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PlayStation 4 plays used games, says Sony

Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation 4 can play used games, and a patent discovered last month that seemed to imply otherwise wasn't meant for PS4 at all.

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Since the PlayStation 4 cat is officially out of the bag, Sony is seeing fit to squash some persistent rumors about its new console. The system won't require an always-on Internet connection, and Sony has also now confirmed that it won't be blocking you from playing used games.

Sony Worldwide Studios head Shuhei Yoshida told Eurogamer very plainly that "used games can play on PS4." He said the "general expectation by consumers" is that when they "purchase physical form, they want to use it everywhere."

Another source at the event reportedly said that the patent that seemed aimed at blocking used games wasn't ever meant for the PS4 at all. That still leaves the question of what the patent was intended for, but at least it won't stop you from borrowing a friend's game.

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  • reply
    February 21, 2013 12:15 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, PlayStation 4 plays used games, says Sony.

    Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation 4 can play used games, and a patent discovered last month that seemed to imply otherwise wasn't meant for PS4 at all.

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      February 21, 2013 12:35 PM

      I wouldn't mind if it didn't.

      Used games are worse than piracy, because people who are actually willing to spend real, tangible money end up giving none of it to the devs, while "lost" piracy sales were never guaranteed to be sales in the first place.

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        February 21, 2013 12:50 PM

        Um, so used games buyers are worse than pirates... what??!

        If this was put in place, the game developers would actually be shooting themselves in the foot. I buy new games by selling my old games. If I can't sell my old games, I can't afford new games. See how that works?

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          February 21, 2013 12:54 PM

          Are you, like, some kind of wizard or something?

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          February 21, 2013 1:32 PM

          They are way worse than pirates. If I make something I much rather have someone not pay for it rather than pay for it but give the money to someone else and make them rich instead of me.

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            February 21, 2013 2:27 PM

            but it was paid for..by the person who is now selling it someone else. i understand that many here work in the industry and are biased. im sorry, video games are not special. you cannot place special rules that only apply to video games that do not apply to other used products at a garage sale.

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              February 21, 2013 3:07 PM

              I have no legal problems with how it's setup. As a customer you should always buy used because you are getting the exact same product for cheaper. You have that right and you should continue to have that right. The business that owns the console platforms have every right to do what steam does and lock the software to the account that registers it, if that's what they want to do. They legally have that right, and if that benifits their business, then that is what they should do.

              You are also missing the point. It's not that the game was previously paid for or not. It's that other businesses are making a killing by letting the developer pay the dev costs and advertising costs to get a customer in a store and once that customer is in the store with cash in hand for a game that business then asks that customer to instead buy used. The store then is making a bunch of money by asking customers to instead buy used meanwhile relying on the developer to do all the heavy lifting of making the game and getting advertising out there that this game is interesting and now on the market.


              Its like this. If you made some software that took you a long time to make would you rather give it away for free, or have another company sell your software and they keep all the money. Now also pay for the development and advertising.

              Or maybe another way to look at it. You have a watch that is really nice, but you don't need it. Would you rather give it away to someone who is interested in it and actually wants it or would you rather give it to me who doesn't give a shit about it, and is going to turn around sell your old watch for a profit? I personally would rather give it away for free to those that are interested rather than someone else make money off of it and see no money in return.

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                February 22, 2013 12:00 AM

                They should really stop give Gamestop exclusive preorder bonuses to sell to their customers then.

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              February 21, 2013 3:08 PM

              video games are products at a garage sale because they are limited by technology. There's simply no better way to distribute games right now than publishing them on discs. You can bet your ass if we all had fiber optic internets and can download games instantly, game devs would make it exactly like steam.

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                February 21, 2013 6:47 PM

                im sure they would make it exactly like steam. but not for convenience to the user. its the obsession of preventing piracy. these online only games and drm werent created for ease of use.

                im afraid the day is fast approaching that gaming will be ruined. Our kids wont be able to fire up an old gaming system like we did for them with our nes and snes. Our kids will have bought games that require a connection to a server that is long gone. The game files will be useless because they dont actually own what they are in possession of.

