Used games. Love'em or hate'em, you've probably got some opinion on the furore surrounding how we'll buy, sell and borrow video games in the future. Microsoft has already revealed plans to restrict used games in some way for Xbox One, and Sony has been murky about how the PS4 will handle them.
Lots of gamers are still campaigning for pro-consumer policies on the PS4, and at least a few Sony execs are paying attention. But the company has yet to say anything official.
So being the relentlessly-pestering reporters we are, we've reached out to Sony several times over the past few days with questions about their policies. Here's what we asked:
1) Sony has previously said that the PS4 does not require an online connection. To be clear, is this true perpetually, or will the console need to occasionally connect online? If so, how often?
2) Will games need to be registered online in order to use them the first time out?
3) Will the PS4 games be able to be bought and sold used? Or will there be an online activation fee that essentially causes a used game to cost as much as a new game, thereby eliminating the relevance of used games?
Last night, a Sony representative finally got back to us. His response:
I looked into this, and at this point we’re not providing any additional clarification beyond what we stated around the PS4 announcement. If anything changes, I’ll be sure to keep you posted.
We're expecting to hear more at E3 in a week and a half — and of course we'll be pressing both Microsoft and Sony for more details at every opportunity. Hopefully it has straight answers by then.
UPDATE: Question 2 actually had been answered by Sony. And we had reported it: "At a roundtable this morning, Sony's game studios chief, Shuhei Yoshida, told reporters that any requirement for users to register a game online in order to play it would be left to game publishers. Sony won't require that." (Emphasis added.) Apologies for missing that during our attempts to clarify just how similar or dissimilar Sony's next-gen policies are from Microsoft's.