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Sony E3 Microsoft PlayStation (Games) XBox (Games) Hardware

Sony's PS4 To Have Less Stringent DRM Than Microsoft's Xbox One 509

Tackhead writes "E3 is turning into Bizarro World this year. Sony has not only promised that the PS4 will support used games without an online connection, they trolled the Xbox folks hard with this Official PlayStation Used Game Instructional Video. Compounding the silliness, and hot on the heels of the political firestorm surrounding Donglegate, Microsoft went for rape jokes during their Xbox presentation." Similarly, onyxruby writes "The Verge covers how Sony has crafted policies explicitly to make the PS4 consumer friendly to the public. They make the case that the PS4 will be superior in nearly every way [to the Xbox Next] by not requiring an Internet connection, not restricting used games, supporting indie developers and selling for $100 cheaper than the Xbox One." And if you're interested in the guts rather than the policies or the politics, Hot Hardware has a comparison of the internals of both of these new offerings.
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Sony's PS4 To Have Less Stringent DRM Than Microsoft's Xbox One

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  • by morcego ( 260031 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:12PM (#43974635)

    The real problem is, it can change any time. PS4 can become more stringent, and XBox One could become less (well, in theory).

    I'm not sure I trust Sony not to be an asshole regarding DRM. It doesn't have that good a track record. It is a good bet the moment the marketing hype dies down, and the stock holders start pressing, they will tighten their DRM.

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:14PM (#43974661)

    But they'll just take it all away in a year or two with a mandatory software update, citing fears of piracy.


  • Yay, less awful? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:16PM (#43974691)

    When faced with two evils, the best choice is not to play the game.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:19PM (#43974733)

    It's funny because at launch you could install Linux on the PS3.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:20PM (#43974759) Homepage

    The real problem is, it can change any time. PS4 can become more stringent

    If it starts out not requiring any internet connection, and you never update it, it won't get any more restrictive.

    It simply won't be given an option by some of us -- my next console will never see a network, because it's not like I trust Sony either. But the next XBox is definitely not something I'll even consider.

  • Re:Joke (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:23PM (#43974825)

    Microsoft went for rape jokes during their Xbox presentation.

    That's what passes for a rape joke nowadays?

    "How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?"

  • That decides it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by areusche ( 1297613 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:24PM (#43974843)
    My next console will be a PS4. Vote with your money, if the Xbox One sells poorly and the PS4 sells record breaking amounts than the point will get across to the middle managers who come up with this junk.
  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:24PM (#43974847) Homepage

    They can, and have in the past, packaged OS updates on game disks. Just saying, it's not as easy to avoid updates as you might imagine.

    Possibly true, but as long as it doesn't need a network connection *ever*, I'll try to live with that.

    Otherwise it, and a steaming pile of shit will be shipped to Sony.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:26PM (#43974869)

    I got an XBox 360 a few months ago. My first one. I also got 7 games from the used/discount bin and paid less than $50 for them, combined. The system has provided me with hundreds of hours of fun so far, and I know there are lots of other great games awaiting me.

    You can wait one, two, even three years and see which way the wind blows for the next generation of consoles. Is the PS4 getting better titles? Is the XBox One as prone to hardware failures as the 360? Did Sony remove features or add DRM to used games? Is either console molesting children?

    Wait and see, and your decision will be much easier. Your wallet will also thank you.

    In the meantime, play on the current systems.

  • by internerdj ( 1319281 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:26PM (#43974873)
    The internet connection thing is big here. I can buy a PS4 and never connect or never patch. I might be locked to launch games but I got something. For Xbox One, I have to connect to the internet at least once (assuming they come to their senses and patch) or it is a brick. There are a significant number of gamers that are SOL with that model and even more that are pissed off by the concept.
  • by anthony_greer ( 2623521 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:29PM (#43974921)

    As a casual gamer, the 360 will be my last console...I will not ask the mothership for permission to use a friends game, sell or buy a used game or whatever...

    both platforms go way too far, I kinda enjoy games but I can live without them...

