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

Wednesday, 12th 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.



  1. oddeye

    While I do appreciate that Sony has said they would not block used games, that only applies to Sony first party games if you read into it. Third party developers have a choice to use DRM as Sony has said so the system is there to block used games and even charge a fee to use it, (Online Pass).

    We have a few months before the console release and the publishers can see how people are reacting to the used game thing so we’ll see how they do things then. For now, I believe that Sony’s first party games will not restrict used games.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Bomba Luigi

    @1 Its a hughe Diffrence between what MS is doing and what Sony is doing. What Sony is doing is not perfect, because its just like it is on PS3 and 360 now. And it sure is not perfect for quite some Time now, but its much better then what MS tries with XBox One.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. FeaturePreacher

    Perhaps developers should incentivize digital downloads by making them a tiny bit cheaper and carry the best of all the day one dlc offered.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. OnionPowder

    Sony is only allowing publishers to use online passes in the same way they are implemented in PS3 and the Xbox 360. They are not allowing publishers to block offline single player gameplay.

    “Sony has outright confirmed my initial interpretation. As reported by GameFront, Sony has stated that Tretton’s use of the term “DRM” referred only to playing used games online. Essentially, they’re talking about letting publishers use online passes, and no other kind of restrictions.”–256052.phtml

    #4 2 years ago
  5. fudgenasty21

    @1 your welcome

    #5 2 years ago
  6. OnionPowder

    @3 The problem with that is it would destroy retail which they are in no way trying to do. Retail has to count for delivery, clerks, the store cut and other variables that make it impossible to compete with a digital market that prices accordingly (See: PC after 1 month of a launch).

    #6 2 years ago
  7. JamesJAB

    As some one who has worked at a store that sold primarily used games, I can tell you that there is almost zero profit in selling new games. While it may look good on paper selling that new game for $59.99 the store only makes about $5 for the sale.
    Used game sales and third party accessories are the life blood of the video game store. If you take away or severely restrict that, you will effectively kill all of the small mom and pop video game stores.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. WENDiGO

    @6 But you must keep in mind that a lot of gamers like to feel like they truly own their games. A lot of them will want to get their games on disc for that reason, including me. And some don’t like the fear of running out of space on the harddrive.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. El_MUERkO

    When parents go to Game, HMV or an indie to get little Timmy a new console you’ve got to expect they’ll be steered towards the one those shops have more chances to make money from.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. backup

    PC pirates learn something from SOny

    #10 2 years ago
  11. smartalves

    Online pass is a necessary evil. But if I like a used offline game is ok to pay for the multiplayer part.
    One thing is for shure: here, in Portugal, the PS3 (and Xbox) versions of used games selling on official stores (Gamestop, namely) have stupid high prices that it compensates to buy them new outside (stores that sell online like amazon and play).
    Finaly PS4 made a console with a 500 MB hard-disk so we don´t have to uninstall something to play a new game (with games at 12 gb with dlc´s it´s a must)!

    #11 2 years ago

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