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Sony confirms retailers must stop selling PS4 codes in April

Sony has confirmed that, beginning in April, retailers must cease selling PS4 download codes going forward.


Sony has confirmed that it will cease to allow retailers like GameStop and Amazon to sell digital download codes for PlayStation 4.

Beginning April 1, retailers will no longer be able to purchase these codes, and will instead have to use their credit card or PayPal accounts to purchase digital titles via the PlayStation Store. After the news began circulating online via leaked memo obtained by Twitter personality Wario64, Sony confirmed to The Verge via PlayStation spokesperson that this is indeed true.

“We can confirm that as of April 1, 2019, Sony Interactive Entertainment will no longer offer full games through SIE’s Global Digital at Retail program,” the spokesperson explained. “This decision was made in order to continue to align key businesses globally. To support full games and premium editions, SIE will introduce increased denominations at select retailers. DLC, add-ons, virtual currency, and season passes will still be available.”

A digital code purchase via Amazon for PlayStation 4. 

This means that if you want to make digital purchases of PlayStation 4 games without giving up your credit card information, you can still purchase PlayStation Network credit at retailers, enter the code online, and then finalize the sale online. You wouldn't go to GameStop or somewhere like that and buy a code, then redeem it at home and start playing anymore. This might make things a bit frustrating for users who don't want to purchase physical copies and don't like to offer sensitive payment information online, but it appears Sony is stalwart in its resolution to move forward with the new plan.

It's unclear what the complete ramifications of this decisions are just yet, and whether all companies will be affected by the change. If you typically go for digital download codes, however, this might put a damper on your plans. We'll bring you additional information as it releases regarding this manner.

Senior Editor

Fueled by horror, rainbow-sugar-pixel-rushes, and video games, Brittany is a Senior Editor at Shacknews who thrives on surrealism and ultraviolence. Follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake and check out her portfolio for more. Like a fabulous shooter once said, get psyched!

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 26, 2019 8:15 AM

    Brittany Vincent posted a new article, Sony confirms retailers must stop selling PS4 codes in April

    • reply
      March 26, 2019 9:23 AM

      Yeah i can see how that can be annoying to some.

    • reply
      March 26, 2019 10:59 AM

      So am I understanding this right? They're taking away the ability to buy games digitally as codes and instead just making it to where you have to buy games on disc or buy general PSN gift cards?

      Right now you go into a GameStop and buy a digital code card for, say, Dad of War and spend just the $59.99 + tax and have just that game. After April 1 you can buy $50 or $20 or whatever gift cards and then add them to your wallet and then buy it that way.

      If that's right... that's kinda messed up. Besides the fact that it's less convenient, it's one more inroad to a future where retailers just don't sell consoles.

      It has always been my understanding that retailers either make no real money selling the consoles themselves or if they do, it's insignificant compared to the money they make selling games. The big thing keeping the optical drive in consoles is that it lets retailers stock the games physically on the shelves and make money selling them.

      An all-digital, no optical drive console cuts retailers out of physical game sales. Every time I've ever pointed this out, the retort is that retailers can still sell games, they'll just be in download card form, not disc-and-case form.

      Well, here's Sony telling retailers they're not allowed to do that, either. Sure, they're not being cut out of the digital card thing entirely because of gift cards, and of course the PS4 still has an optical drive so they can still sell disc-based games, but what happens if the PS5 comes out and they don't have an optical drive and you can't sell games on cards?

      My prediction has always been - the number of people willing to put up with this hassle in order to not give Sony/MS/etc. their credit card or because they don't have access to a credit card (like kids with cash allowances) won't be enough to bother with, especially not if there's competitors out there. The Walmarts of the world will probably just donate the shelf space to whichever consoles don't bother with this, or to any number of other items they can sell. Look at what they've done to the music industry - used to be 20% or more of all CDs in the country sold at Walmart, now Walmart barely has a CD section anymore.

      GameStop will probably just suck it up and keep carrying them - they might even benefit from other retailers ditching them - but it's clear Sony's end goal here is to give gamers just enough hassle to where they say fuck it and buy the games digitally from Sony direct and I think the bigger box retailers will just take their ball and go home.

      • reply
        March 26, 2019 11:05 AM

        Sony thinks they can be their own Epic Store Exclusive.

      • reply
        March 26, 2019 11:35 AM

        it is also eliminates buying codes from CDkeys and getting them cheaper than the local psn store.

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