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Sony on pre-owned PS4 games: “We will do the right thing”

Sam Loveridge

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PS4
PS4

A Sony Computer Entertainment executive has revealed that Sony will be mindful of games developers and consumers when it comes to the use of pre-owned PS4 games.

Pre-owned games are a hot topic surrounding PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 consoles, with suggestions that the next-gen consoles will introduce a ban on the sale and use of pre-owned games in an attempt to recover lost revenue. Sony has already patented several technologies linked to the potential prohibition on used games.

Michael Denny, Vice President of Worldwide Studios at Sony has said the second-hand games issue is “massively important” to the PlayStation brand and the company is looking to find the best solution for gamers and developers alike.

“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,” said Denny speaking to CVG on the pre-owned games dilemma.

“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.”

At the PS4 launch last week, the Sony Worldwide Studios’ boss Shuhei Yoshida confirmed that gamers will be able to play second-hand games on the PS4, but failed to mention whether players will have to pay for access to the content.

“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.”

Currently, Sony has only revealed that it is shifting their focus to make the PS4 console a more digital platform. Like the PS Vita, every single PS4 game will be available to download from the online store, with only some available as a physical disc.

When pushed further on the pre-owned games issue, Denny wouldn’t add further comment except to say: “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.”

The Sony PS4 was revealed at an event in New York last week, but Sony has yet to unveil what the next-generation console will actually look like. A PS4 release date has been set for some time within the Christmas period of this year.

Will you be angry if the PS4 puts some kind of restriction on the use of second-hand games? Do you think a lot of gamers will not be able to afford new releases until the prices drop if they can't buy pre-owned games? Give us your thoughts via the TrustedReviews Facebook and Twitter feeds or the comment boxes below.

Guest

February 26, 2013, 1:31 pm

Is it true that pre-owned games cost developers money? A friend of mine always buys new games, but he also trades most of them in again after he has finished the game - thus funding further game purchases. If pre-owned games were stopped then he for one certainly would spend a lot less on games than he does now as he simply wouldn't be able to afford them. I have no idea how many people operate like this, but I am sure he can't be alone.

Pg

February 26, 2013, 2:02 pm

He's not alone, I know many people like this.

I see them pushing
digital downloads more and more in the future. As the game will be tied
to an account, it will be impossible to sell (or be pretty hard).

It
would be nice if you could sell the game back or use it as a trade in,
otherwise publishers/developers could get their wish by preventing
second hand games. As above, they might wish they didn't if sales
suddently drop as people can't afford to buy as many new games as
previously.

Mike222

February 27, 2013, 12:27 pm

People who buy used games or trade them in only have a finite amount of disposable income / allowance to spend on them. Most have long awaited favorites that they are always going to buy new, usually on day one. Blocking used games or charging a fee to reactivate them is NOT going to make people buy more new games, it will however set off a chain of events that will damage sales of both the games and the hardware itself.

Being able to buy only full price games is going to make people with
only a limited amount of disposable cash very picky and ultimately
they're going to miss some hidden gems, preventing the possibility of
them buying future games in that franchise or from that developement team.

My favorite genre is sandbox games I buy them new day one and keep them to replay later when enough time has passed that they feel fresh again. Just Cause passed me by at launch and for some reason didn't seem that appealing to me, if I hadn't happened to see a used copy for sale at a reasonable price I'd have never given it a go, got hooked and gone on to but JC2 new and be eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Some genres I tend to ignore altogether until a friend brings a couple of games over, we play through a few of levels and the odd game may break my preconceptions and lead to me buying into a new franchise, if they'd been locked to one system that would be more potential sales lost.

If Sony or MS kill of the used game market by blocking or charging reactivation fees not only will they lose sales by putting a lot of the game stores that distribute their games and hardware out of business but they'll lose customers like me who will NOT buy their next consoles under these conditions.

Sorry about the extremely long rant but this may very well be my last as a console gamer, the ball's in their court.

slims_post

February 27, 2013, 12:31 pm

People who buy used games or trade them in only have a finite amount of
disposable income / allowance to spend on them. Most have long awaited
favorites that they are always going to buy new, usually on day one.
Blocking used games or charging a fee to reactivate them is NOT going to
make people buy more new games, it will however set off a chain of
events that will damage sales of both the games and the hardware itself.

Being able to buy only full price games is going to make people with
only a limited amount of disposable cash very picky and ultimately
they're going to miss some hidden gems, preventing the possibility of
them buying future games in that franchise or from that developement team.

My
favorite genre is sandbox games I buy them new day one and keep them to
replay later when enough time has passed that they feel fresh again.
Just Cause passed me by at launch and for some reason didn't seem that
appealing to me, if I hadn't happened to see a used copy for sale at a
reasonable price I'd have never given it a go, got hooked and gone on to
buy JC2 new and be eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Some
genres I tend to ignore altogether until a friend brings a couple of
games over, we play through a few levels and the odd game may break
my preconceptions and lead to me buying into a new franchise, if they'd
been locked to one system that would be more potential sales lost.

If
Sony or MS kill of the used game market by blocking or charging
reactivation fees not only will they lose sales by putting a lot of the
game stores that distribute their games and hardware out of business but
they'll lose customers like me who will NOT buy their next consoles
under these conditions.

Sorry about the extremely long rant but this may very well be my last as a console gamer, the ball's in their court.

slims_post

February 28, 2013, 9:03 am

.

Brent

March 19, 2013, 6:10 am

Yet, at the same time Sony/Microsoft charges license fees for those who want to make a game on their console. They do this simply because no one wants to pay full price for their console due to instant gratification. Hence, if you have a used market to where people purchased used games(which keeps developers from making money) how many developers do you think can afford to continue to produce games? Let's drop the finite amount of disposable income.... the game isn't going anywhere anytime soon and if you couldn't save $10 a week for two months, you honestly didn't need to purchase the game in the first place.

Nathan Clatterbuck

April 17, 2013, 11:18 am

It seems most people here have forgotten the biggest thing to come out of the press conference. You will be able to download and play any game for free!!!! You buy only the games you enjoy. Now with that said... It is a full version of the game... Not a DEMO. How can any game pass you by when you can play every game and test drive it for FREE! People seemed to have missed this point. Now what happens to those gamers who do not/ cannot get/have access to the internet? I do not know. We just have to wait and see what the future holds for us as gamers but I for one like the try then buy attitude for the next gen PS4. I could have misinterpited what was said so if I did please correct me but I remember them saying "pay only for the games you love".

Nathan Clatterbuck

April 17, 2013, 11:29 am

Gamestop could sell the same exact copy of a game 5 or more times. The company only has record of one box being distributed. Gamestop has offically undercut the company 5 fold. Yes they are losing money. I think the only stance to take on this is a digital rights liscence imprinted on the game it self. Is it good for the average gamer? I can't speculate. But it could essentially make the average cost of games in general go down if every copy sold was an original. Same concept as an artist who only sells CD's for money. If he sells or distributes 50 CD's but every person makes 5 copies and hands them out to friends..... The artist looses out big time. No matter how you look at it it is theft and needs to be addressed. now if the same exact CD's had Digital finger prints or some manner of activation before play then both the consumer and supplier would be happy. Distribution would no longer be an issue at all.

Nathan Clatterbuck

April 17, 2013, 11:31 am

Now I do not work for Gamestop nor do I know how behind the sceenes work for pre-ownd games.... Just saying in a basic manner of speaking. Not pointing fingers at Gamestop just using a common name most people know.

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