Sony’s Andrew House, speaking to The Guardian, has claimed that Sony had no intention of adding any kind of restrictive DRM to the PlayStation 4, and always intended to keep it the same as it has been for three generations.
“Dating from about our February event, there had been questions about what our online policy would be,” said House. “And I have to say that we were slightly perplexed, because we had no intention of changing from a model that I think has served us really well for several platform life-cycles.”
“And then, of course, it was really the actions of others, and the reaction coming from consumers, which led to more speculation. So we felt that with E3… it was a really good opportunity to set the record straight. But there weren’t any changes that we’d been considering.”
House adds that there hadn’t been any publishers he was aware of lobbying to get Sony to change the model. “And we didn’t feel any sense that we needed to respond to any external pressure.”
“I think there’s a very careful balance to strike,” he said, speaking about second hand games. “We’re a game publisher ourselves, so there’s a certain argument for us that there should be something of a model for content-creators to participate in second sales.”
“Having said that, however, the consumer sees ownership as a very key benefit when purchasing a physical product. And the flipside of the argument is that retailers will tell you that the vast majority of trade-in value gets immediately repurposed into new purchases of games, and those people in turn generate word of mouth and create more interest.”
Microsoft originally planned to have all kinds of always-on DRM in their Xbox One, but famously reverted back a couple of weeks ago.