from the no-connection-required dept
It has been no secret that Microsoft's handling of the launch of their Xbox One console has been controversial at best and a complete debacle at worst. As rumors of mandatory internet connections and fees for playing used games made the unsteady transition to reality, dedicated fans of other consoles mobilized to make sure their voices were heard. Most substantial was the fanbase of the Sony Playstation, who made their wishes for a more traditional and open PS4 known. I had mentioned in that post that Sony in particular had a real opportunity on their hands, assuming they were willing to both stick up for their customers and take the issues against Microsoft head-on.
Well, to some extent, that's exactly what they did at this year's E3 convention, going out of their way to point out all the ways in which they are not doing things the Xbox-way.
During their Electronic Entertainment Expo press event, Sony Computer Entertainment of America president and CEO Jack Tretton says its PS4 will not restrict used games, nor will it require an online connection.Now, to be sure, this isn't a completely unambiguous stance in favor of its customers, but credit Sony for doing what many of our commenters thought they wouldn't: seeing an opportunity in sticking up for customers and running with it. Having said that, there are still many questions surrounding whether or not the Playstation platform will simply be agnostic with used games, leaving that decision instead up to the game developers and publishers. It might seem a better thing for Sony to simply say they won't allow the kind of used game pocket-picking that MIcrosoft is codifying, but that might be a bit too much to ask. After all, Sony needs developers for their platform, too. Besides, as long as it isn't Sony acting in an anti-consumer way, developers that might wish to be restrictive on used games can be judged on their own individual merits. In other words, we'll actually get to see what the market impact of anti-consumer behavior on used games is.
Tretton specifically noted the PS4 "won't stop working if you haven't authenticated within 24 hours," a jab at the Xbox One and its requirement to perform online checks of consoles.
And if some of the reaction I've seen thus far is any indication, such as Sony Entertainment now being listed on Wikipedia's list of "burn centers in the United States" after they torched Microsoft at E3, developers might begin rethinking their plans.