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Tretton Explains: Used Game Flexibility Enhances Value

When SCEA president Jack Tretton took to the stage at E3 and announced that the PlayStation 4 would fully support used games, the crowd went wild. It was great.

Recently, when asked why Sony adopted this philosophy for the next generation, their replies have been simple and to the point; mostly, they say you "don't fix it if ain't broke." But in a new Bloomberg TV interview, Tretton elaborated on Sony's much-appreciated position on pre-owned games:

"The other thing as it relates to the ownership of the game, if people pay a lot of money for that, they equate the value with the flexibility they have in that. To do with it as they choose; to give it to their friends, sell it to their friends, trade it in to another retailer; that creates value in the initial purchase that they make."

Furthermore, unlike Microsoft's Xbox One, the PS4 won't require daily Internet check-ins. The reason for this is pretty simple; it's because in many countries around the world where the PlayStation brand is popular, gamers don't have a broadband connection. Said Tretton:

"We're most concerned about the consumer. And we really appeal to consumers on a worldwide basis. And I think in the United States, we realize there's a high degree of broadband adoption, but we're in a lot of countries where people don't have the ability to connect on a daily basis and we want to appeal to consumers worldwide."

Remember that Sony relies much more heavily on its global sales. The PS3 lost big time to the Xbox 360 in this country but when you include worldwide sales, Sony's machine actually comes out on top by a slim margin. So, maybe Microsoft doesn't need to be globally conscience...too bad a ton of gamers here in the US don't seem to like 'em right now.

Tags: ps4, playstation 4, ps4 used games, ps4 online

6/18/2013 10:22:05 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (38 posts)

Beamboom
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 10:48:18 AM
Reply

"The other thing as it relates to the ownership of the game, if people pay a lot of money for that, they equate the value with the flexibility they have in that. To do with it as they choose; to give it to their friends, sell it to their friends, trade it in to another retailer; that creates value in the initial purchase that they make."

This quote is just so *spot on* what this is all about. No further comment needed, really.

Agree with this comment 13 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 12:04:28 PM
Reply

It does enhance value, I am selling off many PS3 games so that I will have the money to get a PS4, when I have a PS4 I will spend more money to get PS4 games. When you disrupt the flow of money like MS is doing and try to hoard it, then you constrict and strangle your consumers and they stop coming to you for entertainment.

What I'm curious about is what will MS DO to you if you don't let your system check in every 24 hours? Will it just stop working? Do you have a three strikes rules? Will it sprout legs and leave?

Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

telly
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 12:15:00 PM

Supposedly, World, it will straight up not do anything (except play blu ray or DVD movies, I think.) Even for those of us with pretty good broadband internet service, that sounds like the biggest hassle imaginable.

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Lord carlos
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 12:15:50 PM

"Re-establish internet connection !!
You have TEN seconds to comply"
NINE!
EIGHT!
SEVEN!.......

Agree with this comment 10 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

godsman
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 1:11:52 PM

I downloaded some amazon games on my android phone throigh their app store. It probably isnt the same as a console because im comparing to a mobile device. When I get on the train in a tunnel. It said I need to log on to play. It is such a hassle and defeats the purpose, cause I dont play phone games at home

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Jawknee
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 5:22:40 PM

"What I'm curious about is what will MS DO to you if you don't let your system check in every 24 hours? Will it just stop working? Do you have a three strikes rules? Will it sprout legs and leave?"

Like Telly said it will simply cease to function as a game console. DVD's and Blurays will be the only thing you can do with it. This is such a stupid idea, the guy who thought this was a good idea should get out of the console business. These ideas are no good for consumers.

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telly
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 12:21:51 PM
Reply

I suspect Sony understands the best ways to curb used game sales includes making the digital store so attractive, and competitively priced, that many consumers will gravitate to it naturally. Take iTunes and similar stores, for example: ten or so years ago, many of us bought CDs we could then share with anyone, we could burn and distribute as many copies of the CD as wanted, and we could even download the entire CD into our iTunes library to have the benefits of digital access as well. Just a little bit of coordination and sharing with friends, coupled with the patience to wait for physical media to either be delivered to your door or picked up at brick and mortar, and we could all save lots of money on music and even have more options for how we listened to it.

But the vast majority of us -- not everyone, but most -- buy all or nearly all of our music on iTunes or Amazon or some such digital distribution service. Why is that? Because it is so EASY to download music from them, and the prices seem, by and large, very fair to us. The service was so great that many of us concluded that the benefits far outweighed the costs of switching from CDs to mp3s.

Steam has shown this sort of model -- fantastic selection, easy access, aggressively competitive pricing, etc. -- absolutely works for video games. If Sony gets something similar going, the used game "problem" that Microsoft is so obsessed with will solve itself.

