Third Party Publishers Could Bring Restrictions to PS4

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Third Party Publishers Could Bring Restrictions to PS4

E3 Used Games PS4

The PS4 may support used games, but third party publishers don't have to.

It was the shot heard around the gaming world. The Xbox One would be $499 and filled to the brim with consumer restrictions while the PS4 would be $399 and restriction free. Sony announced it to cheers and in one fell swoop stole the show at E3. Symbolic victories aside, the picture may not be as perfect as presented. Sony has revealed that, though it doesn't condone such actions itself, there is nothing to stop third party publishers from bringing DRM to PS4 versions of their software.

"Technically, they could do something," said Sony exec Scott Rohde, speaking to Polygon. Even with the option present however, Rohde doesn't think publishers will attempt software restrictions on the PS4. "All those publishers were sitting in [our] press conference last night," said Rohde. "When Jack, punch after punch after punch, and the house almost came down with all the cheers, they heard that. They heard it loud and clear and they saw the reaction to what our friends in green talked about. I think it's pretty clear that we've set a nice precedent."

You couldn't blame some gamers for not sharing Rohde's confidence. It is not secret that many in the game industry are hostile toward used games. The potential restrictions offered by the Xbox One are, in turn, likely appealing to more than a few game companies. Sony has already stated that it won't allow publishers to enact restrictions like paid online passes, that said, you can safely bet that if publishers can enact DRM that someone will probably try.

Source: Polygon

Note: The original article neglected to mention Sony's stance against online passes for PS4. We have added that in.

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This is to be expected. Online Passes were console DRM, after-all. If the Xbox One manages to set a precedent then I can see several PS4 requiring serial codes to play the single player, too. Still, I'm not sure they'd be able to incorporate a "phone home" system like the Xbone uses. Maybe.

Considering single-player games can be played offline, third-party publishers would have to do some pretty amazing magical tricks to block that part.

StewShearer:
snip

Slight spelling mistake, in your link you say xbox one and ps3, thought that might help.

OT: In theory, but sony doesn't seem too open to that option so it might be rather difficult.

Dark Knifer:

StewShearer:
snip

Slight spelling mistake, in your link you say xbox one and ps3, thought that might help.

OT: In theory, but sony doesn't seem too open to that option so it might be rather difficult.

Psh... I don't know what E3 you were watching but Jack Tretton totally said "PS3." :)

Thanks for the help!

Just like they can to the PC. And PS3. And Xbox 360. Non-news is non-news.

Well that's certainly unfortunate. It's nice to see Sony sticking to it's guns but hearing what could be a reality like this is sobering.

I suppose the best we can hope for right now is that the third-party devs out there will wise up and listen to their consumers on this point. It's a long shot but hey, crazier things have happened before right?

Isnt this exactly what Xbox is doing? "Oh, you can have used games, but its up to the publishers if they are going to allow it."?

So that means that there should be just the hostility towards Sony as there is to Microsoft... lets hope this so called equality that is talked about in R&P is used here to.

ScrabbitRabbit:
This is to be expected. Online Passes were console DRM, after-all. If the Xbox One manages to set a precedent then I can see several PS4 requiring serial codes to play the single player, too. Still, I'm not sure they'd be able to incorporate a "phone home" system like the Xbone uses. Maybe.

Pretty much this. Technically, they could do something like asking that you sign up to an online service of their own then only allowing you to play if you were logged in, even in a single player game.

But this isn't sony's fault, technically, they could do the exact same thing on any console. Point is, while sony's trying to avoid the problem, microsoft is outright worsening it.

Also, the guy has a point. Publishers would be stupid to ignore the reaction that the DRM/used games issues on consoles have gotten.

TL:DR this isn't sony saying they're giving the option for such things. It's sony saying that they can't really do much to stop publishers trying to pull their own tricks.

What Sony is saying is third-party publishers have exactly as much opportunity as they did with the PS3. They kept off then and with all Sony's positive buzz, hopefully we're as likely to be able to keep them off now

thethird0611:
Isnt this exactly what Xbox is doing? "Oh, you can have used games, but its up to the publishers if they are going to allow it."?

