Sony PS4: No DRM For Most Games, But 3rd Parties Can Technically Implement It

PS4

Microsoft has come under some pretty heavy fire recently, mostly surrounding issues with its “online check-in” system and its used games restrictions. For Sony, this has been nothing short of awesome news.

Sony has poked at Microsoft’s new restrictions more than once, and made it clear they aren’t planning any similar kind of move. This means no online check-in. No special DRM or trade-in policy either.

That said, there is no guarantee that there won’t be some PS4 games with DRM in place. According to Sony Computer Entertainment of America’s Jack Tretton, it is technically possible that a 3rd party developer COULDutilize such a system, if they so please.

“… we welcome publishers and business models to our platform. There’s going to be free-to-play, there’s going to be every potential business model on there. And again, that’s up to their relationship with the consumer…we’re not going to dictate that.”

“The DRM decision is going to have to be in the hands of third-parties. That’s not something we’re going to dictate, control, mandate or implement.”

Should you be alarmed? No, not really.

This is pretty much how DRM works on consoles right now. Technically it is possible for DRM restrictions for online multiplayer on console games even for the PS3 and 360, but most publishers don’t utilize such methods. This will continue with the PS4.

What this means is that a few occasional games might require some kind of one-time activation, but I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over it. Unlike Microsoft, Sony isn’t building its own DRM system or promoting the idea. Additionally, with all the backlash seen already with the Xbox One, most developers probably won’t be keen to anger gamers any more than they have to.

But is it really all sunshine and rainbows for the PS4? The PS4 has a lot of positives on its side right now, but there are some negative aspects that might annoy some customers. The biggest of these is the fact that a new promotional video for the PS4 uses small text to reveal something that Sony has otherwise not mentioned: playing online will require a Playstation+ subscription.

Still, that’s about the worst of it.

Considering Microsoft also requires you to have a paid Xbox Gold subscription for online multiplayer, this probably won’t be a huge deal for most gamers, especially those jumping ship from the Xbox 360 over the PS4.

What do you think of the PS4 compared to the Xbox One? Do you care about the DRM used games issue or the online-check-in requirements for the Xbox One?

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5 Comments

  1. Stephen Walters says:

    Glad to see you include the two things that everyone seems to be avoiding talking about.

    PS4 isn’t DRM free, it’s DRM optional. Xbox One is DRM optional as well, Microsoft has already said all the “permissions” are up to the publisher. They’ve just centralized the process.

    Sony requires you to have a Play Station Plus account to play online. Meaning that you’re paying them a monthly subscription, but you are on the Xbox as well. What surprised me was how many sites seem to be forgetting you have to pay for both systems every month.

    Always one doesn’t bother me in the least. My TV has a mic and a camera and they’re both always on because the TV requires it for gestures and voice control. The 24 hour check in is a little “intense” my guess is it’s configurable by MS just like the authorization servers for Windows Enterprise can have their checkins configured.

    What I wonder is, what exactly is the objection people have to their system talking to Microsoft? Your current computer, and your cable box and your cell phone are all already doing that unless you’ve hacked them and stopped it.

    I suppose in light of the recent NSA scandal people might be a little more concerned with the government knowing they’re spending far too much time playing video games…

    • Colt Diesel says:

      Drm optional for third party titles. The console itself is drm free. Game makers may employ restrictive measures for their games but they can’t use the system itself to restrict consumers ownership rights. As for the monthly fee I am used to paying for live so for me its better because ps+ is cheaper than xbox’s live.

    • James says:

      It is the same price as Xbox live 50 dollars a year.

    • Colt Diesel says:

      Did xbox live get cheaper? It was $60 dollars and who cares how much it is now I’m getting a PS4.

    • Xplorer4x4 says:

      “What surprised me was how many sites seem to be forgetting you have to pay for both systems every month.”

      False, you don’t *HAVE* to pay for either console if you don’t want online gaming. Now granted with XboxOne you have to have internet but most people buying a $500 console at or shortly after launch are no stranger to the net.

      “What I wonder is, what exactly is the objection people have to their
      system talking to Microsoft? Your current computer, and your cable box
      and your cell phone are all already doing that unless you’ve hacked them
      and stopped it.”

      You seem to be missing the point. A computer will still function with out the internet. A 360/PS3 will function with out internet. If I disconect my desktop from the net and never ever connect it again, it will function to the day a piece of hardware dies. Some games may not function. Some programs may not function, but the system itself still does. From the sounds of it the XboxOne becomes a brick with out the daily check ins. If I am a soldier deployed over seas, for example, and do not have access to an internet connection, my PC functions, my 360 still functions, my PS3 still functions. At least with PC gaming, a monkey could install a no-cd or no-online activation type of crack in most cases. Consoles are much harder to hack. It took years for hackers to find the RGH exploit on the 360, and hackers, last time I checked, have not defeated Sony’s major firmware update a year or more ago that was aimed at preventing the instillation of CFW. Even if they did, it took quite some time to do it.

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