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Sony Games

Official: Playstation 4 Will Play Used Games 221

An anonymous reader writes "Quenching some rumors 'Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida has told Eurogamer that PlayStation 4 will not block the use of second-hand games, contrary to various reports, speculation and even a Sony patent unearthed last month.'"
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Official: Playstation 4 Will Play Used Games

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2013 @07:25AM (#42977827)
    ...but they've done the bait and switch before. I'm sure Microsoft will say something similar before the launch of their console.
    • by c0lo ( 1497653 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @08:17AM (#42978133)

      ...but they've done the bait and switch before. I'm sure Microsoft will say something similar before the launch of their console.

      I already know what they are going to say: 't was a misunderstanding. We wanted to say we'll still support a second controller for another hand to join in the game"

      • for another hand to join in the game

        No doubt Sony wants our hand to join in their game... for a reach-around. :p

        • In related news, Sony announces yet another forthcoming title in the music video game genre: Rusty Trombone...
          • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

            But will it come with a custom controller?

            Bonus point for anybody who spots all the lame puns in that.

      • by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Friday February 22, 2013 @10:31AM (#42979111) Homepage Journal

        We wanted to say we'll still support a second controller for another hand to join in the game

        That is in fact consoles' biggest advantage over PCs. Because consoles are more often connected to a monitor large enough to support two to four players offline, major labels are more likely to develop games that support two to four players offline for consoles than for PCs. Case in point: Where are the PC fighting games other than Street Fighter IV?

        • by c0lo ( 1497653 )

          Case in point: Where are the PC fighting games other than Street Fighter IV?

          Take your hands off my keyboard, I'm flying solo [].

          Trying to be more serious... maybe MMO...G-es killed them?

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      the machine itself supports it.

      but publishers are free to include one time use dlc codes etc. and they will do that.

      • Yep, on the PC now even retail purchased games are requiring codes to be tied to some online account, so you'd have to setup a new account for each and every game you buy, and if sold would have to hand over the account itself as well.

        Wasn't Gamespot or someone discounting used copies of some popular game by like $10, which was the cost of the one time use activation code?

      • the machine itself supports it.

        but publishers are free to include one time use dlc codes etc. and they will do that.

        That's hardly Sony's fault though.

        I know, I know, Sony are teh evil, but come on...

        • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

          Sony can set any standards they like on their console and often do. They have all kinds of weird ones done just for marketing or to keep the button layout fairly standard, they could easily require no onetime use codes for game content.

          The honest way to do what you are talking about is to reduce the game price by $10 and move that stuff into a $10 DLC. That way everyone knows up front what they are getting into.

    • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <> on Friday February 22, 2013 @09:02AM (#42978373) Journal

      I'm sure it will play used games for certain definitions of "play." Don't hold your breath for online play with used games or any other features they feel the used market can do without.

    • by Somebody Is Using My ( 985418 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @10:29AM (#42979083) Homepage

      Or, as likely, there will be no *requirement* for games to be locked to a particular account or console, but the device will support that feature. That way some companies can sell games in the traditional manner (on a resellable optical disc), lending credence to Sony's claim. However, increasingly publishers will make use of the PS4's built-in DRM system so as to lock games to particular consoles or accounts, which are then impossible to resell. The former category of games rapidly dwindles to a trickle

      That way Sony won't be lying; you can play (some) used games on the consoles, if the games support it. You just won't be able to buy games with that feature anymore.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @11:37PM (#42987349)
      Slashdot story that has fallen through a wormhole from 2015.

      Official: Sony removes ability to play used games.
      Posted by samzenpus on Friday February 20, @06:19AM
      From the but-they-promised department.

      An anonymous readers writes

      Despite initially permitting Playstation 4 owners to play used games, a recent update silently removed this feature. Responding to outrage on the Sony forums Sony stated that the cause of the removal was increased rates of piracy, you don't want to be a pirate don't you. Sony also reminded users that they are too financially and emotionally invested in the Playstation already to go to any of their competitors so they should just suck it up and take it. Another poster pointed out that according to the Playstation 4 EULA, Sony owned their dicks.

  • by Compact Dick ( 518888 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @07:25AM (#42977829) Homepage

    While this article is framed as a victory for the consumer, it is yet another reminder that technology [such as Cinavia []] can, and will, be used to subvert our existing rights [to lend, copy, borrow, make backups].

    Step by step, resistance will be overcome and we shall be reduced to facilitators of consumption, thanks to the ever-increasing apathy amongst the general public.

