Sony: PS4 “Will Play” Used Games


Sony has officially confirmed that the PlayStation 4 will be able to play second-hand games after all, after a patent on a method of blocking them and the much enhanced online delivery system of the new console led to much speculation that it would finally axe the used game market with a registration system.

Whilst downloadable titles – seemingly intended as the main delivery method – will of course be at the whim of Sony’s highly reliable servers and not subject to resale or unrestricted transfer, Sony honcho Shuhei Yoshida has confirmed physical copies will be playable without restriction even if previously owned:

[Do you agree that if you buy something on a disc, that you have a kind of moral contract with the person you’ve bought it from that you retain some of that value and you can pass it on?]

“Yes. That’s the general expectation by consumers. They purchase physical form, they want to use it everywhere, right? So that’s my expectation.”

[So if someone buys a PlayStation 4 game, you’re not going to stop them reselling it?]

“Used games can play on PS4.”

Another interview carried a similar confirmation by Yoshida, also seemingly ruling out region locks:

“When you purchase disc-based games for PS4, they will work on any hardware.”

Suspicions that Sony was planning on eliminating the second-hand sales market as a way of reclaiming the billions in revenue it apparently siphons away from game publishers and into the coffers of game retailers flared after it emerged that Sony recently patented a method of blocking used games from functioning, although Sony denies it has anything to do with the PS4.

However, in other comments Yoshida also revealed that publishers will be able to add anti-resale registration schemes to their titles themselves, potentially allowing them to block or discourage resale without any PR hassle for Sony.

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    Avatar of chin-pro
    Comment by chin-pro
    13:03 23/02/2013 # ! Good (+0.7)

    “Used games can play on PS4.”

    “When you purchase disc-based games for PS4, they will work on any hardware.”

    ... after you purchase a used game unlock code for a low, low price on PSN!

    And you need to save the unlock keys on a proprietary memory card format! (free online storage if you subscribe to Playstation Plus!)

    Just kidding, of course, but knowing Sony I wouldn't be surprised. Their legal/PR language leaves their comment wide open for a "catch" or conditional statements.

    But who knows, maybe they learned their lesson...?

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:16 23/02/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Once you buy a console, you're in for a milking.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Right, because PC games don't have drm or cd keys or exclusive first run DLC or the like. Never happens.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:37 23/02/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    CD keys and DRM stops pirates? Really?

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:00 25/02/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    DRM does not exist because of piracy. It exists because it takes control from the user and gives it to corporations. Stopping piracy, which was something that ALL DRM schemes failed miserably on doing, was only and excuse and still is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:39 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    CD keys are written on the CD itself, for pirates not to distribute its contents via internet. And games exclusive for PC usually don't have idiotic DLCs (unless it's some stupid MMORPGWTFOMG no normal people play).

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:46 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)


    14:04 obviously is less then 12 years old. DRM methods started on the PC with shit like code wheels and dongles. Hell, even the "always online" stuff was first introduced by the much lauded Steam.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:11 12/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    You don't read very well, do you? They said disc-based, not digital.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:04 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    that only came about AFTER it was done on the console first they are to blame

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:26 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    DRM existed because of pirates, and was exacerbated by the second-generation consoles. The spread of piracy on the internet wasn't focused only on console, but the general spoiled-ness of gamers in progressive generations lead to the increase. The console being an easy purchase that didn't require maintenance is what attracted the gamer crowd to date as well, as well as the computer prices have bottomed out finally, which means it's affordable, just several years too late.

    Either way, all console games begin with PCs as it is, so it's always been a moot point. Consoles existing as a standard is kind of the same as minimum requirements on PC games. The Geforce 8800 GT was used as a standard for years because it was fuckin' amazing.

    Consoles didn't really destroy gaming, stupid people did.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:28 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    But there are no restrictions whatsoever on the resale of disc-based games on the PC market. if you purchase your games as a digital download, as we see on Steam these digital download games are less expensive than the disk based media. That accommodates the lack of a resale ability and we see on Steam and other distribution methods this leads to more frequent and more rapid discounting of these games because their online availability makes it easy to continue to offer them for months or years afterwards. if you want to buy a 5 or 6 year old PC game good luck finding it in retail stores new or used but I guarantee you will probably still find it on Steam or another digital download site for 5 to 10 dollars.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Pc games don't have restrictions? Go ask blizzard if you can resell a digital copy of diablo3. You cant.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:28 24/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    they are just washing their hands on it and letting the publishers deal with the backlash adding their own anti used games system

    hope you guys enjoy entering keys, youll be doing that a lot next gen

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:41 25/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    They already do that in a way with network passes

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:08 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or not.

