumbsticks in something like a shooter and having the "thumbs wack together" issue is also a bit annoying, but is less of a big deal than hand cramping using the thumbstick. And with the sticks being slightly farther apart on ps4, hopefully one that is alleviated or nullified next gen. Also the "angle of attack" that your thumb needs to use to rest on the thumbstick has been brought down quite a bit, both by moving the thumbsticks further out and by changing the grip of the controller. Both of these changes should work together to make the Dual Shock 4 much more comfortable.
The second issue, the triggers. R2 and L2 being convex as opposed to concave is just... terriable. There are little ad-ons you can get to fix this, but it is a design flaw, one that even sony has recognized. 
The next issue is the grips. They are just not that comfortable and the texture of them is just lackluster. They are the least comfortable grips of a first party controller since they were introduced back on the PS1. They just don't fit as comfortably in the palm of your hand as a N64, Dreamcast, Xbox, 360, or Wii nunchuck or Wii U gamepad or wii u pro controller. The PS4 controller looks like it might be quite a bit better in this reguard as well, although the Xbox one might be better in (probably the only thing that will be better is the controller, actually, now that it uses a Nintendo style D-Pad, has the battery compartment integrated into the design, and has wider triggers... XB1 MIGHT end up with the best controller ever) but the only way to really know is to hold one, and I haven't had a chance to hold one yet. The Dpad also still isn't as good as say, a Nintendo D-Pad, but it is better than a Microsoft D-Pad
Another thing that is a hit and miss is the battery. Being able to charge via USB versus using AA batteries, HUGE win. Not being able to swap the battery without completely disassembling the controller, big miss. Rechargeable batteries eventually die forever and being able to swap it easily would be as simple as adding a small door to the back of the gamepad. Look to the Wii U pro for how to handle a battery. Having had to change out the battery in 2 Dualshock 3s, I never want to do it again. Re-assembly of the controller, specifically the shoulder button/trigger area is a pain. 
The thumbsticks themselves also could be alot more gripable, both in texture and design. 
Then there was the issue of sixaxis not having rumble (fixed)  
So Issues I've had with the PS3 controller
1. Terrible convex triggers
2. The Sixaxis lack of rumble before the Dualshock3 came out
3. Too light
 4. Poor primary thumbstick placement
5. Poor gripability of Thumbsticks in both shape and texture
6. Poor texture and countour of grips
7. Still not Nintendo quality of D-Pad
8. Inability to swap out battery with ease when it eventually dies. 
And apparently Sony agrees with me as pretty much every single thing I've written here has been addressed with the DS4. Aside from changing the battery.

Shiftfallout
Shiftfallout

@LittleSaintGoph @Shiftfallout @DoctorsTardis Yeah thats a no go.

The PS3 controllers thumbstick is the same size and diameter as the xbox 360's. I have them both in front of me as we speak.

What specifically makes the PS3 controller bad? Most of the third party controllers today are copying its design, and they probably wouldnt be doing so if it was bad.

Shiftfallout
Shiftfallout

@DoctorsTardis@Shiftfallout  I doubt it, or else you probably wouldnt be saying that. More importantly, have you used PC controllers? Regardless, the Playstation controller is one of the most solid controller made to date, its won numerous awards and for a good reason. Its universally viable.

Can you even give me a logical reason why you think the PS controller is bad?