  • by Sydin ( 2598829 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:32PM (#43974969)
    But as far as I'm aware there's still another platform that offers far higher technical capability, zero DRM, much more flexibility as a media center if that's your thing, and can even be upgraded when parts break or become obsolete. Call me back when the PS4 gets all that, too.
  • by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:34PM (#43974985)

    Wouldn't a mandatory software update require an internet connection? Can't really mandate an update if I don't connect it to the network.

    New games could have a firmware update embedded and force you to update the system in order to play it (the Wii did something similar, although it just installed middleware -- think drivers and extra APIs -- that the game can use to interact with the hardware). The online store can refuse connections if you don't have the update, matchmaking servers can refuse service. It might encourage you to pair up your phone or tablet to it for some neat feature, and enable tethering. New Blu-Ray movies can be required, as part of the terms to license the logo and compatibility marks, to have a few tracks set aside for just-in-case-he-runs-it-on-a-PS4. The damn thing isn't even out yet, there could yet be some kind self-expiring key with a requirement to phone home once a year that we don't know about yet.

    Hell, with how advanced consoles are these days, they could even embed firmware updates in hardware accessories. Buy a new controller? Plug it in, it mounts the internal flash, updates the system.

    Sure this is conjecture and it might be possible for a dedicated person to avoid updating, but they're going to be working off a reduced feature set until they do.

    As much as Sony wants to play up the idea that the PS4 is an island onto itself so you can enjoy entertainment on your terms, those days are long gone. Ultimately, as with any closed source anything, you have no way to know what it wants to do and, ultimately, you don't own the hardware.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:36PM (#43975015)

    They can, and have in the past, packaged OS updates on game disks. Just saying, it's not as easy to avoid updates as you might imagine.

    Possibly true, but as long as it doesn't need a network connection *ever*, I'll try to live with that.

    Otherwise it, and a steaming pile of shit will be shipped to Sony.

    Good, good, so some low-level shipping drone trying to get by on minimum wage will get your steaming pile of shit, question why they still keep this job, and be swiftly replaced by another drone from the cloning vats (they won't run out in your lifetime, nor your kids'!). The shit will be dropped into a bin at the shipping depot, collected, repackaged, and sold to the public at a markup. You WILL wind up buying it (I don't think you fully understand how much Sony owns). Yeah! That'll somehow stick it to those evil, evil executives, I'm sure!

  • by VortexCortex ( 1117377 ) <VortexCortex&project-retrograde,com> on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:44PM (#43975131)

    True, but the only reason they removed it is because people used it to pirate games.

    So, your reasoning is that if Sony modifies their supposedly more open system to make it more closed after launch to fight piracy,
    then we should not worry about Sony modifying their supposedly more open system to make it more closed after launch to fight piracy?

    Well, A.C. at least you have maintained the reputation of your noble collective name.

  • by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:46PM (#43975169) Journal

    Exactly. Sony shut off network access if you didn't run the "upgrade" to remove OtherOS.

  • by headcase88-2 ( 2613991 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:46PM (#43975173)
    A recent relevant example; PS3 entirely removed Linux support a couple years in, even though they were bragging about it quite a lot at launch. Technically, you could keep it, you just can't visit the PS Shop or use any online features (which you paid for, as part of the price of the console) ever again, that's all. Not sure if disc-enforced updates apply to this one or not.

    Since early adopters are more savvy, Sony has every reason to tout their lack of DRM compared to the Bone, for now. Will their DRM be better throughout the generation? Unless Sony makes a pledge (and really, even if they do), it's their choice, not ours.
  • Re:That decides it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BeardedChimp ( 1416531 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:55PM (#43975307)
    Wasn't it decided that after the Sony other OS fiasco et al. that we should vote with our wallets and stop buying from them? I'm voting with my wallet and buying neither.
  • Re:Joke (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cinder6 ( 894572 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:04PM (#43975457)

    Chalk it up to people being outraged because they want to be outraged. Personally, it reminded me of a trip to the dentist. "It'll all be over soon," they say, while gouging my teeth and gums.

    Of course, now I can't stop thinking of how that can be a metaphor.

  • by Vanderhoth ( 1582661 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:05PM (#43975463)

    Not sure if disc-enforced updates apply to this one or not.

