The Increasingly Complex Issue of Used Games on PS4

Push Square: "The significance of Sony’s stance on used games is spiralling by the day. While the platform holder has categorically stated that the PlayStation 4 will support pre-owned content, the comments made by the likes of Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida seem a bit vague in the wake of last week’s Xbox One gate. But just how complex is the issue, and what can the Japanese manufacturer do to appease both publishers and its loyal fans?"

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Maddens Raiders2503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )


one company's "special relationship" with another one puts the PS4 between a rock and hard place? It's funny to think that a company that is actively trying to fleece more sheep by partnering with other >bloodsucking leeches< like EA and Acti to force fans of games to redundantly pay used game fees is "steering the gaming industry ship"????

Let me get this straight. Sony is not pushing used game restrictions on its console according to Mr. Yoshida and "leaving it up to devs" however MS's machine is geared from day one to close up shop if the money monster isn't properly fed beforehand, all t's crossed, i's dotted, and your heartbeat & retina scanned.... literally.

MS has tried for years to force and push things down peoples throats for more money and they are so full of hubris now that they don't even try to veil it. ///DRM, CAMERA SURVEILLANCE, INTERNET ACCESS SUBS, DATA MINING FOCUS OF THE MACHINE, LESS COMPUTING POWER, MANDATORY CHECK INS, AND GUARANTEED DUMBING DOWN OF GAME QUALITY DUE TO INFERIOR POWER///

This isn't about used games. It's about the money grab taking place by companies that want their cake, eat it too, and shove theirs down your throat. WHY SHOULD A PUBLISHER GET PAID AGAIN FOR A GAME THAT ALREADY SOLD FOR MSRP THE FIRST TIME???? WHAT SENSE DOES THIS MAKE TO ANYONE? What if there was a fee demanded and a retina scan everytime I wanted to open and read article's from my brother's copy of Thrasher? WTF???

If Sony does this shit I will be gladly playing ma PS3 until Hillary Clinton is out of office. The gaming industry can go to hell for all I care. I'm not going to stand for it.


negative2503d ago ShowReplies(1)
GribbleGrunger2503d ago

That, Sir, is spectacular. Bubble.

vitullo312503d ago

its crazy everyone thinks all the hate is on microsoft for no reason, im extremely excited for ps4 but if they tried the same money grabbing tactics as Microsoft i wouldnt buy it either

wishingW3L2503d ago

the sad truth is that the masses don't care.

Boody-Bandit2503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )


The even sadder thing is the consumers who made this industry what it is are being told to get in line or go F yourselves.

We can only hope Sony will stick to allowing the gamer to decide what to do with their property regardless of how we obtain it (new, used or rental).

rainslacker2503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )


It's hard to say if the masses care or not. They haven't been tuned into the conversation or expressed any opinion on it. The media the masses use to get a look at the next gen is so obviously just shilling in the name of corporate interest.

Mainstream articles read like press releases. It's really strange, because these things are the kinds of things that make headlines. "MS monopolizing the used game market", "Kinect is a surveillance device" Those types of topics get peoples attention, and for good reason.

The masses could very well not like this as just like most of us don't. On top of that, the masses not caring is the very reason why they may not bother to go through all the trouble that this new model brings just to play a video game.

kreate2503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )

The sad truth is ...
There are ppl loving to pay for online play and are quite content w it.

What makes this any different?

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2503d ago
-Mika-2503d ago

It disgusting how selfish some of you guys are.

wishingW3L2503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )

Why? Because we don't want our wallets to be raped? Money doesn't grows on threes you know.

Watch this:

WalterWJR2503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )

Do you get off on getting disagrees?

Someone bubble me up as I got dooped for trolling earlier for telling the truth.

vallencer2503d ago

Wait wait wait let me get this straight. It's bad if Microsoft does it but if your beloved Sony does it people are disgusting because they think it's messed up??

