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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 NellyFromMA on 2/21/2013 1:27:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the retail copy of Steam games IS the steam game.

So, when a game is a steam game, its typically solely a steam game requiring at least an account set up and likely requires an online connection to play. You can just buy it at Walmart, for the same price mind you.


RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By CZroe on 2/21/2013 11:06:09 PM , Rating: 2
Outside of Valve's own titles, not NEARLY always. The vast majority of games available at both retail and on Steam are separate and unrelated. Unlike early pre-Steam Valve games that can be claimed on Steam with the key code, the retail non-Steam version of a game rarely unlocks a Steam version (Prey is an exception). Only retail games with a Steam logo on the retail package behave as you describe. Crysis retail doesn't add Crysis to my list of downloadable Steam purchases, even though Steam may add it to my list of games for multiplayer matchmaking purposes. Duh.


RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By Freakie on 2/22/2013 4:08:36 AM , Rating: 4
I think everyone is also forgetting that PC gamers have a completely different mindset than console gamers. Console gamers are used to going over to a friend's house and bringing a game and having a group of their friends all play this new awesome game. Most console games are built with that Multiplayer idea in mind... Console = Multiplayer and Multiplayer = playing in MANY different locations and consoles. There is a reason why consoles are built with ports for more than one controller. This idea of sharing and playing together is ingrained into console players.

PC Players on the other hand are used to playing alone. For one, multiplayer on the same machine is basically impossible and so PC games have a completely different version of multiplayer. Multiplayer on a PC means connecting to a server and playing with people all over the world. So the idea of Steam actually works much better in practice on PC's than it does on consoles and consoles trying to emulate that (heh, pun) are hurting a lot of people. Though in general I still don't like tying a game to one account, I think being able to sell or buy used games needs to stay. It's nice that Steam lets you give games away, but it'd also be nice if they could have a resale system setup to, and they can take a cut of the profit if they wish. PC Gamers are definitely used to giving their games to their friends for them to play once they've played it themselves. This is different than bringing a game to a friend's house to play on their console because you don't expect to take the game back home the next day. And of course as others have mentioned, the incredibly cheap prices of Steam games compared to their console counterparts really helps in convincing gamers of the distribution model.

Long story short: Microsoft, the Xbox isn't a PC Gaming platform, do NOT distribute games the same way that many PC games are heading towards. You can't have your console be a multimedia center for groups of people to gather around and be entertained by, and then lock down the content to just that one device. People want to SHARE their entertainment.


RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By maugrimtr on 2/22/2013 11:17:32 AM , Rating: 2
There's something else to bear in mind. The EU is currently slowly moving towards a regime that recognises a person's rights to reselling downloadable software (it's already widely considered legal - the mechanics just aren't defined in legislation). It may take years but this could very quickly undermine how legal the Steam (and rumoured Xbox 720) account locking actually are.

It's easy to forget that buying something for $50 that can be resold at $20 leaves the net cost to you at $30 (it's actual value to you). If you remove the resale, the same product now has an extra $20 premium built in. That's the pure profit publishers are desperate to grab by removing it from YOU. That should mean that all similar games fall in price or that demand falls - otherwise you end up with a perverted market where people are paying over the odds.


RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By FITCamaro on 2/22/13, Rating: -1
RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By nolisi on 2/22/2013 1:11:19 PM , Rating: 5
You can name call the EU leadership all you want- but these days, Corporations are full of anti-consumer morons who only care about grabbing as much money as *they* can. I have no sympathy if one money grabber loses out to another.

They don't like the terms of doing business in the EU, don't do business in the EU period.

I love how corporate sympathizers love shove the "don't buy it" argument in the face of consumers, while attacking government for the exact same behavior that corporations exhibit (money grabbing) while ignoring their own cardinal rule that they impose on consumers: if you don't like it, don't buy(in this case, do business).

There's a "market" for government entities just like there's a market for suppliers/demanders. Governments like the EU can impose their costs on doing business because they have constituent consumers with disposable income...just like MS can charge what they want because they have a product that has demand.

Point being- stop complaining about governments and taxation. If a corporation didn't like it, they don't have to do business there. Stop imposing your shortsighted double standard on consumers.


RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By FITCamaro on 2/22/2013 3:45:48 PM , Rating: 1
Corporations exist to make money. Government's should not.

I am all for companies not doing business in states, countries, or continents that punish them for trying to do business there.


RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By nolisi on 2/22/2013 8:00:18 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Corporations exist to make money. Government's should not.


Governments exist to serve people (and subsequently corporations). In order to do that they need money. They do exist at some level to make money.

You always seem to stop short of logical conclusions.


RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By FITCamaro on 2/22/2013 3:50:02 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone loves to say "corporations shouldn't be greedy" until they have a product they want to sell and want to make money off it. Maybe you're stupid enough to want other people or a government telling you how much money you should be allowed to make, but I don't.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

I don't want anyone doing anything bad to me, so I'm not going to try to do anything bad (or get a government to do it for me) to anyone else.


RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By Chaser on 2/22/2013 5:39:00 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I love how corporate sympathizers love shove the "don't buy it" argument in the face of consumers, while attacking government for the exact same behavior that corporations exhibit (money grabbing) while ignoring their own cardinal rule that they impose on consumers: if you don't like it, don't buy(in this case, do business).
Unlike governments -EU and elsewhere- corporations try and make money. Governments take from everyone including corporations. Governments very rarely turn a profit. They operate way out of their means and rather than operate responsibly with budgeting they borrow money into obivion with impunity. CEO's can't campaign and rise to the top on a platform of creating a shared misery "utopia" with other people's confiscated money while they get rich.


RE: Xbox 720 vs Steam
By Piiman on 2/23/2013 1:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm so when was the last time you could read the terms and conditions before you bought it and opened the box? By the time you get to the "terms" you've already bought the game and are a click away from installing it.

Have fun trying to return it saying you didn't agree with the "terms" lol


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