    They did, that's how my PS3 was updated.

    Newer bluRay movies require system updates. I wasn't in the room when my wife or cousin put the rented bluRay movie in so I don't know if it had to go out to download the update or if it just ran off the disk. I had turned off the wireless on my PS3 so I don't know if someone reconnected it for the update or if it just came on the disk. So it's Keep the Other OS feature and forget about everything else you bought the console to do or ditch the Other OS feature.

    More reasons, as if we needed them, to pirate movies. Even paying to rent them can have negative effects on your hardware, the pirated version of the movie we watched wouldn't have forced an update to my console.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@nOspAm.world3.net> on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:23PM (#43975707) Homepage Journal

    One thing is for sure. All the hardcore gamers will buy the PS4 because it will almost certainly allow you to use any USB controller you like. The 360 had DRM in the controllers to block unlicensed 3rd party hardware, meaning the only choice for someone wanting a proper arcade joystick or different gamepad was a MadCatz piece of shit.

    Eventually people found a particular MadCatz joystick that had a common ground PCB they could hack into their custom sticks, but it's a really crappy way of doing things. MS killed support for some older MadCatz hardware in an update and their response to complaints was "if it's in warranty return it to the retailer", even though the hardware hadn't been produced for over two years. People in the UK could still get a partial refund but people in the US were SOL.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:27PM (#43975757) Homepage

    You are being ridiculous. This is like complaining that Netflix requires a network connection.

    No, because I don't plan on using the network features, the same as I don't now.

    My current Xbox 360, my old Wii, and all PS3s (as far as I'm aware) have optional networking, but will still run just fine without it. So comparing it to Netflix is incorrect.

    So either they can sell me a gaming console which I can still continue to use totally offline, or I won't be buying them.

    I'm perfectly aware that none of these companies gives a damn about me -- but if the message is "shut up and buy it and deal with it" or "fuck off an don't buy it", then it's more than just me who is going to be saying that we're not interested in this, and if they find themselves with unsold units, too damned bad.

    They can listen to or ignore their customers as they see fit, but they might find themselves unhappy with the results.

  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:28PM (#43975767)

    But do you need a console at all?

    I've got a 360 and a PS3 but whilst the PS4 definitely looks the better option now in terms of picking the option that's most consumer friendly I'm finding it hard to justify buying anything at all this time.

    Whilst I caved and bought a PS3 in the end last time despite being pissed off at Sony, I've been thinking a little harder if I really should be giving money to one of the biggest funders and controllers behind the MPAA and RIAA and that has a track record of screwing customers this time. I think I'll probably just play more PC games.

    I want all the new shiny games but it basically seems now the choice is between getting fucked upfront by Microsoft, or likely getting fucked post purchase by Sony whilst also funding the MPAA/RIAA indirectly as a result.

    As someone else said below, I just feel this time round unless something changes that the only option this time around is simply not to play and avoid the console offerings altogether. Perhaps Sony is changing as a company but I think it's way too early to give them the benefit of the doubt, I'd rather let some other chumps be the guinea pigs after having seen what they did to their customers with the PS3. Maybe in two years time if they've dropped support for the MPAA/RIAA and haven't fucked their customers at all, or if Microsoft has backtracked on all it's stupid decisions this time round I will get one of them, but right now I'm having a hard time justifying it.

    I'll be honest, I want an XBox One because I like the games line up on it a lot, and I always found the 360 and it's controller a much greater pleasure to use than the PS3s and not much seems to have changed in that respect, but there's only so much I can justify taking as a consumer and they've crossed that line right now.

    When the choice is shit, shit, or neither, I'm not sure why people are choosing one of the shits rather than simply neither.

  • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:28PM (#43975769)

    They don't give a damn about a few angered /. posters who swore off Sony because they couldn't run Linux on their game consoles.

    They are, however, KEENLY aware of the legions of users who stopped buying shit from their online store and basically deserted the console following their leaving the customers' credit card data right in the fucking open.

    My PS3 is a standing blu-ray player that isn't allowed to have a network connection these days for good reason, and I suspect Sony realized that there's no chance in hell of my buying their box if it required a net connection knowing their track record on the subject.

