If you’re a gamer, last week saw the emergence of a particularly nasty rumour - that Sony’s next-generation PlayStation will not play used games.
According to Kotaku, which cited inside sources, the next console is code-named Orbis and will be released for the holiday season of 2013. More importantly, the device will lock new games to a PlayStation Network account, thereby rendering them useless to anyone other than the initial buyer.
Sony has a history of trying to lock down its stuff, from copy-protected CDs to proprietary memory cards, which is why many are taking the rumour seriously.
It’s no secret the video game industry hates used games. When chains such as Gamestop/EB Games sell a customer a used game, publishers don’t see a nickel. What makes the studios especially angry is that they spend millions marketing their products, yet the retailers devote more floor space to used games. It’s the free-ride argument, video-game style.
In the United States alone, this costs publishers an estimated $2 billion a year, or more than piracy. It’s no wonder they’re looking to fight back, which they’ve been doing with efforts such as “Project $10,” an early form of what Sony is rumoured to be contemplating. Under this scheme, players get a one-time pass to access the online features of their new game. If they trade that game in, the next owner has to pay $10 for a new pass. Read the rest of this entry »