So that means that there should be just the hostility towards Sony as there is to Microsoft... lets hope this so called equality that is talked about in R&P is used here to.

The difference is Microsoft have provided anti-used game support and said 'you can use this if you want' and Sony have done none of that but have said they can't stop publishers forcing you to sign up with some random website and tie an account to their online system, as they couldn't with the PS3. That's still a very different thing and is a lot less evil on Sony's part

So basically, it's exactly the same as the PS3.

And with EA dropping online passes, there aren't really many big publishers using them any more. The only one I can think is Ubisoft.

At least it hasn't been misinterpreted in this article like has been in other places.

Andy Shandy:
So basically, it's exactly the same as the PS3.

And with EA dropping online passes, there aren't really many big publishers using them any more. The only one I can think is Ubisoft.

At least it hasn't been misinterpreted in this article like has been in other places.

No, 3rd Party publishers are allowed to go beyond online passes, Sony is allowing them to use any DRM they want.

I mean, this is a reality that every platform has to face. PC has been dealing with this for a long time. The publisher SHOULD be the one make the DRM decision because as a consumer, you can chose whether or not to support a publisher like EA that engages in DRM.

If the PLATFORM however is the one that is enforcing DRM...well then what do you? You have to completely jump to a platform that doesn't have DRM. And if there are no platforms that don't have built in DRM...well I guess screw you then?

If they really want to kill the used game market, they need to drop the prices of the games new. End of story. All this anti-used game methods they are doing now, is just shooting themselves in the foot because everyone is just going to start waiting for the games to drop in price before buying. Especially if they have experienced buying several bad games at $60.

Hell, do what the movie industry does. That first week of release, most movies tend to be 20% off or more. That will really drive sales the first week a game is out.

So it's just going to be the same as PS3 then?

Baldr:

Andy Shandy:
So basically, it's exactly the same as the PS3.

And with EA dropping online passes, there aren't really many big publishers using them any more. The only one I can think is Ubisoft.

At least it hasn't been misinterpreted in this article like has been in other places.

No, 3rd Party publishers are allowed to go beyond online passes, Sony is allowing them to use any DRM they want.

Again, exactly like with the PS3. Like how some use online passes, and some like Capcom occasionally require you to be online to play them.

http://www.1up.com/news/capcom-always-online-psn-drm-decided-case-by-case

Korten12:
http://www.destructoid.com/did-sony-confirm-drm-on-ps4-after-all-not-quite--256052.phtml

Please read this. It really clarifies a lot.

Yeah I think the OP was worded mostly for traffic.

Starting to become a bit too common here.

Nothing changed from ps3 too the ps4 bar sony themselves dropping the whole online pass BS and making us happy :)

There is no change in policy now. It's the same policies from PS3 on PS4.

Publishers could impose restrictions right now, but I'm happy to see them moving away from Online Passes and Always-online...

... Except for Microsoft.

StewShearer:

Dark Knifer:

StewShearer:
snip

Slight spelling mistake, in your link you say xbox one and ps3, thought that might help.

OT: In theory, but sony doesn't seem too open to that option so it might be rather difficult.

Psh... I don't know what E3 you were watching but Jack Tretton totally said "PS3." :)

Thanks for the help!

I could believe that lol.

No problem :)

It's the same DRM that the PS3. This isn't news. They were just clarifying that they won't deny the kinds of DRM and Online Pass stuff we saw last generation, probably because there's nothing they can realistically do to prevent it.

I've said this elsewhere, but I'll repeat it in brief:

It's much easier to pull off DRM on a console whose creator has insured that everyone's connected to the Internet and doing so more or less amounts to flicking a switch than one that has insured that its users don't need to be connected to the Internet and would need to retrofit their own means of doing so. If you put features into your product that mean that a third or more of the hardware's users will be locked out, people can and will cry bloody murder.

So it's pretty much exactly like on the PS3, in short. Okay, if the publishers really want to put DRM in their games, that's their business. I'll just be over here, buying the games that don't do that.

Seriously, games industry, I don't see how I can possibly make this any less complicated: DRM = No Sale, period. This is not open to negotiation, or even discussion--the moment the letters "DRM" cross your lips is the moment I walk away from you.

