Sony's first-party games will not implement DRM measures such as online authentication or one-time use codes. But if a third-party wants to implement those measures on PS4, they have the ability to do so.
Asked what would happen if a third-party publisher wanted to “restrict” their games, Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton said in an E3 interview with GameTrailers, “We create the platform. We certainly stated that with our first party games, we’re not going to be doing that.
"But we welcome publishers and business models to our platform. There’s going to be free-to-play, there’s going to be every potential business model on there. And again, that’s up to their relationship with the consumer...we’re not going to dictate that.
Asked further if PlayStation 4 would allow for types of DRM for third-party games, Tretton answered, “The DRM decision is going to have to be in the hands of third-parties. That’s not something we’re going to dictate, control, mandate or implement."
It's the same deal that current-gen consoles follow -- game publishers and developers have the ability to implement measures such as online passes.
Sony had a few aces up its sleeve last night when it showed off the PlayStation 4 at its E3 media briefing. One of those that the company was happy to flaunt was that Sony's first-party games wouldn't require online authentication or measures that would restrict the sharing of physical discs.
Xbox One's DRM measures do place certain restrictions on sharing games and on used game sales. Tretton said the threat of used game sales is overblown.
“I remember when people were saying rental games were going to be a threat, that people were going to go to Blockbuster and finish a game or find out that it wasn’t good, and that was going to hurt retail," he said.
“Obviously, used games have been under a threat for a while.” Tretton argued that taking used games out of the equation hurts consumers’ value perception of game -- they want to be able to sell games to put money in their pockets to buy new games.
“Certainly, you’ll talk to GameStop and they’ll say used games are very additive to the business. We just want to give consumers the flexibility.”