Sony's eventual adoption of anti-used games policy
Ok, I realize what I may chalk up here will be scrutinized, torn apart, or even wholly dismissed, but I will attempt to express my feelings and opinion on Sony's and Microsoft's theoretical used games policies.
Well, we know a ton about Microsoft's Xbox One's used games policy already. Exact information has not been provided, but we do know that used games will be allowed to be traded in to retailers and the sales of those used games to new owners will be split into basically three separate funnels of revenue to three separate receivers. The first portion will be reserved for the publisher, the second portion will be reserved for Microsoft, and the third remaining revenue will be held onto by the participating retailer.
Essentially, ownership rights will be stripped from the original purchaser and will be transferred to the new owner. So far, that's all we really know. We don't know how the revenue will be split up between the three parties, but the retailers have the opportunity and flexibility to set the price of the used game at whatever they find reasonable. So, going off of that, I'm going to assume that the revenue gained will be split up according to percentages and not by a specified dollar amount.
So, there. That's the used games policy on the X1 side.
Now, let's move toward Sony's PS4.
First, let's get something out of the way, something which may indeed spell the direction in which Sony may be heading in for their PS4 console.
Unlike Microsoft in regards to their Xbox 360 console with their first party games, Sony has had implemented online PSN passes in order to play a number of their first party titles online.
Let's make a list of these PS3 games.
1. Resistance 3
2. ModNation Racers
3. SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 3
4. Twisted Metal
5. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
6. Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
*there may be more Sony games that use the PSN pass, but I think I've made my point.
This highlights the different philosophies the two companies have in the current generation of consoles.
Now, going into the next generation, we have a better picture of where the two companies are coming from.
If not charging fees to retailers for second-hand video games, we can at least be sure that these online passes for Sony's first party titles will carry over to the PS4.
Now, let's get to the third party publishers in regards to the PS4. Sony has commented that it will be up to the publisher whether or not to block used game sales. You have to understand that this is a very vague statement. Several meanings can be drawn from it and we can't be sure of anything until Sony comes out into the open and highlights their exact plans for their used games policy. Only then can we, with utmost certainty and precision, compare the used games policies of the two tech giants.
One meaning we can take from Sony's statements is that publishers can fully or partially block access to their games, games that can be made to be checked, upon insertion into the PS4, for verification, etc. Sony has already confirmed their console to have the access to run off-line, but in what measure? If the publishers design their discs so that the buyer cannot gain access to any of the content without online verification, I don't think Sony would be able to block the publishers from doing so...unless Sony outright refuses to green-light such games to be made for and sold for the PS4. So, even if Sony might not force an online check for their first party titles, other publishers can make their games so that this may happen.
See? This used games stuff is very confusing.. :/
Honestly, I believe that major third party publishers have already pressured or are in the process of pressuring both Sony and Microsoft of building in anti-used games policies. This, of course, is financially favorable to both publishers and console makers. Without an anti-used games policy, these parties wouldn't see a dime from used game sales and publishers and developers, including Quantic Dream, EA, Activision, etc., have been very vocal in their stance against used games and I believe they are seeing their power and influence among both Microsoft and Sony coming to an ultimatum in the next generation of console gaming.