When the Kotaku source informed the blog about the PlayStation 4 Orbis codename and 2013 release date, they also said something quite frightening: that the PS4 will not be backwards compatible and will have a used-game lock.
Before I react to that, let’s explain: backwards compatible is simply the ability to play older console games. Today, we can play Playstation 1 games on the PS2, and PS2 games on the PS3. It’s smart to do so, since most consoles release with just a few games out.
The second idea of a used-game lock: a system will not allow you to play a used game. Each game would have an individual account code, so when you buy it and play it the first time, it automatically syncs up to your PSN account (you can also download games from the PSN). But once this is done, you cannot take that game and play it on another account; no trading it in at GameStop, or letting a friend borrow it. It can only be accessed through the original users account.
Now, reaction: both of these ideas would be horrible for Sony to incorporate. So many gamers (I’d say about 30-60%, if not more) buy games used, or they borrow from friends. And what about gamers who use systems like GameFly, or rentals, regularly instead of spending the $60 to purchase? If this is the case, then so many gamers wouldn’t even bother to buy a new console; unless, of course, games go down to about $15-20, and even then it is risky.
On the backwards compatibility, this would also be silly. Who wants to have two consoles sitting in a room: their seven year old PlayStation 3, next to the bright and shiny PlayStation 4 Orbis? I wouldn’t, but I would also not want to give up my favorite games simply because I have something “new” that doesn’t offer my favorites.
I, for one, hope this is just a rumor, and not fact. It would be a major mistake, for both the gamers and the developers. Do you agree?