Sony's message on used games and DRM has been pretty consistent company wide during E3, which is something of a miracle, because when you get too many executives out in the wilds talking to the press, usually one or two of them inserts a foot into an open mouth. The latest to say something that gamers will appreciate is SCE Europe boss Jim Ryan.
Speaking to VG247, Ryan said that the reason Sony did not meddle in the used games market with its PS4 (like Microsoft decided to do with Xbox One) is because it didn't want to mess with the retail ecosystem. Ryan put a particular emphasis on the UK's retail games market, which went through some pretty shaky times last year and earlier this year when both HMV and GAME found themselves in administration.
"We all know just how difficult it is for retailers, and while we’re never going to make a policy decision to cushion the lives of video game retailers in a particular market, it’s a factor that we need our retail partners to survive and hopefully prosper," Ryan told VG247. "That very fragile ecosystem is one I feel shouldn’t be lightly tampered with."
Ryan went on to say that if the PlayStation 4 blocked used games, retailers who get by on a profit from trade-ins could find themselves at risk. Of course most of that trade-in money ends up back in the registers of retailers who give incentives for consumers selling games to buy new ones.
Ryan also noted that Microsoft's connectivity requirement for the Xbox One (as minor as some argue that it is) could be problematic in territories under his control. Sony, he says, does not want to alienate those markets.