    There's no /technical/ reason they couldn't change their mind after you've bought your Sony hardware. Sony infamously removed the (phat) PS/3 "OtherOS" feature in a firmware update.

    Yes, you can choose* not to update your firmware. But...

    No firmware update == you can't play newer games.

    *This assumes they didn't build in a "mandatory" firmware update feature.

    "Sony": Polite Japanese for, "Fuck YOU, Mr/Ms Customer!!"

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:19 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    "... after you purchase a used game unlock code for a low, low price on PSN!"

    Well i wouldn't be too bothered buy this. bacause used games market is huge lost for the publishers.
    That way consumer still gets his game cheaper and companies get their share of it aswell.

    Of course, this would not ideal setup but IF there HAD to be some sort of used games market block. paying small small price to unlock already cheaper game doesn't sound so bad.

    Yet again. I still prefer my used games free from blocks and unlock prices.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:16 12/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)


    Publishers already get a lion's share of the initial sale, retailers make very little on new games. Of course I'm sure the big retailers and the publishers are going to find a way to screw the customer collectively.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    13:52 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    So basically they make you pay for a used game twice.
    Hopefully this system will be quickly cracked open as it seems far less secure then the PS3 was.
    Worst case it might be possible to run the game OS on a modified version of VMware or QEmu and emulate the thing on a mid range or higher PC.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:16 23/02/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Of course Sony pulled back... Most industries nowadays appeal to the casual market, like Nintendo, now because it's more profitable in the long run. Prime example is the motion innovation boom and the addition of all the social bandwagon. Wheres casual gamers may spend less money and time on gaming as a WHOLE since they don't see it as important, but they hold a much wider audience than the hardcore crowd.

    Avatar of Erranty
    Comment by Erranty
    21:32 23/02/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    19:58 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I almost agree but at the least with the hardcore gamer when a new game comes out you know their will be a revenue stream incoming with the casual you never know when they will buy a game

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:59 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why I think a Mass Effect COD Halo will still be around even in the next gen we know sales will be there with the casuals well some may succeed some not

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:22 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hence why you see more "Hots Shots Golf" and "Extreme Bass Fishing" and less of "Mass Effect" and "Super Smash Bros."

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:11 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    i wish they made "casual norp sex: extreme missionary edition"

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:12 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    or "buttseks of the year edition"

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:18 24/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not necessarily. While the casual market is larger, it's also infinitely more fickle. Casuals flocked in droves to buy Wii's, but then what did they do? The Wii's software sales were abysmal (only a 1.6 attach rate). Most people bought it for Wii Sports - the game that the console came packaged with - and then never picked up another title. Consequently, third party developer support dried up as no one wanted to devote resources to a system with such poor software sales, and it became a vicious circle of low game sales leading to a lack of good game releases leading to even poorer game sales.

    And now what? The Wii U is out and it's hardware sales are in the toilet. Why? Because the same casual market, the parents and grandparents who flocked to the Wii because of its gimmicky motion controls, aren't interested in dropped $300-400 on a new console when their old console still works (hell, most of them don't even seem to know that a new console is out, or think that the Wii U is just another peripheral for the Wii). That's how they think. A hardcore gamer is accustomed to and perfectly happy dropping hundreds of dollars every few years on new hardware, and gobbles up software like its candy. Casuals are more inclined to break out Wii Sports when company is over and then let their Wii continue collecting dust for the rest of the year; big spenders, they are not. These are the same people that still have VHS VCRs and are using the same wood-paneled 17" tube televisions that they bought in the 70s (and needed vouchers from the government to get them to upgrade to digital converters).

    Motion controls were a fad. They were the Tickle Me Elmo of their time, and Nintendo was lucky enough to cash in. But that's in the past, and Nintendo's "next-gen" console appears to be dead on arrival. Hardcore gamers aren't just apathetic about motion controls; they actively despise them, as demonstrated by the terrible sales and constant ridicule of the PlayStation Move and Microsoft Kinect. And casual gamers are perfectly happy playing the same 1-2 games on their 6 year old Wii, and have no interest in upgrading.