My two cents!

Agree with this comment 6 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

dmiitrie
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 2:21:06 PM

I used to pirate pc games a lot, but once I got into Steam, that stopped completely. Getting a game on Steam is much simpler than pirating it, their selection is huge, and their prices are very reasonable (especially with the frequency and size of their various sales). Overall, Steam has made spending money on a game a more pleasant experience than getting it for free.

Sony has begun to do the same with PS+. New free games and new discounts every week have definitely been a good thing. I think that of they continue to push their digital offerings and make that as good of an experience as they can, the used game problem will take care of itself.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 2:23:41 PM

Steam really is the posterboy of digital distribution. The best service of its kind, hands down.

Last edited by Beamboom on 6/18/2013 2:24:21 PM

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telly
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 4:11:06 PM

@demitriie, I have friends who felt the same way. I had a similar experience with music: 13 or 14 years ago, hunting for mp3s on napster or some such service was the norm for me and every single person I knew. Nowadays, spending a few dollars to easily get the exact music I want, easily and in good quality, is the ONLY way I or anyone I know buys music. Free services like Spotify attract droves of listeners too, and all you have to do is listen to advertisements every once in a while.

The perfectly legal commercial models are BETTER than the illegal ones in virtually every way. That's how you get people to buy in, both with dollars and mindshare, to your product, not draconian DRM that punishes even your most loyal customers who've never wronged you in any way.

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godsman
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 1:17:35 PM
Reply

Always online is a great idea. So much potential to enhance gaming experience. The 24 hr check in does nothing but hinder this experience. It is pure greed from MS. They can still go always on without the used game restriction. This is simply all take and no give.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 6 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 4:37:36 PM

How does it enhance the experience? I see no value in a mandatory Internet connection to play games on a console I purchased, especially when the games many of us prefer to play are not multiplayer. These ideas should always be optional. Never forced on the consumer.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

KidPresentable
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 5:25:29 PM

You could update the AI on the fly do that it's not predictable. Maybe an off site clips can process your play style and make an experience that is perfect for you instead of being lumped into Easy, Normal, or Hard. By having it always online, developers know that they will reach 100 percent of the users instead of wasting resources on a few.

I agree that the 24 hour check isn't cool at all. Supposedly, you can do it through your phone now. Only a few KBs.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 5:54:14 PM

Yea but what is the point of making it mandatory? Why force that on consumers? Especially the ones who don't want to be connected 24/7.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

KidPresentable
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 6:39:22 PM

No one is forcing it though. They were straight up with everything they planned on doing. As consumers we ultimately have the option to buy what best suits us. though it's not always online, if MS so chose to do that because their vision is an always online console and whatever benefits they see from such a device, that's their prerogative. Would you say that Sony 'forced' Blu Ray on gamers, even while the vast majority of games don't exceed DVD size? Clearly, Sony saw the need for more space and those few games that use it are pretty exceptional. I still cannot fathom why people continue to harp on and on about it. Like everything in life, if it's not your cup tea, find which tea you like and be happy with it. Why keep reading on the tea you didn't like? lol..

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Jawknee
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 6:54:20 PM

Of course they're forcing it on consumers. They're saying "it out terms or stick with the 360". Mattrick said exactly that in a GTV interview. Of course you're right that they can choose not to buy the product which were already seeing signs of but to claim MS isn't trying to force a burden down their fanbases throat by giving them an ultimatum is aburd.

And your Sony/Bluray analogy doesn't hold water as having a bluray drive instead of a DVD doesn't hinder the experiance at all. MS sticking with the DVD format hindered games last gen. The reason a vast majority of games didn't exceed the DVD limit was because MS was stuck in the 90's with their 8gb disc format and the vast majority of the games on the market are multiplatform. Where as most of Sony's exclusives DO exceed 8gb. Uncharted 3 is 40gb in size to name one.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

KidPresentable
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 7:24:44 PM

Yes, Keighley asked if the consumer has ZERO access to the internet. Do you know how many devices exist to day that are either useless or severely hindered by not having any access to the internet? If you ask Amazon how can you use their Kindle with no internet access, they'll more that likely advise you to buy paper books. Does that make them evil? I don't think so.