  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:30PM (#43975783) Journal

    Microsoft: Surprisingly good on the games front, with Forza looking fairly neat and a good number of titles to announce. Elsewhere it felt like damage limitation. They'd realised by now that people hate the call-home and used-game restrictions and were desperately trying to show that it wasn't as bad as people had assumed. Might have been more convincing if it felt like they even understood it themselves.

    Sony: Actually, a surprisingly glitchy presentation in many ways. Some of the game demonstrations were pretty poor and unpolished. However, none of that matters. They picked the wrong music for the section of their presentation that talked about the PS4 itself; they should have gone with The Rains of Castamere. Sony's presentation was the Red Wedding with Microsoft as the Starks. And oh my word it worked. They've been trolling Microsoft into going down the anti-consumer route for more than a year, hinting that they were going to do the same. Yesterday, they sprang the trap. They clearly enjoyed their own presentation and, to be fair, they deserved to.

    Nintendo: The weakest of the three. Their big announcement was... delays! Lots of delays. A very thin holiday season, supported by a 3d Mario Game that looks like a rushed, resolution upscaled DS game, a remake of a decade-old Zelda game and a Donkey Kong that nobody seemed to be particularly excited about. Things are a little better over on the 3DS front, but Nintendo were sending off a definite message that they're struggling to keep up.

    And predictions based on that?

    Sony probably have the Christmas season sewn up. Barring an RROD-level fiasco, they'll go into the first few weeks of sales with a massive stock of consumer enthusiasm. This is a very different Sony to the one that did the cack-handed launch of the PS3.

    Microsoft need an urgent rethink. Their current strategy looks set to see them take a significant but nevertheless declining share of the US market (consumer loyalty being a significant factor), but completely abandon Asia and - more shockingly - probably get annihilated in Europe and the emerging markets as well. They've invested a shitload of money to get the marketshare they currently have in the home console market, so don't rule them out yet, but unless they revisit some of their fundamentals over the next 6 months, they could face disaster.

    And I suspect Nintendo may already be starting to plan for a post-Wii-U world, where they focus on the handheld business going forward while they decide whether to have another throw of the dice in the home console market or go another direction. The speculation had been that Nintendo's big throw of the dice would be this Christmas, when they'd throw game releases and massive price cuts at the Wii-U to snatch the rug out from under the XB-One and the PS4. In theory they could still do the price cuts, but it's clear now that they don't have the games lineup in position to make that strategy work.

  • by TemporalBeing ( 803363 ) <bm_witness.yahoo@com> on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:34PM (#43975833) Homepage Journal

    Time for a reality check: the incredibly vast majority of people don't give a shit about Other OS. It was a sucky move by Sony to remove it, no denying that, but it affected 0.001% of their user base and perhaps put off half of those if not less. They don't give a damn about a few angered /. posters who swore off Sony because they couldn't run Linux on their game consoles.

    They might not at the moment, but that will have a big effect on PS4 sales, at which point they will. The question is, how big the effect will be.

  • by FuzzNugget ( 2840687 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:59PM (#43976243)
    Choosing what products to buy based on which one has the fewest deplorable anti-features rather than best actual features. Great.
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @02:00PM (#43976249) Homepage Journal

    Time for a reality check: the incredibly vast majority of people don't give a shit about Other OS.

    Time for a reality check: the people who think that this doesn't matter to them are sadly deluded because if it happened to the Linux users it could happen to any other group as well; Sony can and will yank the feature that you care about, and they will not get in trouble for it.

  • Re:Rape joke (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thereitis ( 2355426 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @02:36PM (#43976689) Journal
    Someone's got their Microsoft hate-on with this "rape joke" insinuation. They should be sued for slander and/or defamation of character.
  • by KClaisse ( 1038258 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @04:48PM (#43978291)
    Because that was a feature you PAYED for when you got the system. Maybe you glazed over that feature on the box art but some of us actually bought the damn thing because of it. To have that feature removed after the fact is complete bullshit when I payed money for that specific feature. If they didn't want people to have that option they never should have included it in the first place.

VMS must die!