    So no, the casual market is not more profitable in the long run. Quite the opposite actually. The casual market was massively profitable for Nintendo in the short term, but the long term support just isn't there. And now that those chickens are coming home to roost, it looks like Nintendo might be in some serious trouble.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:50 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    So any chances of getting a PS4 that ain't even fucking backwards-compatible to PS2 or PS3 games was already 0% to begin with. Nice, Sony.

    Maybe I should move towards PC.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:43 24/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    .. or go buy a backwards-compatible PS3.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:31 24/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    It CAN play PS3 versions, technically.

    They're planning to stream PS3 games. That's among the things they wanted to use Gaikai for.

    Keep in mind too that PS3 will still be in production and there are still plenty of them in stock. Somebody's gotta buy them. Of course they didn't think of this back with PS2, but hey, corporations get greedy when they grow too big.

    Comment by Anonymous

    I do not get why, suddenly, so many people care about PS2/PS3 games now that PS4 was announced... That makes little sense to me. Besides, PS2 is so cheap now, you are better off buying one and the games for it and, as for PS3, it is NOT an outdated console yet, so making PS4 backwards-compatible for them seems pointless.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:47 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Suddenly? Apparently, you haven't seen that people were seriously upset at Sony for taking the backwards compatibility out of the PS3 in the first place.

    The bottom line is that with the sheer POWER of the PS3, even if they wanted to take out the physical chips, they should have been able to make an emulator that ran on the PS3 to get 99%+ of PS2 games running.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:24 12/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Backwards compatibility is a feature everyone says they want, but few people actually use it.

    Besides, if you have PS3 games you want to play, they'll gladly sell you a new PS3 from their old stock...

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:11 27/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    I thought the launch PS3's did their backwards compatibility through emulation?

    Comment by Dark Mage
    15:58 24/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    The PS4 is fundamentally reversed of the PS3 as far as the CPU and GPU balance goes.

    The PS3 had a very powerful for it's time CPU but a some what weak GPU while the PS4 has a fairly weak CPU in fact in some operations esp single threaded less powerful then the Cell in the PS3 but a fairly powerful GPU though not ground breaking.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:46 24/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    "They did say something about emulation for the PS4. Emulation on the PS3 would have been way too hard though (cell architecture)"

    and whose fault is that exactly ? they make it sound like ppl are asking for free BJs

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:16 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    They did say something about emulation for the PS4. Emulation on the PS3 would have been way too hard though (cell architecture)

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:44 24/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    of course, pointless for newgen who cares about new releases and think PS2's games are "too old" for playing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:04 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    “Used games can play on PS4.”

    That's not the same as saying they will play.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:21 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    the option is on the developers. if a developer does that, don't support them.

    pretty simple.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:06 24/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Have fun 'not supporting' EA, Ubisoft and every other major western publisher, cause they're guaranteed to be the anti-used games forerunners.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:24 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Will it be backwards compatible with ps3 games? why don't anyone ever mention that?

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:41 24/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    its almost a given they are going to attempt selling you your ps1/ps2/ps3 games again though the PSN streaming system

    the main question is how they are going to charge for it, considering the running costs involved being free is pretty much out of the question and a fixed price unlikely

    Comment by Dark Mage
    01:53 24/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's X86 so backward compatibility is pretty much impossible as emulation is far beyond the capabilities of the CPU.
    Cell emulation might be possible with an 8 core Sandy Bridge Xeon or Abu Dhabi Opteron.
    It would require a very tightly codded emulator.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:36 24/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Or they make a "Premium Deluxe" edition with an include Cell/RSX chipset included like when the 60GB phat PS3 had for PS2

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:49 24/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    The 20GB had backwards compatibility too, faggot. It's not til the first hardware revision backwards compatibility was reduced, then eventually ditched.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    15:46 24/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    It would be the only workable way to offer backwards compatibility.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:33 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    they said it wont be backwards compatible with older console games, AKA anything other than PS4 games.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:13 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    It won't, although they did say emulation was possible.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:27 24/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ps3 games will be sold digitally via cloud tech.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:23 25/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yes, because people who already have a PS-3 don't want to use their discs they already have and have paid for.

    Avatar of PhillB
    Comment by PhillB
    13:19 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Just wait for that dreadful BIOS update.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:32 23/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    -or of course the first hardware revision after release which "accidentally" breaks compatibility with used games..

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