Jon Christensen

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Sony Confirms Used Games Will Work with the PS4; But GameStop is Still in Trouble

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GameStop can rest a little easier today because Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida confirmed with Eurogamer that used PlayStation 4 games will in fact work with the next-generation console. This comes after months of speculation that an anti-used game measure would disbarred gamers from playing preowned video games on the PS4, thanks to a Sony patent dug up by journalists.

When the website blatantly asked Yoshida if “Used Games can play on the PS4,” Yoshida responded by saying: “Yes. That’s the general expectation by consumers,” he said. “They purchase physical form, they want to use it everywhere, right? So that’s my expectation.”

Well there’s no actual proof that Sony was ever intending to block used games on the PlayStation 4, they must of heard some of the blowback from its loyal customers. The Internet was filled with outrage when this patent surfaced last year. It even made the gaming retailer GameStop panic because an enormous part of their business is selling used software. At one point, Gamestop released an internal survey that had statistics that “proved” a majority of their customers wouldn’t purchase a new system if it had a feature to block used games.

Blocking used games on the PlayStation 4 could be a PR nightmare. So, in the end Sony isn’t outright blocking used games; however, they have another way of killing the preowned business. During their press conference last night, the company had an emphasis on digital downloads. They even implemented a feature that once a person purchases a game, you can play it right away, before it’s even finished downloading. So combined that with the ease of purchasing something online digitally, GameStop can’t have the inventory they once had, most people won’t own physical copies to sell back to the retailer, and at one point Gamestop won’t be able to sustain 4500 stores across the world.

So again, I’m sure GameStop can breathe a little easier today. But they have a much bigger uphill battle in the future. They’re not going to be selling as many new titles as they once were, thanks to digital distribution. And because of that, there won’t be enough physical copies to buyback from their customers. And the endless cycle of a person buying a new game, and then selling it back to GameStop, and then Gamestop selling the used copy to another customer, will eventually come to an end without Sony ever needing to block used video games on their next-generation platform.

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