Anti-Used Gaming Feature in PlayStation 4 (Orbis) Could Lead to Serious Backlash

Gamers and retailers aren't going to approve of this system, analysts believe

By on March 30th, 2012 16:21 GMT

The future PlayStation 4, reportedly called PlayStation Orbis, might have a system that prevents used gaming. But this would be a bad move from Sony, at least according to a few analysts who believe that both gamers and retailers like GameStop could start boycotting the device.

Current consoles are quite successful, but most of this success is due to used gaming, which benefits retailers instead of game companies.

As such, you can bet that developers and publishers are pressuring console makers like Microsoft or Sony to put systems in their next platforms, the so-called Xbox 720 or PlayStation 4, which prevent this.

We’ve already heard about such a thing in the next Xbox and yesterday we saw a report that claimed the new PlayStation, codenamed Orbis, wasn’t going to support used game discs.

Such a move would be unfortunate, according to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, who told GI.biz that Sony and Microsoft would face a tough backlash from both gamers and retailers who are now selling used games.

"It isn't really in Sony's or Microsoft's best interests to block used games. It would benefit Activision and EA slightly, and would hurt GameStop a great deal. If Sony unilaterally did this, I could see GameStop refusing to carry their console, and sales of the PS4 would therefore suffer," he said.

What’s more, Pachter emphasizes that there would need to be an alliance between Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo in order to make sure that all of their consoles prevented used games, as failure to do so would just increase the sales of the device who still allowed such a thing.

David Cole of DFC Intelligence backs up Pachter’s voice, saying that hardcore players that rely on used games to fuel their habit won’t be able to maintain their lifestyle due to money issues.

"A system that tried to stop used game sales would probably turn off the core consumers that rush to trade in their old product to buy new product. In other words, I don't think it would do so well in the core market," he said.

IDC Research Manager Lewis Ward also believes that workarounds would certainly be found by enterprising hackers that want to play used games.

"I suspect that, even if disc DRM/security is stepped up a lot, countermeasures will soon surface that will allow physical and digital games to be played on the platform, limiting the effectiveness of the effort," he said.

What do you think? Will the PlayStation Orbis and the Xbox 720 fail because of their anti-used gaming stance?

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Used gaming is important for gamers and retailers
   Used gaming is important for gamers and retailers