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              February 21, 2013 8:24 PM

              [deleted]

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                February 21, 2013 11:02 PM

                please dont use the rollercoaster argument. the game is not a ride or experience that i cant resell. its not because its clearly been resold.

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                  February 21, 2013 11:08 PM

                  [deleted]

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                    February 21, 2013 11:29 PM

                    we are paying for the labor of others. much like a car or furniture. you can mask it however you want. but it is what it is.

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          February 21, 2013 1:34 PM

          So without used games you would just stop playing games and find a new hobby? Because you wouldn't buy new games because you can't afford so you would just buy nothing and play nothing ever again right?

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            February 21, 2013 2:35 PM

            Unless the console space started acting like Steam, then ya, I'd almost certainly not play vgames nearly as much.

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          February 22, 2013 5:58 PM

          So Developer X makes games A and B and releases them. You buy game A.

          You resell that, someone else who was willing to buy a copy of game A at a lower pricepoint, potentially later or in a sale, buys it. Developer X makes no money from this.

          Then you buy game B.

          So.. say you get back a third of the money you spent. You have paid 1.666*P (the price of one game). Developer X has made 2*P, instead of 3*P. So you pay 0.8333x what you would've, and the developer makes 0.6666x what they would've.

          And probably, the second person ends up paying like 0.75x what he would've, and Gamestop keeps the rest.

          Three games sales have actually taken place, developer gets 0.66x the money.

          So now let's pretend you can't resell games.

          You buy game A for 1*P. Person B buys the game at a sale later, pays.. 0.75P let's say, to stick with our guns as last time. Now you can't afford the new games, so you'll have to wait until it costs 0.8333x what it did, to reflect the amount of money you would make back from reselling the first.

          So the dev gets 2.58P in this situation. They make 1.29x as much money.

          And anyone who pirates, was never guaranteed to buy the game in the first place. Person B WAS.

          THAT is what happens when you buy new games with old game sales. See how that works?

      • reply
        February 21, 2013 12:53 PM

        You have no idea what you're talking about. If someone buys a used game it means they weren't interested enough in a game to purchase it at launch for full price.

        A used game consumer is no more a "guaranteed sale" than the kid who pirates everything.

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          February 21, 2013 1:35 PM

          They have shown a willingness to pay some money for the game, often times $5 less than whatever a new copy is. A pirate has shown they are willing to not pay for the game.

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            February 21, 2013 2:51 PM

            piracy is honorable stealing. used gamers are the worst!

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              February 21, 2013 9:52 PM

              used gamers didnt have the balls to flat out steal it. used gamers are pussies

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          February 21, 2013 6:32 PM

          Games don't stay fixed at launch price.

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          February 21, 2013 8:33 PM

          The only issue is "used" games sold for $55 on launch week. Used sales months down the road aren't that big of a deal. The five dollar undercut that developers can do nothing to stop is what sucks.

          Everything is going digital and in 5 years this conversation won't be possible.

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          February 21, 2013 8:51 PM

          [deleted]

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        February 21, 2013 12:54 PM

        While I prefer new games myself, sometimes games get limited prints (Xenoblade, Metroid Trilogy come to mind). I would always like the ability to get a game and blocking used games would make missing out on certain releases possible.

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        February 21, 2013 1:13 PM

        Most games now adays arnt worth $60+ for a 3 hour campaign and a shitty SP. I buy most games new and I trade or sell my old games to get more games. I couldnt justify spending $60 on the new Hitman, so I used a game I bought new to trade for it. I wouldnt have bought the game otherwise.

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          February 21, 2013 5:21 PM

          I just can't bring myself to trade games back for $10 or $15 to see them charge $5 less than the price of the new game.

