Sony’s still very quiet about PlayStation 4 DRM

4 min read


The Xbox One was revealed last week – and it’ll have built in digital rights management. We all know how that’s turned out; swathes of die-hard Xbox gamers have threatened to switch their allegiances, some even over to Nintendo and its Wii U. Most though, are hedging their bets on the PlayStation 4, because nobody wants a console with DRM. Here’s the thing though; Sony hasn’t actually confirmed that its PS4 won’t contain DRM.

In a couple of interviews, Sony’s Worldwide Studios Boss Shuhei Yoshida has said that the PlayStation 4 won’t block used games – nor will the console require a persistent internet connection. That said, neither will the Xbox One. It’s not blocking used games at all – it just hides them behind a paywall. Nor does it need to be connected to the internet at all times; it’ll just need to be connected every now and then to “phone home” and make sure the correct licences are in place. Could the PlayStation 4 be the same?

Sony’s been very vague. The Doritos-munching, Mountain Dew-guzzling games industry pundit Geoff Keighly says that, according to his sources, Sony is indeed planning on some sort of DRM.

"…The one thing that is amazing to me is that right now we’re not hearing a lot from the game publishers about what their view is on this. The console companies are becoming the bad guys. And, you know, Microsoft is getting beaten up a lot on it. Sony, I think, has been seen as this kind of white knight so far that’s not going to restrict used games. Based on some of the things I’m hearing, I don’t think that’s entirely true, because I can’t see publishers allowing one system to do one thing and one do another."

And in that regard, he’s right. Publishers just wouldn’t stand for it. they could, potentially, be making a fair bit of extra money with second hand game sales on the Xbox One, and they’d definitely want an extra slice of the PlayStation’s 4’s used game revenue. That said, it does seem that Sony is paying very close attention to the furious internet backlash surrounding the Xbox One’s DRM – and according to one neoGAF poster who’s regularly in the know regarding Sony, the company is phasing out plans to use DRM on the PS4.

“The gist of it is that Sony is listening to the backlash that Microsoft is getting and they are basing decisions off of this,” famousmortimer explained on the forums.

“I can say, for sure, that the past week’s PR nightmare for MS has not been lost on Sony and they, in fact, do have a used game ‘solution’ working and have been going back and forth for months on whether to use it. This past week is pushing them strongly into ‘Yeah, let’s not use that.’”

Sony’s silence is a little worrying – but lets hope that all of this negative attention works out in our favour – and that Sony (and maybe even Microsoft) drop this entire idea. Now’s a good time to remind you all that the Wii U plays used games just fine.

Read  Why Monster Hunter World isn't coming to Nintendo Switch

Last Updated: May 27, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Deon Steyn

    If MS makes bad decisions and people pour bile and syrup on the internet Sony will take note of this and do something different. Both companies are selling the same console hardware wise essentially. It’s how they treat the consumer that will determine sales. Americans will still blindly buy XBOX though.

    • Admiral Chief Commander

      while true, and sorta funny, this is how i feel abou it

      • Deon Steyn

        Owls hey?
        What does an owl need after his bath?
        A t-owl

        • Admiral Chief Commander

          You are a real hoot

  • Rince an repeat

    I don’t see SONY not going the DRM way if MS do. They would lose far too much, and in the end it is about the MONEY…

    • Deon Steyn

      Agreed it’s about the money. So does Sony want more or less customers? DRM would likely drive customers away. But we will soon see.

      • Rince an repeat

        Agree. But if there is no choice will people just abstain from buying any games? I don’t see that happening.

        • Deon Steyn

          PC FTW then.

          • Rince an repeat

            Damn straight! Also, I think I’ll be buying a PS3…

        • Umar ‘No Shana’ Bastra

          Not a fat chance in hell of that happening … junkies

          • Rince an repeat

            Yeah, so these companies have us by the short hairs!

          • Umar ‘No Shana’ Bastra

            short hairs of our hairy balls

          • Trevor Davies

            Please don’t tempt Darryn to put up another Manly Monday ION :/

    • FoxOneZA – X-Therminator

      Then I would see developers supporting the Xbox One more than the PS4. I was reading articles about just how much profits are made by secondhand stores in the US and it’s staggering. In some cases, used games can sell for more than a new sale.

      • Rince an repeat

        Yeah, the developers are only interested in what can bring the bucks in. Why do you think there are so many incarnations of CoD? MONEY!

