Game Industry News, quoting Kotaku who quoted a “reliable source,” has revealed rumors on the next Playstation console. Much like the new Xbox rumors, the Sony machine will not play used games as well as PS3 titles. The new console, “Orbis,” is expected to launch during the holiday season of 2013. First and foremost, this is a RUMOR. Second of all, Sony cannot be that stupid to release a machine that isn’t compatible with their back catalog of celebrated titles. Wait. Ah, hell.
Let’s put it this way, Sony can’t be stupid enough to create a machine that won’t play games for a console that is just now finally hitting its stride. As for this “won’t play used games” business, Sony is in a better position than Microsoft to prevent people buying their games used. The Playstation Vita is set up in such a way that it can only be tied to one PSN account. Sony wants to do this on a software level, locking the disc-based or downloaded game tied to your PSN account (where it is always available even after you delete it). If a user purchased a disc-based game, the ideal scenario would involve the second hand buyer getting locked out or forced to play through a trial version.
While it was easy to laugh off Microsoft’s idea of launching a console that cannot play used games, the fact that Sony may have worked out a viable solution is terrifying to me. Publishers and developers can complain all they want, but the truth is used games are a good thing. It is all about getting value for your money. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, charging $60 for stinkers like Rogue Warrior and Duke Nukem Forever is borderline criminal. Continuing to charge more than $50 for Modern Warfare 2 on Xbox Live a year after it was released is an absolute joke. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of backlash we’ll see from gamers if Sony’s war on used games is implemented and picked up by Microsoft and Nintendo.
As always, take this sort of information with a grain of salt.