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        February 21, 2013 2:24 PM

        oh god....not this again

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        February 21, 2013 2:33 PM

        Very true.

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        February 21, 2013 3:15 PM

        [deleted]

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        February 21, 2013 6:56 PM

        Please, tell me what other products where the manufacturer gets a cut of subsequent sales.

        A game is a product, just like anything else. We have allowed the copyright system to be corrupted to allow for licensing that would never pass muster for any other product. If people truly understood the implications of software licensing, I don't think it would stand for long.

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          February 21, 2013 8:28 PM

          [deleted]

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            February 21, 2013 8:37 PM

            Because it's still a physical good, occupying physical space at the moment. The same rules still apply, there's nothing special about the game industry that gets them a get out of jail free card. They can either work around it so people don't or can't purchase the physical good, or they stop crying and accept it like very other fucking business on the planet.

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              February 21, 2013 8:49 PM

              [deleted]

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                February 21, 2013 9:06 PM

                How is buying a theater ticket even remotely the same? You aren't buying property, you're effectively renting a seat in a theater for ~2hrs.

                I won't deny that ownership of software gets a little fuzzy especially with digital distribution, but the fact remains that you're paying for a license to use said software, which is not really different then when you buy a music CD or DVD, and you are legally entitled to sell it.

                I do wish places like Game Stop would disappear though as they really do have shitty tactics which are harmful, but in the end ignorant customers are more of the problem. Why anyone would sell them a game for such a small amount is beyond me.

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                  February 21, 2013 9:19 PM

                  [deleted]

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                  February 21, 2013 11:04 PM

                  [deleted]

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                    February 21, 2013 11:31 PM

                    [deleted]

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                      February 21, 2013 11:42 PM

                      [deleted]

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                        February 21, 2013 11:58 PM

                        [deleted]

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                          February 22, 2013 5:08 PM

                          The problem is that if you buy a used object, unless it's purely aesthetic and has been kept pristine, it will show signs of its age.

                          This is likewise for a disc, but a disc's functionality is not affected at all. If the disc isn't badly scratched, you wouldn't know the difference between a new game and a used game once it's in your console.

                          You could, e.g. churn out 1000Gs of gamerscore on some JRPG that takes you like 250 hours over the course of a month's holiday. To the point where you've done EVERYTHING in that game, you'll never want to play it again (I've done this with several JRPGS). Now imagine I sold them. I would have taken 250 hours worth of fun, the most fun I could reasonably take from that game (since I'm not a little kid anymore who only gets one new game every few months, I will always have stuff to keep my interest without having to replay stuff), and given it to someone else for a cheap price.

                          That person might be just like me (except buys used games). He might then proceed to play it for 250 hours too. He gets a gaming experience identical to if he had bought it first hand. To him there is no difference. To the developer, they make no money from a customer who would've been willing to buy the game if they'd sold it on a deal. That is not the same as buying a usual, inferior, second hand product.

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                        February 22, 2013 7:22 AM

                        "It's about where the value is for *you* vs. where the value is for someone else. A physical good has intrinsic value, intellectual property doesn't. "

                        Bullshit. IP has intrinsic value, otherwise it wouldn't be copyrighted, giving the copyright owner exclusive right to sell and market the good. IP is a good, just like anything else. The design of a chair is an IP. The assembly of a computer is an IP. Every good has some sort of IP associated with it. Only software developers have been granted the right to apply licenses to a manufactured good. The fact that the software is distributed electronically, by disk, or whatever, is irrelevant. It is still a manufactured good, just like patio furniture.

                        The simple fact is that the courts battled for years before allowing EULAs to have any value. In some ways, it's still debated. Quite honestly, it is a HUGE mistake to give software vendors rights that aren't granted to other manufacturers. The amount of hairsplitting that had to go into the rationalizing of this right is staggering.

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            February 21, 2013 8:45 PM

            How is a PS4 disc non-physical?

