Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida has told Eurogamer that PlayStation 4 will not block the use of second-hand games, contrary to various reports, speculation and even a Sony patent unearthed last month.
I sat down with Yoshida a few hours after the PS4 reveal tonight and one of the first things I asked was whether used games would be blocked.
"Do you want us to do that?" he asked.
No, I said. I think, if you buy something on a disc, that you have a kind of moral contract with the person you've bought it from that you retain some of that value and you can pass it on.
Do you agree, I asked?
"Yes. That's the general expectation by consumers," said Yoshida. "They purchase physical form, they want to use it everywhere, right? So that's my expectation."
So if someone buys a PlayStation 4 game, I asked, you're not going to stop them reselling it?
"Aaaah," was Yoshida's initial answer, but seemingly only because he'd forgotten his line. "So what was our official answer to our internal question?" he asked his Japanese PR advisor. The advisor stepped in but didn't seem to answer clearly, at least to my ears. Yoshida then took control again firmly:
"So, used games can play on PS4. How is that?"
I said I thought that was fine.
Interestingly, I also spoke to a Sony source elsewhere at the event this evening who told me that the anti used-game patent discovered last month was actually nothing to do with PlayStation 4 at all.
The patent suggested that discs would come branded with a contactless tag that could be recognised and read by your console, which would then bind it to you and prevent you from selling it on.
But whatever reason Sony did have for patenting it, it sounds like it wasn't for its next-generation console. Hopefully Microsoft will also avoid this ludicrous technology with its next-generation Xbox as well.