Yes, the Sony exclusives that use the entirety of Blu Ray are exceptional, but you have games like Red Dead Redemption, that have more gameplay, options, voice acting, than the majority of Sony exclusives. And would you say that Nintendo games that are capped at 4.7 gb are all around inferior experiences to. Sony's maxed out games? Anyone that has the one disc Prime Trilogy vs any Killzone knows that isn't true. Developers can do extraordinary things within the limits of hardware. They've been doing it since only had 8 bit games. I'm sure most devs took space and ask that into account when creating these games this gen.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 8:03:47 PM

Straw men and bad analogies all over the place. No one said smaller game sizes automatically equated to less quality experiance only that it hindered the ability of multiplatform devs to reach beyond the boundries placed on them by the inferior DVD format. And no one is talking about Nintendo in this regard. They are in a league of their own when it comes to first party titles. It's evident when you look at their first party line up compared to the vast majority of crap shovelware of the Wii. But even with the stellar quality some of their titles, they were no doubt limited by their limited hardware capabilities. And once again, your analogy doesn't hold water. The Kindle is a dedicated digital library with other side features. The Xbox is supposed to be a home game console, younno, to play games. A mandatory Internet connection shouldn't be required for that unless MS is trying to control consumers decisions which is exactly what they're trying to do. And their arrogant attitude is take it or leave. To which I say, and obviously many others, I'll leave it and stick with a brand that has its loyal customer in mind.

Not trying to be a d**k but when you're done shilling for MS and knocking down strawmen, we can talk. Until then, buhbye.

Last edited by Jawknee on 6/18/2013 8:07:16 PM

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Akuma07
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 10:13:30 PM

Adaptive AI isn't achieved through always online though. This can be achieved using intelligent AI scripting on the disc itself. Always online is used for social means, and cloud computation.

Cloud computation only serves to expand on the capabilities of the console, but even this is limited with the restrictive infrastructure that the world currently has. It also adds more complexity and pressure to the servers themselves. Sim City collapsed because of the heavy server load, which in part was because of the cloud computation.

But actually Sim City is a perfect example of why cloud computation is NOT required in the current world. Several modders have been able to completely disconnect SimCity from the cloud and have the game still operate at 100%. Even the developers said that it could be achieved very easily.

The 24 hour checkin is to enforce DRM. I personally think the reason for push with cloud computation is to try and increase the performance of the console to the point where it should be, thanks to the drag the OS causes on the system resources.

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Akuma07
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 10:35:18 PM

Where is my edit button dammit.

On the size of games. MGS4 was the first game to max out a BluRay I believe. That was years ago. I recently got Ratchet and Clank from PSN+, the download was 16GB. Several other games I have got from PSN+ have been over 8GB in size.

Do you guys remember when we heard that FFXIII had to cut several large pieces of content from the final product. Or the reason why towns and NPC's were not included.

It was never confirmed, but many rightly theorised that the limited size of the DVD format was to blaim.

EDIT: There he is. Also, regarding tethering your phone for the online checkin, this is possible, and has been possible for about 5 years. I live in AUS and 4 years ago, before I got reliable internet, I only had a 1.5mbps unstable connection. I used to tether my phone to play COD online. But only phones from the past few years can do it, and A LOT of people don't have those phones.

Australia is a great example, a lot of our population does not have fast, stable internet. Our infrastructure is over 20 year old copper phone lines. Our government is in the process of rolling out a fibre optic network to the entire country, but this isn't due to be finished till 2025 at the earliest. My current internet is only 6mbps, 8mbps at the BEST of times.

Last edited by Akuma07 on 6/18/2013 10:40:19 PM

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maxpontiac
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 2:24:03 PM
Reply

"We're most concerned about the consumer. And we really appeal to consumers on a worldwide basis. And I think in the United States, we realize there's a high degree of broadband adoption, but we're in a lot of countries where people don't have the ability to connect on a daily basis and we want to appeal to consumers worldwide."

I absolutely love this quote by Jack. He understands that the USA is only one piece of the pie.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

DjEezzy
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 2:31:05 PM
Reply

Always online should be a feature not a requirement. Plain and simple...

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Kryten1029a
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 2:55:04 PM
Reply

There are some execs out there who get it (Tretton) and there are the ones who don't (Mattrick). If Xbone finishes last or beats the Wii U but sells 30 million fewer units than PS4, it'll be because Microsoft didn't grasp this point.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 4:34:32 PM
Reply

I agree with Jack. I also like Nintendo's ideas on the used market. Reggie bluntly put it that if developers are worried about used games they need to make better games. And he's right. I rarely ever trade or sell my games but when I do third party games are the ones to go. I've never sold Nintendo or a Sony exclusives because they tend be a higher quality, warranting multiple play throughs. Unlike much of the third party crapola out there.

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KidPresentable
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 5:50:52 PM

It's easy for Reggie to say this with the plumber behind him, but then again Reggie had to be begged and pleaded with to stop dragging his feet in bringing over a title of immense quality in Xenoblade Chronicles. So even he knows quality does not always equate to sales. There are a ton of other factors. Like someone on here told me, Gabriel I think, Sony plans to have 100 titles released on the PS4 in the first year. How are all those games going to get quality sales? Especially when system attach rates usually hover around 10 per unit over the entirety of its life cycle. 10-15 games over 7 years is a drop in the bucket when put up against the amount of games released.