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              February 21, 2013 8:48 PM

              [deleted]

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                February 21, 2013 11:08 PM

                corporations are people bro!

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                February 22, 2013 7:25 AM

                You can break that down for any product though. A car is only has any real value if it has a motor. A home only has value if people can actually live in it.

                Software is a product, independent of medium. It is the work of an assembly line. The same creativity applied to creating software exists in EVERY manufacturing process.

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                  February 22, 2013 8:40 PM

                  Why are you trying to compare a necessary good like a car to entertainment?

                  Also, a plot of land has some non-trivial value. People also buy run down houses to fix up and resell all the time.

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            February 21, 2013 11:36 PM

            [deleted]

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            February 21, 2013 11:41 PM

            games are not non-transferable. you say they are just because you want them to be. without that point, your argument is doomed. so its no wonder you try to hold up that point. i buy games. i paid money to have them. and i can play them and replay them whenever i want. unlike the movie theater where its played once and then i must leave. and i play them on a machine that i own. when i go to the movies, im watching work that someone else did on a system that i do not own and its in a place that is not my house.

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        February 21, 2013 8:39 PM

        [deleted]

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        February 21, 2013 9:24 PM

        Do you feel the same way about used cars?

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          February 21, 2013 11:06 PM

          [deleted]

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            February 21, 2013 11:07 PM

            you must explain how a game is different from any other used product.

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              February 21, 2013 11:11 PM

              [deleted]

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                February 21, 2013 11:12 PM

                but you have not explained how its different from any other used product... you are just talking nonsense.

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                  February 21, 2013 11:20 PM

                  [deleted]

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                    February 21, 2013 11:26 PM

                    a book of blank pages is not worth the same as a book full of words. this speaks nothing of the physical media its printed on. the value of blank media is not a worthy argument. you are trying to sidestep the point. the data is whats being purchased. its data. its not a ride. its not an experience. its not a fucking rollercoaster. we are purchasing the works of others. its no different that purchasing the works of a car or couch. whether is it exists in the physical world or in 1s and 0s is not the issue.

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                      February 21, 2013 11:37 PM

                      [deleted]

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                        February 21, 2013 11:42 PM

                        So should artwork not be allowed to be resold? You're not paying for the physical value of a tube or two worth of oil paint when you spend money on art. An estate sale, for instance, what should be done with any works of art that were purchased by the decedent? Destroyed? Forced donation to museums? Which museums?

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                          February 21, 2013 11:48 PM

                          [deleted]

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                            February 21, 2013 11:51 PM

                            That didn't answer a single question I asked, though.

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                              February 21, 2013 11:53 PM

                              [deleted]

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                                February 21, 2013 11:57 PM

                                Wouldn't you argue that the value of a book (outside of new releases) is essentially timeless? The value of, say, a Stephen King book from the 80s will probably be the same today as in 2020. If your example of painting is a correct delineation of your views, than it should be allowed to be resold. I'd argue, in fact, that the same is true for movies -- they certainly lose value after the first wave of novelty has passed, but Schindler's List probably has the same approximate value now as it did 5 years ago which is the same as it will have five years hence.

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                                  February 22, 2013 12:01 AM

                                  [deleted]

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                                    February 22, 2013 12:12 AM

                                    But you could say the same thing about music or literature or a game. How do you know how much I value my dvd of My Little Pony?
                                    For that matter, if I buy some tchotchke that amuses me at the time but quickly grow tired of, it no longer has the value to me it once did. Say, a plush My Little Pony character but I get tired of My Little Pony. Isn't its value reduced to me in precisely the same way that a My Little Pony dvd is?
                                    I kind of get the sense that you feel like certain things should be treated differently so are inventing reasons they should be treated differently, instead of arguing from first principles and going forward with that. Are there any exceptions to not reselling? Dante has been dead many a century, should it be illegal to resell a copy of Dante's Inferno? It's not like he could get any money from a sale of a new copy instead of someone buying my used copy. So is lifetime the limitation on this restriction you would enact? Or the length of copyright?

