While Sony didn't pull a Nintendo by showing off the console after the event, we still have no idea what the PlayStation 4 will look like other than probably having glossy black paint. Other than the console, Sony executives avoided certain topics during the conference but later revealed them to the media post last night's event. Will the PlayStation 4 block used games? What will happen to all the PSN titles purchased for the PlayStation 3? Will the PlayStation 4 require being online in order to play games or use other applications? I've got your one-stop-shop for all post-event news right here.
Will the PlayStation 4 block used games?
The straight forward answer that Shuhei Yoshida, President of Worldwide Studios for Sony Computer Entertainment, told Eurogamer was that "used games can play on PS4". Despite there being a recent patent filed dealing with software discs being binded to an account on a certain console rendering it unplayable on any other console, Sony won't be using the technology for the PlayStation 4 as reported by GamePoltics from an unnamed source. For those who sold their GameStop stocks after the announcement of such patent, you probably lost a bunch of money as I'd imagine their stocks would be rising despite the announcement of a couple hundred stores during the year that have been unprofitable.
What does this mean for the consumer and the publisher though? Will the PlayStation 4 include an unlock code though that allows used games to continue to be traded while giving publishers and developers their fair share? These announcements are still fairly new so new confluence paths could lead consumers back into Microsoft's arms or keep them within Sony's depending on how the PlayStation brand wants to play the market within the next decade. Yoshida told GamesIndustry this morning that retail is still important to the PlayStation brand, "We believe retail will still play a key role to get games in front of people."
What will happen to all the PSN titles purchased for the PlayStation 3?
Shuhei doesn't shy away from the truth as he told Engadget that games and game saves from your PS3 won't be transferred over to the PlayStation 4. After boosting PSP game sales with the UMDs before the release of the PS Vita in hopes of the digital trade program, Sony must have taken it upon themselves to clarify that there might not be such a program between the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. What does this mean for all of the games that you've been purchasing since November 2006? Right now, I'd suggest not trading in your PlayStation 3 as not only are there plenty of exclusive games still yet to come out but the fact of the matter that your digital copies of the Uncharted series may only be playable on your 3rd Generation console.
How will Sony compensate for this? With the technology of Gaikai, PlayStation Europe's Twitter tweeted that games from previous consoles will be playable on the PlayStation cloud service. Once again, there is confusion on how we'll access such games. Will we need to purchase a license to play particular games? Will we need to update our digital licenses by purchasing a service upgrade fee for each game or will the PlayStation cloud service, presumably called PlayStation, being offered for a monthly subscription similar to Netflix but for gaming? If it wasn't clear already, PlayStation 3 discs won't be playable on the PlayStation 4 as of the information we've been given.
Will the PlayStation 4 require to be online in order to play games or use other applications?
Though next-generation features such as online interaction between games and friends is crucial to the PlayStation 4's selling point, the PlayStation 4 won't require players to be online as reported by EuroGamer. When it comes to certain applications like Netflix or games like Destiny that require access to online servers for game or application information, obviously those will require online connectivity but as a large portion of the United States are still stuck on dial-up or satellite Internet connections it seems like Sony took the smart business move as requiring online connection would potentially ruin future support for the next-generation console.
Shuehei Yoshida is back again to clarify Eurogamer question the need for the PlayStation 4 to be online: "You can play offline, but you may want to keep it connected. The system has the low-power mode - I don't know the official term (standby-mode) - that the main system is shut down but the subsystem is awake. Downloading or updating or you can wake it up using the tablet, smartphone or PS Vita." While the system would encourage online connectivity, there is really no reason why most gamers would need to connect online unless they want to use Netflix or download an exclusive PSN title.
Will countries outside of Japan receive a price cut for the PS Vita?
On the 18th, Sony announced on their PS Vita Heaven stream that in Japan the PS Vita would receive a price cut of over 5,000 yen which would translate to about 40US$. This morning when questioned by Scott Lowe of IGN, Shuhei responded by saying the decision for regional pricing is decided upon how well each local market is performing with the system. As one looking to purchase a PS Vita within the next year, it's discouraging to hear Shuhei say Japan will receive a price cut while there currently isn't a large incentive for typical American gamers to invest in the system currently.