Mika you have so many problems that you don't deserve any bubbles....but it's fun to read the crap you spew out :).

MRMagoo1232503d ago


Mika is an xbot troll so i think yuo read their reply wrong.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2503d ago
avengers19782503d ago

If this used games fee stuff is really what we as gamers will be forced to deal with... Then I will buy a my games years after there release when I can get it new for 20$. As consumers we have all the power, our money is what there after, and they might be able to force companies to do things, but they can't force me to give them my $$$$.
Imagine of COD goes from selling 5 million on day one to 100K. I think activision would have a heart attack.

KillrateOmega2503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )

Let's give this man another bubble!

+ Well Said

Eddie201012503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )

The problem is that games can be finished in one or two days of the game being released and then sold back to the store for a little over half it's original retail price and while it's still a recent release be pushed for sale (at five dollars less than retail) by GameStop over an actual new copy causing the publisher to lose a potential new sale. If a publisher does not sell x amount of new copies for which they make a profit you could get fewer or no new games made, and publisher may be less likely to take chances on new and different types of games.

Some say buying selling used games is the same as anything else you buy and sell, it's not. the profit margins for media such as CD's Blu-Rays and video games are very low compared to most electronics, cars, and houses. Media (CD's Blu-ray, Video Games)have to sell many more copies to see a profit or to just brake even. With other things like cars, houses, electronics and other item's, there is a huge profit margin for each item sold making it much easier for the company as a whole to make large profits and continue to be a prosperous company.

My guess is that stores that sell used games will have to pay fees to the console manufacturer and the publisher for each used game they sell. I don't think the consumer who buys used games will have to pay anything but what they normally pay for a used game.

The stores may pay less for buying a game back though.

rainslacker2503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )

I'm not sure how the trade-in price is in any way the problem with all this. Seriously, this isn't about GameStop's trade-in or used game prices.

Also selling used games is the same as all those things you mentioned, for the same reason it is OK to sell all those thing, and that is that we purchased it, so it is ours to do with as we please. It's not the customer's fault that the costs to make the product are higher. If the costs are higher, new game prices can increase, but he market may not bear that increase, so publishers have to find other ways to reduce costs, or increase revenue(MT, DLC). Ultimately, it's a balancing act on the part of the publisher, and they are trying to tip the scales in their favor at the expense of the consumer.

The consumer will have to pay in some way, your last sentence is the consumer paying.

Eddie201012503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )


If stores like GameStop want to cut the console manufacturer and the publisher and developer out of the profit loop by selling and pushing used games over selling new copies, for which they often times make more profit than the publisher and developer make off the sell of a new copy, and by the way GameStop most likely made a profit off the new sale of that game. Then the console manufacturer and publisher have wright to see that they get some of that profit turned in there direction, because the games would not exsist without these companies making them and they don't make them for there health. There also would be no money to be made and consumers would have no games to play.

The stores that buy and sell games are the one that are taking advantage of you not the companies that make consoles and games.

You have to think of the whole picture not just what best suites you. That is if you want the console gaming industry to survive and entertain
your hobby.

As for your last sentence, DUH

waltercross2503d ago

@ Eddie20101

The games won't exist without gamers.
There are two sides to this, Buying used games from Gamestop or whoever and sharing what is yours.

MS doesn't want us to Share what we Bought, Fuck them.

Angrymorgan2503d ago

The thing is everyone is jumping on the pre owned band wagon.
Here in the uk major supermarkets are taking trade ins on pre owned games too, not just game store's.
Asda (part of wall mart) are making profits on em, so in a way I Can understand why m $ and maybe sony too would want a piece of the pie.

But if they think they can charge me the cost of new for pre owned, wont be buying either

waltercross2503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )

But It's not just buying pre-owned games, You're NOT allowed to share what you own with friends/family.