                                    (note: I do not and have not watched My Little Pony)

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                                    February 22, 2013 12:14 AM

                                    [deleted]

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                                February 22, 2013 12:08 AM

                                So they cut off servers to deliberately make the property lose value, and thus become intrinsically worthless. I see. Well done.

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                        February 21, 2013 11:44 PM

                        clearly you have an opinion that cant be changed... but you have still been unsuccessful in explaining how its different than selling any other used product...

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                          February 21, 2013 11:46 PM

                          [deleted]

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                            February 21, 2013 11:49 PM

                            you can use words like IP all you want. the bottom line is we are still paying for the work/labor of others. you have somehow been confused to believe that non-physical things have more importance than physical things. this is where you are wrong.

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                              February 21, 2013 11:52 PM

                              [deleted]

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                                February 21, 2013 11:54 PM

                                i cant download a day worker. i cant put him on a disk. but i can own the result of his work. what is up with your weird comparisons?

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                                  February 21, 2013 11:56 PM

                                  [deleted]

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                                    February 22, 2013 12:00 AM

                                    but once he makes me the hammer, i can do whatever i want with it. including reselling it. being silly? we're looking at you.

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                                      February 22, 2013 12:02 AM

                                      [deleted]

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                                        February 22, 2013 12:04 AM

                                        without labor there is no final product of anything. this is true of any product. i have no clue where you are going...

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                                          February 22, 2013 12:07 AM

                                          [deleted]

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                                            February 22, 2013 12:18 AM

                                            yeah. i can either buy the hammer if i think its a fair price or i can walk away. what does that have to do with anything we've been talking about? yeah, its the value the product has to me. what does this have to do with anything? hey, at least i think we actually agreed on something. not sure how that translates to the sale of used games, but yeah...

                                            you've gone so far from whatever point you were trying to make that im lost. fuck labor, ok? im not paying a man's salary. thats the company's job. and its their job to sell me a product for enough that they can pay his wage and still earn a profit. what are we even talking about? you have completely lost this argument.

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                                              February 22, 2013 12:22 AM

                                              [deleted]

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                                                February 22, 2013 12:25 AM

                                                who knows? its after 2am. im out.

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                                                February 22, 2013 3:35 AM

                                                Talking shit man, a product is a product whether in the physical realm or virtual realm, time is money. Your paying for someone to do something that you cant, i.e make a game, make a hammer, sell you a car.

                                                The only reason consumers 'consume' is because they can't/ wont do whats required to get the end result,thats why you pay.

                                                How hard of a concept is that to understand?.

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          February 22, 2013 5:32 PM

          A used car is worse than a new car. It's acquired milage, the components aren't working as well as when it was brand new, it isn't as aesthetically pleasing anymore.

          Unless a disc is badly scratched (in which case you would probably complain and take it back), the experience you get from using a used game disc is exactly identical to one in which you use a new disc.

          You also buy cars for aesthetics. You could buy a shit looking car. It'd get you from point A to point B perfectly as well as a sports car, but cars cost more because they look nice. I can give you a game with cover art painted by Vincent Van Gogh and you will get no more pleasure from that disc than a blank one, provided they contain the same game content.

          You don't care about the actual disc, you care what's printed on the disc (which is exactly the same for a used game). That's not the same as a car, where you are concerned both with the car's basic operation (which is not as good with a used car) and its aesthetic appeal, the respect it gives you, how it makes you look (which is actually NEGATIVE for a used car).

          You can choose to buy a high quality new car that makes you look good and runs well, or you can buy an old one that doesn't run well and may make you look silly/cheap/poor/unfashionable.

          You can choose to buy a new game, or an old game, and it will make no difference to you. You can play it for hundreds of hours, extract all value it could ever be worth to you, and give it to another person, and they can do likewise, and give it to another person hundreds of times. This can't be done with a car.

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        February 21, 2013 11:21 PM

        haha, what kind of fucked up argumentation is that.
        No money is better than some money for the devs?

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          February 22, 2013 5:38 PM

          Pirates pay nothing, they showed no willingness to ever pay anything, you can't assume they ever would've bought the game just because they downloaded it. I'm sure you've downloaded plenty of things that you would never have bought.

          The person who bought a used game was willing to pay, for a lower price, and did so. He would have bought the game first hand if it was in a sale at the price of the used price.

          So person A may have been willing to buy it, or may not have. Perhaps he has no money because he's a schoolkid, or maybe he downloaded a game of a genre he didn't like just to see what the hype was from this game. All we know is, there is some probability less than 1 that he would've bought the game.

          Person B had a probability of 1 of buying the game, for a lower price. This money would've gone to the devs.

          Both result in no money for the devs.

          So, loss of potential money resulting from a pirated game = Price*p(sale) where 0<p(sale)<1.
          Loss of potential money resulting from a second hand game = p(sale).

          So second hand games are WORSE for the industry.

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      February 21, 2013 2:58 PM

      *fart

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      February 21, 2013 3:01 PM

      [deleted]

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        February 21, 2013 5:23 PM

        You're most probably correct in your expectation and they mostly deliver on it.

        Generally you can play your digital content anywhere as long as you have the device you purchased it for with you.

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          February 21, 2013 7:32 PM

          [deleted]

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            February 22, 2013 5:40 PM

            What if the software was linked to your PSN ID or Gamertag or Steam ID etc.

            Then you can access it anywhere, from any machine. All you have to do is sign in. Exactly the same as before. Go to your mate's house, sign in on your ID, you now have access to your game.

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      February 21, 2013 8:41 PM

      i don't see how this is a big deal. everyone seems to be ignoring that pc publishers have already completely shut down used games with product keys, but no one is complaining about that. pretty weird

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        February 21, 2013 8:42 PM

        i remember when you could buy assloads of used games at EB. yeah there was very little drama when that quickly disappeared.

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          February 21, 2013 10:38 PM

          yeah well us pc people can always just pirate a game when a publisher pisses us off bad enough. Console people dont have that option.

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            February 22, 2013 12:01 AM

            Whatever gave you that idea? It is more difficult to pirate console games but it is certainly doable (and not just for uber nerds; anecdotally all the people I have ever known to pirate console games have, in fact, been more frat guy types).

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          February 22, 2013 12:04 AM

          [deleted]

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        February 22, 2013 12:30 AM

        Console games (and consoles themselves) are fucking expensive, we factor this in when buying a game that we can sell the console and the game and for the most part, people can get the same experience.

        I personally don't sell my games to be honest but I'm not paying 60$ US for games to lock them to me forever, not even a trade in value of 5$ one day 4 years later when I change systems.

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          February 22, 2013 5:42 PM

          "I don't sell my games, but I won't buy games if I can't sell them".

          Okay.

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        February 22, 2013 3:46 AM

        I've never sold a PC game in my life, nor is it very common for people to bring their games over to a friends house, install, and then play together. They're just not directly comparable.

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      February 25, 2013 5:02 PM

      I'm amenable to not being able to sell a game I've purchased but ONLY if they cut at least 30% off the fucking retail or more if its downloaded.

      Whatever savings they are getting by going strictly digital download better be passed off to the consumer rather than what these shitbags have been doing for the past several years which is pocketing the difference while shutting us out of the used game market. They should NEVER wonder why some people simply pirate. The idea of cultivating loyalty never entered into their spineless white collared lives.

      ugh....don't get me started....

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      February 27, 2013 4:59 AM

      Steam should allow used game sales.

      I have already thought about 1-2 years ago how they could make it work in real Valve style and devs also would get their share.

      I should probably write to Valve or Gabe, seen as now they are already having issues with organisations almost suing them about the digital product re-sales.

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