Reports are coming out that Sony, similar to Microsoft, is giving game publishers more control over used games. Sony reports that publishers can block online functions on used games or charge users of used games a fee to unlock all of the games online components. This is quite contrary to their digs at XBOX policy during E3 and another indication that game publishers are eager to tap into the margins that retailers have been enjoying in the used game market.
Sony wasn't doing GME any favors. They just took a jab at MS with great affect. It still doesn't address the business models of the publishers. So the consoles CAN play used games. Sell it, lend it out, give it away, business as usual. Great. But what if the publisher comes out and says, new title X would be available for download purchase for $5 -10 less than the disc. You just cut out the cost of packaging, distribution and the retailers' cut; in affect, passing the savings onto the consumers. In additional, you just gave the consumer the unrealized equity of selling back a used game. To make it warm and fuzzy, we'll make it available at the store as well. You end up with a segment of gamers that can't lend their games out anymore. So if you're not lending title X out to me, I'm going to take the $10 discount as well on my next purchase.
... Sony has backtracked somewhat on its promise that'll you be able to play second-hand games on the PlayStation 4, saying in a statement sent to CNET, "Similar to PS3, we will not dictate the online used game strategy (the ability to play used games online) of our publishing partners."
Will not dictate the *online* used game strategy? Does this mean that if a PS4 owner goes online to play multiplayer, that EA and others could require confirmation on *its servers* that the PS4 owner actually owns title to that multiplayer game? Without further clarification, I think that's what Sony means. If so, this is a huge deal, and basically means that Sony is allowing publishers a back door approach to control used as well as downloaded games.
MS and Sony has been lobbing carefully chosen words around. But we haven't heard from any of the publishers. Ultimately, it sounds like they are the ones that decides the fate of used games. My guess is that they have no obligation to announce their stance on the matter until new titles are released.