MS is Telling you, You cannot lend a game to Your friend, I mean you could but You have to Deactivate it on your account, then your friend has to pay on his account. Or they could Log into your account(if your not on it!) and They'll play your game on your account....Thats MS's Idea of Sharing.

Imagine having restriction on who can eat your food or barrow one of your yard tools.

EDIT: It wouldn't be that big of a deal if MS just made It completely Digital, Like the case on Steam, but I think even that might push it. Console players Love there Discs and Love sharing them or trading them how they see fit. I use to do this alot.

dcbronco2503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )

Madden let me get this straight. You believe Sony might be forced to block used games because of pressure from devs, publishers and MS. And they will be able to do this by... I guess, re-designing their console. Or is it more likely the console was designed with the ability and they were on the fence as to whether or not to use it.

I'm betting they knew from day one they were going to use it since they said they were leaving it up to devs and publishers. Your list of thing MS has tried to force down peoples throats are things MS and Sony already do or some that nobody has ever done or even tried. Especially not for years.

And I find it strange that so many have a problem with the develop,publisher and MS getting money from used games while not having a problem with Gamestop and others getting a ton of money from used games. Do you believe Gamestop isn't greedy? Have you seen what they offer for a game? A publisher should get paid again because a digital item is pristine when re-sold. It's not like a item that has degraded over time. It's always like a new copy. If you cars remained new forever you would hear the car companies complaining about used car dealerships. Because they are in the business of selling more cars.

They could handle used games differently. Like allow you to send it back to them for a credit towards a new title. But there is no way developers are going to sit back and watch Gamestop make a profit of several hundred million a year based on selling their work. Gamestop has no talent and 51% of their profit comes from selling others work. That's money that could go toward making additional titles. Gamers do want new games, right?

Angrymorgan it's huge profits. Gamestop made a profit of 340 million in 2011. More than half of that profit came from used games. Of course other want a piece of that. These places are making almost as much in profit as the developers are getting before they get hit with their expenses. Once their expenses are taken out developers get nowhere near what Gamestop makes.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 2503d ago
pop-voxuli2503d ago

Sony said, "NO" so whats there to argue about?

Godmars2902503d ago

Something to deflect away from MS very public stance on the subject?

JokesOnYou2503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )

darkride honestly Im not trying to mess with you but nothing you quoted is definitive in regards to no used game **fees**. Simply put they are just saying they WANT to allow consumers to play used games. Its a play on words just like micro.

I mean if sony knows 100% sure right now that there wont be ANY sort of used game fees, why then would senior sony employees not respond to those tweets by stating unequivocally that there wont be a fee for used games, instead of stuff like "we love playstation fans passion" and just saying how allowing used games on ps4 is important to them?

Edit my bad meant to reply below

Anon19742503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )

I know. Over the past few months there has been a cavalcade of Sony employees that have lined up and said they're not restricting used game sales, the console never has to go online if you don't want, that DRM would be left up to the devs and publishers, etc.

I don't get these articles talking about "Sony's silence" on the matter. They haven't been silent! Do some research instead of just stirring the pot.

Jack Tretton - SCEA President "for the record, I'm totally opposed to blocking used games. I think it's great for the consumer that they can buy those. We have a customer that buys our console late in the cycle, pays less, is looking for value priced games, and I think it would be anti-consumer for us to do that."

Michael Denny - Sony vice president of Worldwide Studios. "the company will "do the right thing" with regard to used games."

Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Computer Entertainment "“When you purchase the disc based games on PS4, that should work on any hardware,” Yoshida confirmed."

Again...Shuhei Yoshida - Sony Worldwide Studios head

“So, used games can play on PS4. How is that?”

Did they stutter? It amazes me that just a couple of months ago, the issue was soundly put to rest and sites like Gamespot, Destructoid, IGN, Engadget, Joystiq, Eurogamer...they were all running headlines that the matter was done. And now there's people crowding around, still kicking that dead horse saying "Look, it moved! It's going to get up and run any second now!"

