Sony left Microsoft with a sour taste in their mouths by announcing at E3 that the Playstation 4, unlike the Xbox One, will not enforce any DRM restrictions, meaning that any PS4 game disc can be rented, traded, lent to anyone etc. with no checks or restrictions.

While this is completely true with any SCE titles, it may or may not be the the case with third-party games.

Sony Entertainment America president Jack Tretton appeared on GTTV [as cited by CVG] where he confirmed that, “the DRM decision for third-party games will be up to publishers,” meaning that the likes of EA or Ubisoft can still apply DRM restrictions should they choose to do so.

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

The official statement from Sony explains:

  • Any PS4 game disc can be rented, resold, offered to friends (etc) with no checks or restrictions.
  • The online (multiplayer) component of third-party games could be restricted to second-users (with a paid online pass required to unlock).
  • However, the online component of third-party games may not be locked – the decision is down to the publisher.
  • When it comes to first-party games, there will be no online restrictions.
  • Traditional DRM policy (no lending) applies to digitally downloaded games, as usual.

In a note to investors last week [as cited by GameSpot] Wedbush gaming analyst, Michael Pachter predicted that the majority of publishers will not block used games, claiming it would be a mistake that would lead  to a “huge backlash,” for the publisher.

“In our view, any publisher that disables used gaming risks a backlash or boycott of its titles by gamers, negatively impacting sales,” he said.

“They would face a huge backlash. They wanted manufacturers to do the dirty work, and both refused.”

Lets hope the powers that be agree.