With Microsoft’s Xbox One all but confirmed to be a massive step forward for exciting innovations in DRM and a means for the company to basically take over the used game market, core gamers have started a campaign aimed at putting pressure on Sony to not make the same tragic mistake with the upcoming PlayStation 4.
Over the weekend NeoGAF users started flooding the Twitter accounts belonging to Sony executives — like Shuhei Yoshida (President of Sony Worldwide Studios) @yosp, and John Koller (head of hardware marketing) @jpkoller — using the hashtags #PS4noDRM and #PS4UsedGames. So far, the main focus of the campaign has been to request that Sony respect consumer rights by letting the PlayStation 4 handle used game sales in the exact same way that they currently work on the PS3. Basically, do not try to block or control the free market on pre-owned game sales.
Sony has not yet commented on the PlayStation 4 used game requests, but the message seems to have at least been received by Scott Rohde (PlayStation Software Product Development Head of Sony Worldwide Studios America) who tweeted the following response:
I love passionate #PlayStation Fans!!
— Scott Rohde (@RohdeScott) May 27, 2013
Officially, Sony has stated that the PlayStation 4 will not block used games or require an internet connection. However, they have also not detailed any of their plans in relation to used games, and (as we all know) the details are often where the devil is located.
Based off Sony’s past statements, it appears that the company is (or was) planning to let publishers set their own rules for used PlayStation 4 game sales — as opposed to Microsoft, who appears to be leaning towards taking direct control over the entire Xbox One used game market. Although nothing is official in either camp, this is the only scenario that seems to make any sense in relation to EA’s decision to drop Online Pass and scale back support for the Wii U (which does not contain any used game restrictions).
We likely won’t hear anything official from Sony until after Microsoft nails down their Xbox One used game plan. If those plans do turn out to be as restrictive as the appear, Sony has a real opportunity to announce the PlayStation 4 as the more consumer friendly console and gain some ground over Microsoft.
Here’s hoping that Sony is able to recognize that advantage and, more importantly, act on it.