        • FoxOneZA – X-Therminator

          Too right!!! And who’s money is it? It’s our money!

          • Flash

            When it comes to CoD…not mine 😛

  • Uberutang

    Well, Microsoft will also have a hard time with their always on camera system in countries with end user friendly privacy laws.

    I all ready for see trouble for it in Germany and Australia.

    • Yup…got that coming up later today.

    • Double-O-Six and a half

      I’m surprised more people haven’t picked up on this. I really don’t want some perve from MS watching me playing with my One in my underpant…! I could end up being some Flickr icon or something equally distasteful that I wouldn’t want to put internet-joe-public through…

  • Lourens Jordaan

    OK Geoff, how does the “Wii U plays used games just fine” if there are no games on the Wii U to begin with?

    • Heh. Fair point. 😛

    • Umar ‘No Shana’ Bastra

      Well the wiiU can play wii games, used wii games, as well as used wiiU games. what people don’t realize that the WiiU is the perfect console

  • Umar ‘No Shana’ Bastra

    This is the opportunity of a lifetime for Sony … they get to sit back and watch how the world reacts to these DRM models, if they have indeed been watching Sony would know, if they had anything like this planned, they would go down in flames. So they have a front row seats on how to win this gen. They have that magic ball that can see the future.

    Another thing, Douche Keighly is becoming very irritating. I cant listen to the once face of gaming journalism anymore.

  • Tasty peas mixed with porridge

    They are all in bed with each other.

    WE DO NOT TRUST these fckers anymore.

    The last 7 years was a fcking mess. I hate to think of the future cluster of shit ideas a changes on the fly with regular firmware updates.


    • FoxOneZA – X-Therminator

      There;s the Wii U winking at you in the corner 😉 😉

      • Tasty peas mixed with porridge

        The internet also Fcked that console with its 5.5 gig Mandatory install out of the box. With bricked units if the download was cut halfway.

        It is a fcking joke.

        • FoxOneZA – X-Therminator

          And here I freak out with the bi-monthly PS3 updates that cap out at 200mb 😕

          I hope Sony have implemented an incremental update system with the PS4.

  • Hillbilly gamer

    Rock and Hard Place that’s where Sony is now, DRM free to make gamers happy so they will buy there console or implement DRM to make publishers happy to have games for there console.

    • If people buy more PS4s than XBOs, then publishers who want money will be FORCED to make games for the PS4 if they want money.

      If not, then this generation might just be the last one for awhile due to the signs of the 2nd great video game market crash.

  • ALKi1234

    One thing that really pisses me of is the internet connection required to copy content from my vita to ps3! i-tunes tarted this bullshit!

    • I hate that so much! I don’t even see why it’s necessary…

    • Surging

      from computer to vita aswell which is just stupid but i suppose it stops pirated games and custom firmware but then again thats no problem for hackers too break

  • Darren Peach

    Back to PC gaming if the new consoles do have always on requirements, Even if its just a once now and again check……My umbilical cord was cut at birth. I am old enough not to have to check if I have to be home at ten from my parents….

    • Teal’c

      Well Said!

  • Rock789

    “This make me sad in pants”.
    I get the reasons, but DRM is still the devil… Wrapped in plastic and definitely not fantastic!
    Perhaps the PC master race will be growing once again after all…

  • Uberutang

    My prediction:

    SONY is going to come out and say: By default you do not need to activate your game to your account (DRM) and you can resell to your mates,
    but the PUBLISHER will have the option to enforce DRM and block used games (or charge a fee to transfer the game licence between users).

    So if you want to get angry, get angry at the Publisher not us 😛

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    Sony better deliver, or I’m buying a Wii U.

    • phrost

      Nobody can ever be that desperate.

  • mancera

    I’m half expecting a shock release from the likes of Sega, Nintendo or the like, would be awesomely funny if they took all the info from the Xbone and PS4 and created a new console that kicks their butts and has no DRM, no always on, and no big brother cameras.

    Can you imagine the looks on their faces? HAHAHAHA

    Ok I’m done…

  • CypherGate0

    Current gen will be making lots of money even when these consoles launch with there unique DRM management systems. Thats if PS4 goes the same way as XOne. Another point is that if Microsoft and Sony goes this route then Nintendo could come out on top this gen again. Even if they just release first party games and not many third party.

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