Last edited by KidPresentable on 6/18/2013 5:52:55 PM

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Jawknee
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 6:02:46 PM

Of course it's easy with Mario and Zelda as their main IP's. why wouldn't it be? Which proves his point. Quality usually equates to better new games sales with less unloading to the used market causing saturation of used games. Notice you rarely see used copies of Metroid Prime, Mario or Zelda games as opposed to third party shovel ware and straight up poor quality stuff that may still be fun but not worth holding onto.

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KidPresentable
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 6:45:56 PM

There are a ton of great, quality games sitting on used shelves, though

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Jawknee
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 6:57:57 PM

If they're so great why sell them? I don't think people unload used games they find infinite value in. Which, speakjng strictly for myself, most Sony and Nintendo first party games are replayable many times over. Granted some great games end up on the used shelves but their numbers are far less than those that are mediocre.

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KidPresentable
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 7:34:16 PM

Take a game like Heavy Rain, my favorite game this gen. David Cage a couple years ago said they sold 2 million, but the trophy logs said that 3 million people had finished the game. Now that's not an exact science to claim that 1 million used games were sold, but definitely a lot were sold. The thing is, there must be some significant amount of quality games on used shelves or Gamestop would be out of business.

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KidPresentable
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 7:59:36 PM

Also, if used games weren't rampant for Sony, why in the world have they bothered with an online pass? They even had it on DC Universe Online, which basically made the game unplayable unless you bought the pass. Sounds a bit like DRM to me.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 8:04:28 PM

They're discontinuing the online pass.

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Akuma07
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 10:31:12 PM

I see a lot of good games on the used shelf at all the shops I go to.

It happens for the exact same reason why the Xbone will sell ANY consoles at all. Because there is stupid people out there who aren't true gamers. They buy a game, play it, sell it, buy another game, play it, sell it, bla bla bla. They obviously either don't truly enjoy gaming, or don't understand the core of it.

EDIT: DCUO is free to play....

Last edited by Akuma07 on 6/18/2013 10:31:29 PM

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PC_Max
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 4:46:43 PM
Reply

Honestly, the Xbox gamers will eventually but the Xbox. They can't do without a Halo game, or GoW and the multiplayer component of franchises. They still believe the game servers are better on Xbox. IF there is an massive influx on the PS4 for online gaming in response to the XboxOne issues... Sony and its partners had better be ready to accommodate that influx. Or the gain with Xbox gamers will slowly but surely be lost back to Xbox.

Who knows when the dust settles we be back to the "norm" once everyone is use to how things are or will be,

I know diehard Xbox fans who are not too thrilled where things are going, but I willing to give MS benefit of the doubt. Launch day number will be interesting but I would say lets wait a year after launch of both consoles and see where things are at. MS may make a number of changes prior to launch or in that year to compensate. What the cost will be to them, who knows.

Sony is smart to do baby steps but the eventuality is we will, some day, be going in the direction that MS envisions, be it not there vision but one that already exists in other markets.

Keep Playing!

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Clamedeus
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 8:23:03 PM
Reply

Good guy Tretton, that's why i like Tretton, he gets it.

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___________
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 @ 5:06:24 AM
Reply

one thing i wish $ony would clarify, if games can be installed to the HDD completely thus not relying on the disc to play.
i seriously doubt they will allow that simply because if they did how can they check you still own the game?
id much rather have to connect online every 24 hours and have all my games on my HDD, than have to cart all my games around with me wherever i go, and always worry about them getting damaged.

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Kryten1029a
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 @ 1:43:11 PM

It could be as simple as requiring you to put the disc in the drive when you wanted to play offline. The disc proves that you own the game and it doesn't need to be any more complicated than that. Checking in on the Xbone via Smartphone tehtering would only swap kilobytes of data; not enough to really make a difference beyond making you prove your loyalty to mighty Microsoft. Sony's solution is simply better. I'll forego HDD installs if it means that I have the flexibility to play when I want and where I want.

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___________
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 10:22:21 AM

oh rubbish dude just because you have the disc does not mean you own the game!
how are they suppose to tell if you dident borrow it from a friend?
or steal it?
or rented it from a rental service?
or found it on the bus?

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Broady
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 @ 8:19:07 PM
Reply

Didn't think it'd take too long for micro$oft to do a U-turn: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22980973

Still won't be getting one though - have always preferred playstation & can get most m$ games on pc

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