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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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