E3 2013: PS4 will be region free; pre-orders now live

Sony's press conference for the PlayStation 4 at E3 2013 on Monday night was by far the most exciting of the media events we attended on Monday. In addition to showing off cool games, Sony said the PS4 would have a launch price of just $399, and would have no used game disc restrictions and no online authentication.

Sony's Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida also announced another big feature for the PS4. He took to Twitter to reveal, "And yes, PS4 is region free :D." Joystiq posted a clarification on that statement from a Sony spokesperson:

In general, neither digital or disc-based games will be region locked, but we recommend users purchase games at the region of their residence to guarantee the best overall consumer experience (eg, customer service). In addition, certain software makers' game titles may be region locked.

Meanwhile, a number of online retailers have started taking pre-orders for the PS4, including Amazon, GameStop, and Walmart.

Source: Joystiq | Image via Sony

Image via Alienware

Neowin's E3 2013 coverage is sponsored by Alienware

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66 Comments

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runningnak3d said,
w00t -- ordered mine. I can see MS burying a bunch of XBones in the desert like Atari did with ET

I think you kind of have that wrong it was Jaguar

Just to be sure, I haven'T seen an RCA output like on the PS3.
With the white and red(left-right) audio channel.,
Does it mean that we are now forced to use HMDI or Optical output to stream the audio ?
That'd a huge letdown for me.
Thanks.

Nope, only digital outputs. Welcome to 2013. It sucks if your receiver doesn't have any ports available, but why would you go back to analog systems? Pretty much every receiver/surround system sold in the last 5 years has at least an optical input, and all recent ones support HDMI Audio Return Channel.

Well, I used to plug the sound in the receiver and the HDMI on the TV.
I do have an optical input on my receiver though, guess i'll have to buy an optical wire.

Easy solution: check if your receiver has HDMI ARC (audio return channel) support. Then you just connect everything to your TV and your TV to your receiver. Your receiver will then receive audio from all sources connected through your TV over HDMI! Very convenient for later.

I will check that, but I have an old Denon.
I really like it and I don't want to change, I think it'll end up with an optical wire.

Yup the console will be but the means are in place for the publishers to do it.

It depends which you think is the lesser evil, locks in the hands of the publishers or in the hands of the hardware.

Mikeffer said,
Yup the console will be but the means are in place for the publishers to do it.

It depends which you think is the lesser evil, locks in the hands of the publishers or in the hands of the hardware.

Actually the difference is: "it is possible" over "it is certain 100%"

It will be region free! As long as it's not region locked. It won't require on-line authentication. As long as you don't want to do anything online. You can sell used games! But only discs and you'll have to swap them in and out to play the games.

Got to love marketing spin.

Even though I really want to get the PS4, I am going to hold on and play my PS3 for awhile. One of the reasons Gran Turismo 6 is coming out, and theres still life/fun left in my PS3!

I wonder if Sony will enforce region free software in a way, such as the publisher has to have a good reason to have a region lock due to laws (censor ship, like Germany prohibits games with Nazis in them even if the Nazis are the NPC enemies) and not for price fixing.
I wonder at what detail the regions are. Will it be country, union (EU, NAFTA), continent (Europe, North America, East Asia).

Alladaskill17 said,
Very interesting, cool fact, Playstation 4 is already on amazons top 100 as #1, Xbox One as #2.

Sony might get more sales upfront because the lower price.. but we will see as Microsoft pumps tons of money into the exclusives and the deals with TV providers..

Sonys disclaimer doesn't fill me with much confidence, sounds like they are leaving it up to the publisher but stating their preference is for region free. Its not like these consoles are at polar opposites here, clearly both have gamers pulling them one way publishers and developers another way.

One has however has handled unvieling that fact better than the other.

Identical DRM scheme as with the PS3. Nothing seems to've changed.
Even PS3 games published by Sony use online passes and such this generation, heard barely anyone complain about it.

You like it when I MAKE you do things...don't you...you dirty little...oh nevermind. Seriously, most people don't want or care about the cameras, motion detecting whatevers because so far they just haven't been worth it, maybe that changes down the road, but for now, few people care about it.

Sony is catering to the core gamer, and there aren't many core games that would make use of the camera. The controller already has a mic for voice recognition. Personally I don't want the camera and would have been annoyed to pay for it when I didn't want to use it in the first place.

I have a camera, for taking pictures that I want.
I don't need a camera always connected to my console, that is what is wrong with the ONE.

Mikeffer said,
That's not his point, his point is false advertising.

It's up to the person displaying it. At the conference, when they had the $399 price point up, they showed no camera next to it.

Mikeffer said,

That's not his point, his point is false advertising.


Since when listing accessories is false advertising? Have you ever bought a car? Even mats are paid optional...

Fritzly said,

Since when listing accessories is false advertising? Have you ever bought a car? Even mats are paid optional...