    • by tehcyder ( 746570 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @09:35AM (#42978625) Journal

      While this article is framed as a victory for the consumer, it is yet another reminder that technology [such as Cinavia []] can, and will, be used to subvert our existing rights [to lend, copy, borrow, make backups].

      Step by step, resistance will be overcome and we shall be reduced to facilitators of consumption, thanks to the ever-increasing apathy amongst the general public.

      If you simply buy and play games (or watch movies or listen to music), you are already just a facilitator of consumption, you just don't realise it.

      The main "right" you have is the right to stop buying/downloading/borrowing stuff and go and do something creative instead, if you're that worried about it.

    • That was all an illusion. We never had any real rights in the face of the juggernaut that is copyright.

      In the eyes of publishers, books, CDs, and floppy disks were inconvenient and flawed means of distributing content, because they could not control the content after it left their hands. Furthermore, they were physically limited and subject to damage, which caused such abominations as lending and backups to become necessary.

      The internet handed them exactly what they wanted: no need for flawed, uncontrollabl

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2013 @07:26AM (#42977833)

    Also, you'll be able to run linux on it!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2013 @07:30AM (#42977857)

    Just like Linux and the PS3.

    • by hduff ( 570443 )

      Just like Linux and the PS3.

      Whatever they say or do, they can and will change their minds.

  • by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @07:35AM (#42977879)

    It's clear that the PS4 is aimed at addressing many of the disadvantages of downloaded games (streaming full games to try them out, being able to play games before they finish downloading, etc.). If you can get people predominantly downloading games you obviate the second-hand games problem.

    (But not reselling digital games, although Valve's legal team are hard at work to hobble that.)

    • by firex726 ( 1188453 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @09:34AM (#42978615)

      Even then, one of the big selling points for Valve is that they offer steep sale prices frequently.

      Sony & MS on the other hand will sell a download game for more then the it's retail counterpart because they do not want to piss off the retailers. Valve does not have this concern since few places still sell retail copies, and even then only the biggest AAA game of the month.

      The only difference is the PS+ offering which is more like renting for an unknown time since games can come and go from the service.

      Also it's unfair to demonize just Valve for the digital goods. Apple and other retailers of digital goods have been trying the whole "license/lease" argument for years, long before Steam became popular.

      • Personally I think Valve is doing fine with Steam, however it doesn't hurt to stay watchful and vocal just to make sure they stay on the path we want them to stay on.

  • Until it doesn't (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MeNeXT ( 200840 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @07:37AM (#42977899)

    Remember Linux compatibility? Remember the PS3 initially was able to play PS2 games? Why would we believe anything that Sony says?

    • Re:Until it doesn't (Score:4, Informative)

      by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki AT cox DOT net> on Friday February 22, 2013 @09:00AM (#42978359)

      The ps3 with backwards compatible hardware still plays ps2 games.

  • Maybe they realized they actually wanted to sell a few. Certainly I believe there is a huge market who only buy because they think they'll sell the product on again later to get some money back, even if they never get actually round to it.
    And those that do... many re-invest what they make back into buying newer games.
    Thinking a £40+ item may be a dud that can never be resold is seriously going to put people off.
    Those that are happy to wait months to years to buy second hand because a title is too expe

    • There are lots of people who have no intention of trading in games therefore the £40+ outlay is of no real concern as the money, once paid out, will never be recouped.

      There is obviously a thriving market for trade-ins and it remains to be seen how much the market will be effected with one-key lock-ins.

      I do wonder if Sony and Microsoft are in cahoots over the issue. If MS introduces a single use system, Sony can follow suit and each can cite the others use as a reasonable business model. Sony is

      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        They are not in cahoots, they are competing. The first one to introduce such a system is taking a huge risk. If their competitor has any brains at all it would be the time to start advertising that you do not do that.

        Even if you never buy a used game you likely rent games or have people over who bring a game with them. Me and my brother trade games via the mail for instance. No money changes hands.

        PS4 not playing used games when Xbox720 does would mean the end of Sony having a console.

  • Of course this speaks nothing about the use of licences required to use an ever increasing part of the games, be it various forms of DLC, or even the ability to go online at all. If the new game comes with some such licence tied to PSN, which requires $10 or more to buy separately, that second hand copy might not seem as atractive anymore.

    • No doubt "online codes" will continue into the next gen. In hindisight it's obvious that Sony's patent was about removing the code-entry step in favour of just ticking a box.