Corpser2503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )

Because couple months ago, the main concern was the Sony patent that uses RFID to block used games, nobody thought of that they can allow used games but charge a fee/online activation until the ms reveal. All these quotes you mention leaves the possibility of restricting used games via online activation, the Yoshida interview already said it can be up to the publisher.

What if all ps4 games require online activation?

Anon19742503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )

"What if all ps4 games require online activation?"

First off, that rather runs contrary to Sony's previous statements that you would never have to take your PS4 online if you didn't want to.

Secondly, how is that different from what we have now? Sony already allows developers to build in DRM in the PS3 which many developers have taken advantage of to allow access to different game features. You honestly believe that suddenly, every developer is going to lock down their games with online activation overnight simply because they can? They can do that already and largely, they haven't.

Given Sony's repeated commitment to allowing used game sales, who says Sony would even let them? Not even mentioning the fact that such a block would go against first sale doctrine and has been deemed flat out illegal in the EU.

From the recent EU ruling..."software authors and publishers "cannot oppose" the resale of previously purchased games on physical OR digital formats" no matter what they want to write into their EULA's.

So if they want their software sold in Europe, legally they CAN'T block the sale of used games. While Xbox is getting around this by setting up their own license trading scheme, I'm sure it'll end up with a court challenge in the end as it's obviously against the spirit of the law. Sony isn't even rumored to be considering such a thing.

Everything that they've said leading up the the PS4's launch and after indicates Sony is completely opposed to restricting used game sales. You read the quotes. They consider it "anti-consumer."

Sony's had patents on technology to block used game sales for over a decade now. I remember prior to the PS3's launch, this exact conversation happened because someone unearthed a patent that would sign disks to one console and one console only. Everyone started sounding the alarm bells then as well and guess what? It never happened. The sky didn't fall.

You could sit and fill a book of "what if" scenarios that Sony hasn't specifically ruled out. "Wait a minute. Sony never said they wouldn't charge extra fees for used game sales. And Sony never said they wouldn't let developers lock down every single game on their device! Hell, Sony never said the PS4 won't rise up in the middle of the night and kill my cat! Why are they being silent on the matter!"

These "What if's" are just baseless speculation. What if Sony's controllers are only good for one use and you have to buy another? They haven't said otherwise. It's like the negative attack ads you see run during political campaigns "Yoshida says he has consumer interest at heart, but once elected will he command your PS4 to rise up and kill your cat? He hasn't said he wouldn't." Dun dun daaaaa!

How about we stick to what they've said instead of making up doomsday scenarios? With Microsoft, it's what they've said that's causing the concern. Sony's been more than clear on where they stand concerning this issue. These "What if, what if, what if?" conversations are pointless. Just the fact that EA (EA! The king of nickel and dime) has backed away from online passes speaks volumes on the issue.

PANTHER10302503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )

Sony needs the triumph at the next gen for surviving, this is only possible if Sony makes an accessible system for all, including consumers, programers, publishers, distributors and second hand stores like Gamestop. Yoshida said at a interview that are a large number of countries that dont have a decent internet conection, specially countries with increasing economies like Brazil and India where Sony built factories in response at large demand of electronic devices. For this reason the PS4 can be used completely offline, because Sony needs to win these new markets and this is only posible if the new machine doesn't have important restrictions.

However, Yoshida also mentioned that the publishers could implement DRM system.

OC_MurphysLaw2503d ago

Sony said they wouldn't block used games and they could play on their system... note that MS also says the same thing. The key is in the language used people.

Sony said we wont require constant online connection and would leave that up to the publishers... "“Did we consider it? No, we didn’t consider it," said Yoshida. "The main reason being that many countries don’t have robust Internet connections. It makes sense for people to have Internet connections to play online games, but for offline games there are many countries that we saw [that] do not really have robust Internet.”

...again look at the what they said... look at what MS said. We wont require always online is different then an internet connection will be required.