FargoDog:
Considering single-player games can be played offline, third-party publishers would have to do some pretty amazing magical tricks to block that part.

The really important part, is that any game that does that will find itself shunned, and it will be the publisher that takes the blame fully.

dreadedcandiru99:
So it's pretty much exactly like on the PS3, in short. Okay, if the publishers really want to put DRM in their games, that's their business. I'll just be over here, buying the games that don't do that.

Seriously, games industry, I don't see how I can possibly make this any less complicated: DRM = No Sale, period. This is not open to negotiation, or even discussion--the moment the letters "DRM" cross your lips is the moment I walk away from you.

Thats basically it, any game that is that stupid especially if the PS4 ends up smashing the XBone in sales, will deserve the failure they bring on themselves.

"Technically" publishers could do the same thing with a Wii game. All you need is a unique identifier for the machine (friend code), a unique identifier for the disk (which might be more expensive to do but isn't impossible), a server to keep track of which machine is authorized to use which disk, and code in the game to check in with that server before it does anything else.

The difference here isn't whether or not it's possible to set up DRM, it's how difficult it is to set it up, or not set it up. If publishers want DRM on their PS4 products they have to go through some effort to implement it; there is no DRM by default. Xbox One, on the other hand, has DRM already set up for them, whether they want it or not. I haven't read anything anywhere saying they have the option to disable it. The closest option publishers have to a DRM free game on Xbox One is to allow the game to be resold (through an authorized reseller only, of course) and even that is not enabled by default.

LordMonty:
Nothing changed from ps3 too the ps4 bar sony themselves dropping the whole online pass BS and making us happy :)

drops the online pass but puts online play behind a playgate like Xbox Live.

Wonderful.

Fairly sure the PS3 had the same policy and it never turned out absolutely horrible.
All I ever found were a couple of games by EA that I couldn't copy to a flash drive.

You know, the more I hear about the next generation of consoles the less I like it.

Even so, that still leaves the choice as being "Possible DRM" vs "Guaranteed DRM.......and a Kinect."

Yep, still think that if I don't make the jump to PC, I'll be going PS4.

BrotherRool:

thethird0611:
Isnt this exactly what Xbox is doing? "Oh, you can have used games, but its up to the publishers if they are going to allow it."?

So that means that there should be just the hostility towards Sony as there is to Microsoft... lets hope this so called equality that is talked about in R&P is used here to.

The difference is Microsoft have provided anti-used game support and said 'you can use this if you want' and Sony have done none of that but have said they can't stop publishers forcing you to sign up with some random website and tie an account to their online system, as they couldn't with the PS3. That's still a very different thing and is a lot less evil on Sony's part

Yeah the important difference is that Microsoft have integrated this system into their consoles and network infrastructure and are offering it as a service to publishers. Sony, on the other hand, have basically said "Okay, it's not worth the effort of pissing the publishers off by blocking this crap but we're not going to help them do it either."

Also, Sony could have blocked all that sort of crap on the PS3. That's the thing about 'walled garden' networks, the console manufacturers have control over what's accessible via their network and could have simply not allowed publishers to connect their authentication servers and what-not to the network... However, doing so would have antagonised the publishers and when a console has as many teething problems as the PS3 had, the console manufacturer can't afford to piss off major publishers.

theultimateend:

Korten12:
http://www.destructoid.com/did-sony-confirm-drm-on-ps4-after-all-not-quite--256052.phtml

Please read this. It really clarifies a lot.

Yeah I think the OP was worded mostly for traffic.

Starting to become a bit too common here.

Starting to? It's been that way for a good long while.

There is still the risk of always online games, sim city style for example.

They've been able to do that for a long time. But since PS4 doesn't require online authentication and check-ins they can't do much.

I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned already but Sony have blocked online passes - publishers/devs who sell games for the PS4 are not allowed to force people who have paid for a second hand game to pay for an online pass

http://www.gamefront.com/sony-further-clarifies-drm-policy-no-online-passes/

Quote from the linked article

We've already come right out and said we're not going to allow online pass. And the word "allow" is key there. Specifically with online, with PS+ requiring a charge to play online, we would not want any publisher [to charge.]

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