  • by thereitis ( 2355426 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @07:51AM (#42977991) Journal
    (the onion theme plays)
    Breaking news on the Sony Playstation 4. A Sony Rep says it will actually be used to play games. While the main focus of the next generation of consoles has been on selling people more and more content and locking out features, an expert on the new platform says there is still room for gamers. "We're listening to our customers and hearing that they mainly just want to play games. We're seriously considering it for the Playstation 4."
  • by gallondr00nk ( 868673 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @07:55AM (#42978007)

    I suspect Sony really don't want to withstand another volley of terrible publicity. I also doubt that they want to drag the whole issue through a court, which would almost certainly happen.

    The current rules seem to be ill defined. Gamers technically own the games, but are at the whim of the PS Network. This gives Sony enormous power over defining what "ownership" actually means.

    Prohibiting second hand games formally now would jeopardize the console sales. Doing it gradually or suddenly (like with Linux on the PS3) a year or two down the line by way of PS Network T&C changes would be far safer for them.

  • by Truekaiser ( 724672 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @07:59AM (#42978021)

    Don't pay attention to what he says, but what he doesn't. Sure it will play used games, he did not say what you have to do to play them. They might require you to sign into playstation network and pay an unlock fee which may or may not equal the price of the game as new for example. or you might be limited to X amount of hours to play a game that has been linked to a different console unit.

    • Ah yes, there is the comment I was looking for. Unless Sony explicitly comes out and says publicly that you will be able to play used games for the life of the console without paying a fee, this is just bullshit.

      ALSO, I'd wait to see whether every game you care about has a bunch of first-buyer-only DLC before investing in a five hundred dollar lump of plastic.

      • The project $10 stuff isn't exclusive to the playstation though, the xbox and PC do it a ton as well. Hell, PC's have no used game market period in most places, due to cd keys and activation codes. I don't think such codes and DLC, passes, etc are going anywhere, as the publishers love them.
    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      ...or he might actually just be telling the truth.

      Because, you know, nothing would kill their new product faster than killing the used game market which many parents rely on to even justify buying their kids a console in the first place. Hell, even one of my DINKY friends refuses to buy games new because of the price.

      Not to mention the fact that this will kill off various retailers dependent on used game profits that would bring the wrath of governments worldwide.

      It's suicide for any company to kill used ga

      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        I am part of a DINK which makes more than twice the median family income, we still will not buy full priced games more than once a year. That is for christmas and only if someone requested such a thing. $60 for a video game is nuts. Don't tell me that there is a 100 hours of gameplay and it's only $0.60 an hour, I don't have 100 hours to waste on a damn video game. Hell, I normally have a stack of bargin bin AAA games that are a couple years old I am still working on.

        I understand that those with less incom

    • He also doesn't point out the requirement to give your first born offspring either. While it may be prudent to make a point like this, doesn't make it true. We could make all sorts of claims about what he doesn't say.

      It won't change things for me. Developers are still releasing games for PS2. PS3 is 'good enough' for most game playing enjoyment, and will be for a few more years. I foresee a very low uptake on the next gen of consoles, atleast right away. Lots of people will be playing PS3 games, and swappin

      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        Yeah, a lot of folks will do what I do. The PS3 coming out meant I had a chance to get PS2 games cheap. I must have 100 of them now. The PS4 coming out should do the same thing to the PS3. The best time to own a console is right at the end of its life. Largest library, lowest cost games, cheap to replace if the unit dies and all the known bugs worked out.

    • My suspicion is that yes it will play used games. Because old console games (developed before this year, let's say) had no way of being identified, you can't tell if the game is used or not. So sure, they will allow that so your old library of games still works. Why give themselves bad press when there's no resolution to it.

      But newly developed games? They will come with activation codes that prevent resale. So PS3 used games, ok, but PS4 exclusives will not allow it going into the future.

  • Sad... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jonr ( 1130 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @08:01AM (#42978031) Homepage Journal

    It's sad that it is news when corporation announces that they are going to treat their customer nicely...

    • It's sad that it is news when corporation announces that they are going to treat their customer nicely...

      The thing is, since Sony don't have a monopoly on air or water or anything, you can always just not buy Sony products if you're that offended by them.

  • by puddingebola ( 2036796 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @08:18AM (#42978139) Journal
    What about the Vita model where only new games contain all the game content via online services and used games don't have access to it? I would expect Sony to do the same with the PS4.
  • Will it have an "Other OS" function too?

