PlayStation 4 to help protect retail’s “very fragile ecosystem” by allowing used games

Wednesday, 12 June 2013 03:56 GMT By Brenna Hillier

If the PlayStation 4 blocked used games, retailers who get by on profit from trade-ins could find themselves at risk – something Sony’s not willing to accept, SCE Europe boss Jim Ryan told us.

Speaking to VG247 at E3 2013, Ryan said there are several reasons why Sony isn’t keen on blocking used games.

“The gaming eco-system in the UK is a somewhat fragile one,” he said.

“We all know just how difficult it is for retailers, and while we’re never going to make a policy decision to cushion the lives of video game retailers in a particular market, it’s a factor that we need our retail partners to survive and hopefully prosper.

“That very fragile ecosystem is one I feel shouldn’t be lightly tampered with.”

The UK’s games retail scene has been very patchy of late. Last year, mega-chain Game nearly shuttered completely, resurrected at the last minute in severely reduced form by a buy-out, and HMV suffered a similar fate this year.

PlayStation has, over the past two generations, enjoyed greater success in the UK and Europe than Xbox, so it’s understandable Sony would move to shelter those markets. Conversely, Microsoft has been dominant in the US throughout the Xbox 360’s lifetime.

Ryan also noted that many territories under his guard don’t have the kind of Internet access the Xbox One will demand, and that Sony isn’t willing to alienate those markets.