Sony has plenty of wiggle room in how they positioned themselves.

CaEsAr-2503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )

I'm really concerned that Sony will follow MS steps regarding DRM and used games. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Sony fan, always was, always will be. But I think the reason why EA ditched online pass is to implement this horrible policy on their games. And maybe that what drives them to not develop games for Nintendo, who knows.

Sony is my last hope for nextgen.

wishingW3L2503d ago

publishers are subtly pushing for it. They deny it but it's obvious something is going on with them.

Majin-vegeta2503d ago (Edited 2503d ago )

Lol,just cuz M$ is doing this doesn't mean Sony will follow.

And before you give that damn lame excuse of."Devs will just stop making games for that particular console".Do you think they are stupid to alienate millions of customers and lose millions of dollar just to make it one console??Where there is a used game fee?Think about that nice and hard.Those people would be getting shutdown left and right.

Edit:Not to mention DEVS make their money back on DLC.

E.G.I had to buy Red Dead used since there were no new copy's around my town when i wanted it.So i bought it used and i loved the game i decided to buy all it's DLC.Bam R* just made their money back.

McScroggz2503d ago

The issue of used games is indeed a very complex one. Of course Microsoft wants more money. Of course publishers want more money. However, because of the proliferation of used games without any penalties actual game developers are losing a lot of potential profit. It's true that because of renting games or buying used, that some franchises are able to increase their adoption rates. But, sadly, there are games that never get a sequel because it didn't sell well, something used games had at least a small factor in.

I understand the fervor over used games. I do. I just think there needs to be a middle ground where GameStop and other retailers aren't leeching large amounts of potential profit from game developers but also where the consumer doesn't feel like he/she has no alternatives except buy new and never share. I don't know what system to implement, but unfortunately it seems that ANY change to the way things are now for used games is seen as anti-consumer and evil and will be vehemently opposed.

What we know/assume about Microsoft's used games policy is not good. Hopefully the PS4's variable pricing is a positive step towards developer's selling more copies of their games. I must admit though I do have a hard time believing Microsoft is going to have these used games policies and Sony will have nothing similar.

Oh, and I find it funny how many people say they won't buy a next gen console and instead will buy a PC if these used games features are true when there isn't a market at all for used PC games.


vitullo312503d ago

have you seen steam sales these days you can get all kinds of cheap games on pc from steam.. good ones too and if sony follows microsoft and their garbage i wont be buying either and i will stick with my pc and steam.
as for now 4 > 1 any day call me a fanboy all you want but i have a 360 and a ps3 i buy every console including handhelds because i love video games but Microsoft has failed in my eyes so far in terms of gaming i dont need a cable box and im not paying for live anymore

McScroggz2503d ago

Oh I understand PC gets great deals! Humble Bundles rock! But, that's completely separate from the used games issue. While I don't think Sony will be as aggressive in making deals, I do get the sense that they are going to at least try doing the various themed sales like Steam, as well as a more modern pricing of digital sales.

rainslacker2503d ago

The only thing I could possibly see being acceptable to gamers is maybe making used sales time restricted. Like a new game couldn't be resold in the first 6-12 months. After that, games sales are rarely calculated into the success of the game because the game is no longer produced and it's just the scraps left out there at retail. Overall, this solution would manage to achieve it's goal of not having the used market affect the new market. But it also means that new games would be priced higher longer.

On the other hand, this is still restricting sales, and the EU may not go for it. I know of no product that can be resold that has a time limit on that resale. This idea would probably be accepted by the gamer at large, but would still receive plenty of complaints.

It does open the possibility that it means that your games would be playable a long way down the line after companies decide to drop their authentication servers though.

Just putting it out there. I don't like this idea much either, but it does show that there may be compromises that can be made where most people could be accepting of it. Gamers don't want to see the industry fail, and in general it seems they want to let publishers make money, they just aren't keen on giving up their consumer rights for that to happen.

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