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Discount shoppers rejoice, DRM won't be quite as draconian on the PS4

Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida has news that will be music to gamers ears -- Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) is declining to block games with its next generation console, the PlayStation 4.

Recently rumors spread like wildfire that Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) would be incorporating a strong new digital rights management (DRM) scheme into its next generation console, the Xbox 720, to prevent the resale or playing of used games.  Basically games will be associated with your Xbox Live ID, so there will be no way to transfer titles or acquire titles at a discount second hand.

In an interview with EuroGamer, Sony's Yoshida takes a different approach.  He comments, "Do you want us to do that?"

When the interviewer replied that the customer expects to get some value that they can pass on when they buy the game (and effectively pay a licensing fee to the console maker), Mr. Yoshida voiced agreement.
 
"Yes. That's the general expectation by consumers.  They purchase physical form, they want to use it everywhere, right? So that's my expectation... So, used games can play on PS4. How is that?"

Sony did file a seemingly alarming patent [PDF] last month on technology to lock a game disc to a specific console to prevent resale.  But the good news for gamers is that technology appears to have nothing to do with the PlayStation 4.

The tables have certainly turned for the company, who was once infamous for pushing dangerous DRM on customers and losing a lawsuit over the practice.  Now Sony appears to be the one pushing the market to hold off on DRM, while Microsoft is pushing hard for more draconian measures.

So the question for gamers willing to consider a Sony console is this: if Microsoft deep-sixes used games via DRM, but Sony freely allows them, would that influence your buying decision?

Source: Eurogamer



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RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By eagle470 on 2/21/2013 12:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
Or you could just log out of your console and into your friends......


RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By RufusM on 2/21/2013 12:55:12 PM , Rating: 4
Generally when something gets taken away, something else of value is added or most consumers won't go for it.

In the case of Steam, yes the game is tied to your Steam account, but the games are also typically priced lower than retail so that's additional value they're offering. User can log also into into Steam on several PCs giving at least a little bit of additional value. Convenience is the third factor.

If Microsoft disallows used games and doesn't give consumers some sort of incentive (maybe price discount or multi-console use) it's a total loss of what the consumer used to have. In that situation, the only advantage is convenience of downloading versus purchasing a game disc. If Microsoft does this for downloads and game discs they're taking out any possible gain for the consumer.

I somehow don't think Microsoft will do this though. They rely on retailers to sell their consoles, games, PCs, software, mice, keyboards, etc. If they piss off retailers too much they'll stop pushing Microsoft products. If they do this, Microsoft would likely need to sell everything themselves (hardware and software) or come up with other retail alliances.


RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By NellyFromMA on 2/21/2013 12:59:22 PM , Rating: 1
The games are RARELY priced lower than retail when newly released. Not one AAA game that has been released on Steam that I've purchased was at reduced price. The lesser titles, maybe.

The true could be the same with MS too, we just don't know yet.


RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By poohbear on 2/21/2013 1:05:25 PM , Rating: 2
really? i bought hitman:absolution for $15 only a few months after release. its back up to $49.99, so plenty of AAA games are on sale shortly after release.


RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By NellyFromMA on 2/21/2013 1:09:09 PM , Rating: 2
a few months after release, exactly.

What's to say MS wouldn't / couldn't do the same?

I'm not denying Steams does discounts, but to say when a game is released you can get it cheaper on Steam just isn't true. A game is essentially not a new release months later in sales terms.

My point is more that people are taking extreme positions based on rumors and I can't imagine thats a reaction real enthusiasts take. It's a fan-ism reaction.

Not directed at you specifically, just trying to add some facts to the rumor mill generating here.


RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By TheSlamma on 2/21/2013 4:25:20 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry dude but MS doesn't do sales even 3 years down the road. Look at their "Deal of the week" rags they run.. every one of em has been a joke. You seriously must have zero experience with Steam sales, cause they just about give away games at times. about the best you will get from STEAL of the week is an 800 point game down to 400 or a 1200 point game down to 800 which we all knows just means $5 off.. Steam it's easy to find 75% off titles


RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By TheSlamma on 2/21/2013 4:44:18 PM , Rating: 2
Just to back it up, right now MS's Deal of the week is Skyrim for $40 down from $60, Steam's sale 2 months ago last month was $30. Today Steam has two sales for 75% off, Deus Ex: Human Revolution for $5.. sorry but that's a steal in comparison to the sales MS is willing to run. I have an Xbox, I'm cool with MS.. but they do not hold a candle to the sales Steam runs.


RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By NellyFromMA on 2/22/2013 12:55:37 PM , Rating: 2
You're ignoring the point I already made, which is that Xbox Live does not presently compete or even attempt to attain parity with STeam. That means they are not even close to competitors right now.

Now that Steam and MS are moving into each other territories we can judge them according WHEN THEY ACTUALLY GET THERE.

In other words, basing MS future actiosn on what they are doing on Xbox luive today makes NO SENSE when its going to be COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

That's all.


RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By Phoque on 2/21/2013 5:21:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They rely on retailers to sell their consoles, games, PCs, software, mice, keyboards, etc. If they piss off retailers too much they'll stop pushing Microsoft products. If they do this, Microsoft would likely need to sell everything themselves (hardware and software) or come up with other retail alliances.


If retailers make a good profit off the sale on the console, I don't see any of them backing off from the market because they can't sale the softwares anymore. And if some does, others will compensate and just reap more profit from the extra console sales. Players exiting is a money opportunity for others. Really, I can't see anything going wrong in that regard, definitely not to the point of hurting Microsoft's hardware sales.

They would lose sales from people going away from a closed used game market, but not from retailers refusing to sell their product.


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