House: No PS4 DRM Announcement Was A "Visceral Moment"
When Sony announced there would be no DRM (Digital Rights Management) and no online connection required for the PlayStation 4, the attentive crowd at E3 burst into a lengthy and appreciated applause.
In speaking to Yahoo! Games, Sony boss Andrew House called this a "visceral moment" and said it reflected a rising nervousness about what it means to actually own content:
"I think we saw a lightning rod for feeling that has been bubbling up - that doesn’t just apply to games, but to entertainment overall. I think there’s an increasing nervousness about what ownership of content means, in the absence of physical goods. When that nervousness was starting to migrate into control over physical goods that consumers have purchased, that was a bridge too far."
Not long after it was announced at the press conference, Sony put up a playful little video that showed you "how to share your games on PS4." It consisted of one person handing a box to another person, and that's that (which is the way it should be, of course). On the flip side, the DRM in the Xbox One has caused much frustration and anger. Added House:
"I want to be very clear about where we have been on this issue. I think there’s a danger that we could be seen to have reacted and capitalised on a situation. When we first announced PS4 in February, people were saying, 'Oh, Sony’s being coy' - almost with some implicit suspicion. It struck us as very odd. We had no intention of changing our position - it hasn’t changed from what it’s been for the last fifteen years. We believe that if you buy it, you own it, you’re able to do with it what you want."
House also talked about the decision to have cheaper, PC-oriented components and how they learned a lot of lessons from the PS3 launch. He acknowledged how important a starting price point was, which a lot of consumers will definitely appreciate come fall. As for no DRM, we can understand the relief one feels when we buy something and can say, "yes, this is mine." See how simple that is?
6/15/2013 10:51:34 AM Ben Dutka