Will the no DRM campaign for PS4 work?

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT INC. PLAYSTATION 4

Of course not, there isn’t a chance in hell it’ll work because everything was sadly decided long ago.

No, bad Chris, positive words.

This all started after news leaked that the Xbox one will limit the ability to purchase preowned copies of games, actually forcing the price to nearly that of a new copy. The fine folks over at NeoGAF started this campaign using the hashtags #PS4noDRM and #PS4UsedGames and have messaged the higher-ups of Sony, Microsoft and a few of the third-party publishers and it is a great show of a community standing up for its rights.

It is nice that a lot of notice has been taken of the PS4 no DRM campaign. Some of those high up in Sony have directly referred to the campaign such as Scott Rhode and Shahid Kamal Ahmad. Others in the company have also referred to it in a favourable manner, however never directly mentioning the subject. The media has taken a great interest and so have people from within Microsoft. Does this mean it can work?

Xbox One

Sorry, that’s still a no. As much as I would love to believe that our opinions as consumers will matter, they simply don’t in the grand scheme of things. I have already mentioned before that I personally believe that both Microsoft and Sony have put in a form of DRM to hinder used game sales at the behest of big publishers. Microsoft are the fools for announcing this first and up to now Sony are just sitting behind and letting the damage pile up while figuring out how to make their announcement fly under the radar.

Why the skepticism? Well to start off with ever since the initial furor that began with the Xbox One announcement Sony have been very quiet. A few words have been said to the effect that the PS3 will have used game capabilities but never saying in what respect. Of course that doesn’t help us, the Xbox One will be able to play used games but they will cost considerably more than used-game prices. This silence is ominous to say the least and platitudes along the line of “Please know we’re listening” are one thing, taking it on board is a whole other.

The truly worst thing is that even if they have been put onto this path through publishers, completely ignoring it would still be the smarter option. If, provided my thoughts are correct, Sony now went and announced that the PS4 would be exactly like the PS3 in that it can play any used game with no extra costs it would anger the publishers but generate massive public support. Even if games were held back to begin with the larger number of users for the PS4 would bring the publishers in droves because the simple aim is to sell as many copies as possible which is simply not possible without being on all the formats.

  • Big industry types pushing rules or formats don’t always work. DivX? 3D TV? WebTV? The music industry fought tooth and nail to stop MP3’s from being the way music was sold, desperately trying to keep the format to CD’s. The big publishers fought as hard as they could to stop e-books from taking off. Newspaper publishers did everything in their power to limit and sabotage online news – how many paywalls do you see working at news sites?

    Because Microsoft and Sony want something to happen, or because the big game publishers want something to happen, doesn’t mean it is inevitable. If that were the case all DVD’s would still have Macrovision on them and all PC games would play with Ubisoft’s “have to connect to the server to play” DRM intact.

    The campaign might not stop HOW MS and Sony unleash their current consoles – in that you are likely right. But, in the long run, if they both embrace fully this policy it is going to REALLY hurt them and they will continue to make adjustments to move away from this idiocy.

    • Shizuka

      I really hope so. They are in a different reality to ours altogether if they think it will lead to profit… people into gaming are not often made of money, and we all know that pre-owned games is a massive part of consumption and dealing in stores. It’s sad enough that almost everything requires an internet connection just to WORK, but now this? It will either kill the gaming industry, or severely limit gamers everywhere.