Less than 24 hours ago, Sony Computer Entertainment of America president Jack Tretton was met with uproarious applause after revealing that PlayStation 4 disc-based games can be freely given to friends and purchased on the used market. "PlayStation 4 won't impose any new restrictions on used games," were his exact words. One day later, that message is already mired in confusion. During an interview with Game Trailers, Tretton reiterated that Sony's first-party releases won't carry any unordinary DRM restrictions, only to later clarify that third-party publishers like Electronic Arts and Activision are free to chart their own course.
"Well, I mean, we create the platform, we've certainly stated that our first-party games are not going to be doing that, but we welcome publishers and their business models to our platform," he said, according to Polygon. "There's gonna be free-to-play, there's gonna be every potential business model on there, and again, that's up to their relationship with the consumer, what do they think is going to put them in the best fit. We're not going to dictate that, we're gonna give them a platform to publish on."
"It's not something we're going to control."
"The DRM decision is going to have to be answered by the third parties, it's not something we're going to control, or dictate, or mandate, or implement," Tretton said. The executive may have been referring to the redemption codes / online passes some publishers (including Sony) have routinely required for multiplayer gaming and other features in current-gen titles.
With the Xbox One, Microsoft has built daily authentication checks into the console itself; owners will be unable to play offline games once they've gone 24 hours without an internet connection. For its part, clearly Sony won't be taking things that far, but we've reached out for clarification and further details on the scope of what publishers can choose to do with DRM.
Update: Article has been clarified to reflect Microsoft's approach to DRM with the Xbox One.
Update 2: Sony has issued a statement confirming that Tretton was referring specifically "playing used games online" and DRM mechanisms that have already been seen on the PlayStation 3. Additionally, Tretton is reiterating that — although it did so with the PS3 — Sony will not be turning to an Online Pass-style system for its self-published PlayStation 4 titles.