Beach and the PS4

So, I have been and will continue to be on vacation at the beach with family until the end of the week. The internet service down here is absolutely abysmal – we’re talking 5 Mbps shared across 40 rooms – which is why I have not been on top of the comments and general news. I suppose that might sound bad, caring about frivolous internet things while at the beach. But honestly, if I knew it was going to be vacation back to 1994, I might have passed. Also, the ocean seems saltier this year and there was a fly in my soup.

That said, how ’bout that PS4 news?

If you have not been keeping abreast of the latest developments, Sony basically “won” the show. You can read Liore’s coverage of the event or even similar things in this CNN article. Bottom line?

  • No new restrictions on used game sales.
  • No internet connection required.
  • $399 vs Xbox One’s $499

It wasn’t all good news – a Playstation Plus membership is required for all multiplayer, just like Xbox Live today – but it was a fantastic PR coup for Sony to have been quiet all this time before launching into these consumer-friendly revelations.

A couple Apologists skeptics from around the web have tried to paint Sony with the Xbox One brush over the used games quote though:

“The DRM decision is going to have to be in the hands of the third parties. That’s not something that we’re going to dictate or mandate or control or implement.”

“Aha!” the Apologists cried. “Same thing as Xbox!”

Not really. In fact, not at all. The key point here is that Sony’s strategy is unchanged from the current generation. Remember Online Passes? Those were 3rd party attempts at mitigating secondary game sales, all of which happened in this generation. If EA suddenly changes their mind vis-a-vis reintroducing Online Passes, Sony isn’t going to stop them, but at least it isn’t turned on by default as it is in the Xbox One scenario. As Destructoid put it:

The major difference between PS4 and Xbox One, of course, is that Sony hasn’t made it easier for corporations to control the behavior of their customers, because the PS4 doesn’t tie your copies to your accounts, or initiate checks to scrub traded game data off your system. Basically, Microsoft designed the Xbox One to make it as easy as flipping a switch to eradicate any possibility of sharing your games, while Sony is maintaining its policy of this current generation.

Or you can go with the Game Front article for even further clarification:

“The Online Pass program for PlayStation first-party games will not continue on PlayStation 4. Similar to PS3, we will not dictate the online used game strategy (the ability to play used games online) of its publishing partners. As announced last night, PS4 will not have any gating restrictions for used disc-based games. When a gamer buys a PS4 disc they have right to use that copy of the game, so they can trade-in the game at retail, sell it to another person, lend it to a friend, or keep it forever.”

This is good news for gamers, indeed. In a nutshell, you can buy a used single-player game for the PS4 and play it all you want. If you want to go online with it, you may have to deal with some sort of publisher-determined DRM, be it an Online Pass or whatever.

Basically: #PS4Life

Not that I’m going to buy one anytime soon – I just bought a PS3 last Christmas. But it’s nice to know that whenever I do hop aboard the next console generation, I will have the opportunity to catch up on all the games I’ve missed by hitting up Amazon or some local place and not be paying full MSRP out the ass for 2+ year old games.

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Posted on June 12, 2013, in Commentary and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I wonder if Sony is going to very publicly mock Microsoft this generation and then very quietly include the same restrictive “features” in the PS5 (much like the online fee – which I assume will be in addition to the monthly fee from the game provider, PC ftw). Oh well, for this generation it definitely seems Sony has the upper hand.

    • I’m sure things will probably be more Xbox One-ish (aka Steam-like) by the time the 5th generation comes around. But by that point, we’ll know whether Microsoft was willing to emulate all aspects of Steam, i.e. the amazing sales.

      I mean, that is my entire argument against the removal of used game sales here. If I can see brand new games getting a $30 discount within the first three months of release, then who cares about the disc? The issue is that we are supposed to have some extraordinary level of faith that Microsoft will have our (consumers’) backs at some nebulous time in the future.

  2. I don’t think any of this matter. I don’t like all the crap M$ is doing but unfortunately, if Xbone has some nice games I will bend over… and I think most people who are now complaining (legitimately) will do too. M$ knows this hence why they are spending lot of money (I read 1 billion+) into new games which will be Xbone exclusive…

    Ultimately its the quality of the games that will decided who the winner will be.

  3. Motel/condo wifi is always worthless. I got to the point where I just use my girls 4g hotspot which always is faster than their wifi as sad as that is.

    As for PS4 vs XBone, I have always been a Sony guy when it comes to consoles and that’s where I am staying. But after learning the Wii outsold 360 and PS3 I have a hard time predicting anything. If a console with a gimmick motion controller can outsell two consoles with the massive libraries of titles that they had then anything is possible.