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?