  • by darkitecture ( 627408 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @08:36AM (#42978229)
    to be honest, from a person who has lived in Japan a very long time, this really doesn't come as too much of a surprise. There are dozens of VERY big chains and thousands upon thousands of stores both parts of chains and independently owned in Japan that exist almost solely for the exchange of used games. Some deal exclusively in games, most usually mix in some used books/manga/anime/magazines/DVDs/clothes but games and manga would definitely be their meat and potatoes if simple floorspace allocation is anything to go by. If there was any possibility that this was even remotely true, there's a very, very large population of Japanese people who would have already risen up as one angry mob complete with the Japanese modern day equivalent of torches and pitchforks and fucking SLAYED Sony.
  • Or... not (Score:5, Interesting)

    by guises ( 2423402 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @08:48AM (#42978285)
    Engadget [] says that the guy was uncharacteristically hesitant when he made this declaration, implying that it's not the simple games distribution mechanism that we're familiar with. They speculate that there may be a fee or something else involved, or another approval process. Needless to say, if a single player game requires an internet connection there's reason to be suspicious.
    • by RenHoek ( 101570 )

      A look into the future: "You can play used games only the PS4... It's just that all of the game publishers use features to block this"

      Consumers will be screwed on this, one way or the other. Blood from a stone after all.

    • That's actually positive, rather than negative. If he'd answered quickly it means the question and answer was rehearsed which means there was serious debate within Sony about implementing this feature. A slow answer means the exec probably didn't see the question coming, which means he wasn't involved in any discussions about the feature and didn't know immediately what the question refered to.

  • Playstation 4 Will Play Used Games

    Until it doesn't! :p

  • That is to say PlayStation 4 games because it is _not_ backwards compatible with ps3 games so.... Yea...
  • by Grayhand ( 2610049 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @09:14AM (#42978467)
    As if millions of gamers let out a collective sigh of relief.
  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @09:24AM (#42978533)
    Gamers sleep walked into this years ago when PCs started printing codes to unlock games either installed from disc or downloaded from the likes of steam. Try installing from your Half Life 2 disc on someone else's account and see how far you get.

    Even if Microsoft / Sony start embedding the serial nrs onto the disc it's fundamentally no different than what happened already for years. It just means users don't have to type in the code.

    What is more worrying is that there are numerous ways that the serial nr's activation status can be used / abused. For example, one game might decide to disable online without a refresh code which is semi reasonable (the person buying the game didn't pay for the servers that run the online portion). But what if games become glorified playable demos, or the game starts showing annoying interstitial adverts in second hand form unless you buy a refresh code? You can bet the likes of EA, Activision, Ubisoft are already salivating at the ways they can claw back cash from second hand titles and they'll go as far as the console vendors let them unless there are reasonable limits.

    • by Saffaya ( 702234 )

      I can do that.
      I can take my copy of Half-life 2 and lend it, resell it, do whatever I want with it.
      The hint ?
      It's not on the PC.

      My X360 copy of Half-life 2 will still work when steam doesn't exist anymore.

      When Valve started Steam and announced Half-Life 2 on Steam only, I politely refused. And I still do.
      I like to own my games, not rent them.
      Choose wisely.

      • by Shados ( 741919 )

        honestly, Steam will probably be running longer than the 360 will before it breaks down. Assuming no or poor backward compatibility in the next gen console, to play the game forever you'll have to make a DIY-type console eventually, as we're not talking SNES level quality of hardware here.

        For Steam, the way its going it will be purring long after that, and the day it stops purring, all we'll have to do is hack the games up...quite a bit more convenient than having to hack hardware up.

        I still buy most of my

  • Remember that the reason for Sony to initially have some (crappy) Linux support in PS3 was only to get around the game console tax in EU, as then the unit could be sold as a computer.

    Another thing that is forgotten in the "Sony sucks" discussions that the early batch of PS3s had nasty overheating problems.

  • The problem isn't whether or not the PS4 can play used games- it is whether you can get the used game onto the console in the first place, and if the game publisher's DRM allows you to play the game.
  • It's harmless, possibly even beneficial. Here are the reasons why.

    1) It doesn't mean they intend to use it. A lot of patents are defensive, a sort of financial mutually-assured-destruction plan. If they say they have no intention of using it, that probably means exactly that. The patent system being as silly as it is results in these types of ploys. Sort of like the man who goes to the dentist and when the dentist grabs the drill, reaches out and lightly grabs the dentist by the balls and says "let'

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein