Playstation 4: Yes to Used Games, No to Always-On DRM
Which next-gen console will be better? Game Front gives the definitive opinion with our massive Xbox One vs. Playstation 4 Ultimate Buyer’s Guide.
Popular opinion turned against Microsoft May 21, as soon as the Xbox One reveal ended. The press conference seemed to confirm everyone’s worst fears — about the console’s always-on requirement, about its uncertain commitment to privacy, and about the complicated system introduced to govern used games.
Subsequent public statements simply clouded the issue. On June 6, Microsoft updated the Xbox One’s homepage with new info that confirmed the presence of an online pass, without resolving the used games or privacy situations. Today, during its E3 press conference, Microsoft avoided the tough topics, focusing instead on a fair-to-middling suite of new games and the announcement of a price point: $499
All Sony had to do, the accepted wisdom went, was to show off a Playstation 4 that was free of the Xbox One’s many confusions and complications. And that’s exactly what the Japanese giants did during their press conference. As a triumph of marketing over a direct competitor, it was a bloodbath: Sony had more games, better games, and more of the indie games likely to be embraced by the gaming press; The Playstation 4 is also $100 cheaper than its competitor.
Still, it wasn’t until the end of the press conference that Sony stuck the knife in. Over the course of two devastating slides, CEO Jack Tretton reassured gamers that playing disc-based games on the Playstation 4 would require no internet connection, and that lending games, selling games, and buying used games would work just as it always has. In short: the Xbox One has these problems, and the Playstation 4 doesn’t. You can see a gallery of the slides below:
After the press conference ended, Sony delivered a little twist of the knife, in what might be the first ever example of trolling conducted between two multi-billion dollar companies. Taking aim squarely at the Byzantine Xbox One policies that govern loaning games to a friend, two Sony Executives decided to have a little fun. See for yourself:
What will Microsoft’s response be? The company has three days of E3 to change the narrative, or it may face a very unhappy shopping season this fall.