Only days after reports claimed the PlayStation 4 release date would not bring Sony's first anti-used game console to market, Sony executives are apparently singing a different tune during closed-door meetings with the members of the press.
Speculation about the potential block has circulated in the weeks and months leading up to numerous console launches in recent years, as publishers and console owners become more vocal in their discontentment with the second-hand games market's existence; however, recent rumors regarding the PS4 picked up quite a bit of steam with the a patent was discovered which protects Sony's legal ownership of the technology. While companies regularly patent technology that they have no plans of marketing/manufacturing, this particular IP had many gamers worried.
So, when Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida confirmed the PlayStation 4 would be used game-friendly on Wednesday, many assumed that the speculation could finally be put to rest; however, a new report suggests the technology's possible inclusion is still on the table.
While some wrote off the rumors as little more than pre-announcement speculation, many began to wonder if there wasn't some truth to the PlayStation 4 speculation, particularly once similar rumors began to circulate about the Xbox 720. After all, the decision to abandon the second-hand market becomes far less risky if both Sony and Microsoft's next-generation consoles were making the jump, and both companies' silence on the matter did little to alleviate gamers' concerns.
Of course, given the company's refusal to discuss the console, prior to Wednesday's "PlayStation Meeting", Sony's reluctance to address the anti-used games tech rumors in the days before the PS4 unveiling shouldn't have come as a huge shock. That said, when the topic didn't come up during Sony's Feb. 20 press event either, Eurogamer's confirmation from Yoshida became a lifeline to concerned PlayStation 4 fans across the globe.
It didn't take long for Sony to backtrack on those claims though, with the very same Sony executive telling members of the gaming press that PlayStation 4 game publishers would ultimately decide whether or not used games were playable on the PS4. The revelation has been far from popular with PlayStation fans, with few trusting companies like Electronic Arts, Activision, and Ubisoft to play nice with the second-hand games market that the game publishers so openly despise.
Worse, Sony isn't even sure if PlayStation 3 owners' digital purchases in the PSN store will carry over to the PS4. Surprisingly, the company didn't even cite PlayStation 4 hardware limitations when asked; Yoshida simply told reporters that a decision hadn't been made by Sony at that time.
It's certainly possible that Yoshida is simply acknowledging the existence of games like "Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D", which cannot have their progress wiped (essentially removing them from the second-hand market), while offering an answer vague enough to keep the PlayStation 4 appearing in headlines for a few more days. But it's also becoming far harder to ignore the possibility that Sony and/or a variety of third-party publishers could be actively looking to force gamers to purchase new copies of PS4 games.
What do you think of Sony's flip-flopping on the matter of used games? Would a block of some/all used games be a deal-breaker for you?
Let us know in the comments section!