Speaking to CVG, Sony Worldwide Studios vice president Michael Denny noted that the company is aware of all the issues surrounding pre-owned games and plans to position the PlayStation 4 as a console that does “the right thing” for both consumers and developers. Unfortunately, it is not exactly clear what Denny considers “the right thing” to be.
“It’s a massively important issue and I understand why it’s one that keeps coming up and will keep coming up, because people want to know what the exact stance is. At this moment in time the announcements have been about our philosophy and vision for PlayStation 4, our motivation to put the gamer at the heart of it and why we’ve got the development community on it.”
“In relation to points like that, of course we’re mindful of what the game development community wants and what the wider industry issues are with those things. I think in good time that will become clearer.”
“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,”
Denny’s statement echos those of Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida, who recently said that it is his “expectation” that the PlayStation 4 will not block pre-owned software. On the surface both comments seem to suggest that the next generation PlayStation will support the used game market, however, it is interesting (if not a little troubling) that both executives have refused to just state that as a fact.
Without a firm statement from Sony, the company seems to be leaving the door open to the possibility of some kind of “online pass system” that could be attached to PlayStation 4 games. For the record, Yoshida has stated that their recent patent filing (which details just such a system) is not related to the PS4.
Any talk of how (or if) Sony’s patent fits in with their plans for used games on the PlayStation 4 is nothing more than speculation at this point. However, it is important to keep in mind that this is speculation that Sony has brought upon themselves by refusing to issue a definitive statement on where they stand on consumer rights.
We will keep an eye out for any further comment from Sony on the PlayStation 4 and used games, and let you know if anything turns up. In the meantime we would love to hear your view on the situation in the comments below.