How Sony stole our hearts and returned us our kingdom


Last night saw Microsoft and Sony both take to the E3 stage to announce more details about their new console and upcoming games.

Towards the end of PlayStation’s conference, Sony took it to a whole another level.

“Re-announcing no drm and no-always online was a marketing ploy”:

When announced, the Xbox One faced two major complaints:

1) The Xbox One features DRM which means once you buy a game it will be locked and assigned to your Xbox Live account. This means you wouldn’t be able to share or buy used games (goodbye game rental services?). All this does is force to me question if we would actually own the game that WE bought.

2) Xbox One users will be required to connect to the internet every 24 hours so Microsoft can check up on you and see that you’re all legit. If you fail to attend this “catch up session” you will not be allowed to play YOUR games on YOUR console.

Some criticised Sony’s response as being a marketing ploy and a way to make gamers  feel like they’ve made something happen.

Yes, Sony did in fact confirm ages ago that there would be no “blocking of used games” and no always-online with the PS4 and yes, they probably always had plans to do things that way but there’s nothing wrong with clarifying it in public once again and doing so with a, slightly playground-like, middle finger up to Microsoft. It just adds something refreshing to these major press conferences and kinda makes up for having to sit through all those terrible, terrible jokes.

Sony even clarified that this wasn’t a direct answer to Microsoft or an attempt to win the people’s support. It’s something they always had in mind:

“I literally have goosebumps right now, because that was always our plan,” Rohde said. “It’s something that we believe in. We know gamers come first; we know what they want. I was personally overwhelmed with the massive explosion on Twitter, with everyone essentially begging, ‘Please don’t do this Sony, please don’t do this PlayStation!’ It was so hard not to say, right away, ‘Well, we never were going to do that, but now let’s have a little fun and announce it in a fun way at the PlayStation press conference.'”

Gamers did affect their decision, even if it was indirectly.

Having to pay to play online:

Sony have semi-announced that you will now have to purchase a PS Plus subscription to use its PSN multi-player service on the PS4 which did come to me as a shock and a shame.

I’ve read comments from people saying that this is Sony being “greedy”. Well, considering the fact that Sony have provided free online play for nearly seven years (online play which the large majority complained about), the fact PS Plus members get full games to keep every month, discounts, early beta access, cloud saves and that the PS4 will cost £80 less than the Xbox One, I believe Sony have a right to be “greedy” this one time. They are a business, after all.

Being half-forced to have a subscription means I’ll always be able to try games tons of games like Mortal Kombat, Crysis 2, Sleeping Dogs, Bulletstorm, Hitman, Catherine, Uncharted 3 & Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush, Rayman Origins, LBP Karting, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Metal Gear Solid and ICO & Shadow Of Colossus HD collections for free.

On the Plus side, it could mean a much better PSN service. How else did Microsoft pay for 300,000 servers?

12 months of PS Plus subscription will set you back roughly £25-30 and only one subscription per console is required for online play.

Although it was very slyly announced, it seems reasonable to me. We can’t have everything, I guess. That would be greedy.

PS4 will be out at the end of this year with a very surprising price tag of £349.


Here are some other interesting things that came from E3:
Kingdom Hearts 3
Sony’s support for indie developers
Tom Clancy’s The Division
New Watch Dogs gameplay
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Project Spark

Nintendo Direct will be taking place at 3PM today. You can watch it here.

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