Think of it this way.. you come home and open the box and there are no controllers.. I would be ****ed if they advertised it as cheaper then the xbox yet left out the accessories that are required to make it a comparable system..

Lachlan said,

Think of it this way.. you come home and open the box and there are no controllers.. I would be ****ed if they advertised it as cheaper then the xbox yet left out the accessories that are required to make it a comparable system..

It depends what do you mean with "Controllers". My understanding is that the PS4 does not have, included in the price or even existing, anything similar to Kinect; at the same time they do not advertise such device as present so I do not see the accusation of false advertising.

dead.cell said,

It's up to the person displaying it. At the conference, when they had the $399 price point up, they showed no camera next to it.

I was merely stating to the to quick to accuse poster above that IF the picture showed the console plus camera this would be false advertising and i was making him aware that's what the OP was talking about.

MS couldn't seem to get out of their own way with the Xbox One.

Considering that there is almost always some level of backlash in the gaming community when titles are released with DRM. I don't know how they thought it would over well when DRM exists at the platform level.

They did it this way to make a consistent experience across the board. Right or wrong, like it or not, they tried to make it make sense all the time and in the same way. With the PS4, some games may have zero DRM, some may be locked by the publisher to your single console. You wont know until you've already spent your money or did your homework.

No PS3 game is locked to a single console. The highest publishers can go is locking it to an account.
And 2 PS3 systems per account, so any 'super restrictive DRM' game can be played on 2 consoles at once, except only 1 can be online at a time.

One drawback is, for example with Playstation All stars Battle Royale, is that i have to take my online-pass with me if i want to use it on another console. (A game published by Sony with probably the strictest possible DRM available)

Economically it will allow selling games at a lower price. If the game is transferable infinitely, they have to figure out how many times on average it is transferred and multiply that by the price a single user copy would get. Chances are most PS4 games will be downloaded anyway and will work exactly the same as Xbox as far as licensing. This is more for PR. Who really wants to swap discs anymore?

Spicoli said,
Economically it will allow selling games at a lower price...
I actually lol'd when reading this. Very rarely are cost savings for any market ever passed on to the consumer. You're naive to think that this will in any way result in games costing consumers less. It is and has always been about controlling piracy. The problem with software companies, is that they see pirated software as lost unit sales -- which have no marginal cost anyway so it's lost dilution of a sunk cost. However, an unknown number of those pirated units would ever transition to a sale if the pirate is forced to pay.

Meanwhile, their actual paying consumers are forced to weigh the burden placed on them because software publishers believe they can make more money, when the reality is there was never any to be had.

Bertch said,
Except that region locking is at a content level and all hardware is forced to support it...

It is if the publisher will decide to enforce it. Most DVD players, for example, are locked to a region at the hardware level. Another great rip off that brainwashed consumer swallowed IMO.

Fritzly said,

It is if the publisher will decide to enforce it. Most DVD players, for example, are locked to a region at the hardware level. Another great rip off that brainwashed consumer swallowed IMO.

DVD/BR players sold in European Union are required to have the ability to change regions, although they are free to limit this to a few changes. Most have 3 changes IIRC, last change is permanent.

Not everyone just swallows everything. It isnt Sony's or Microsoft's fault there are regions, its the difference in laws, copyright, publishing and licensing among nations and countries.
Both MS and Sony hardly changed their DRM's, if at all compared to previous/current generation, besides Microsoft's 24hour check-in. (which i somehow assume will be changed before release)

Microsoft has just been OWNED on Price, Performance and Bloody common sense.
After owning the first Xbox and an Xbox360 I'm definitely going to get a PS4.
Well done Sony.

midispider said,
Microsoft has just been OWNED on Price, Performance and Bloody common sense.
After owning the first Xbox and an Xbox360 I'm definitely going to get a PS4.
Well done Sony.
Common sense doesn't show it's face when you are infatuated with a particular company. I don't understand brand loyalty with some consumers. A better deal is a better deal and I agree with you. Though I will still wait and see how this plays out before deciding.

How is he "infatuated" by simply stating his enthusiasm for his next gaming console, especially after he bought 2 previous xbox models? Oh yeah, it's Neowin...lol

Hahaiah said,
How is he "infatuated" by simply stating his enthusiasm for his next gaming console, especially after he bought 2 previous xbox models? Oh yeah, it's Neowin...lol
Did you read my comment? Did the two people who liked your comment read my comment? :-) I was agreeing with him. LOL!!!

Edit: Thanks techbeck for clearing it up first!

midispider said,
Microsoft has just been OWNED on Price, Performance and Bloody common sense.
After owning the first Xbox and an Xbox360 I'm definitely going to get a PS4.
Well done Sony.

Sony said that there will be 20 games... but I don't know what games there will be [Did they announce or show any games?] so how can one judge right now that PS4 will even deliver a good gaming experience in order to decide to buy. There is currently no proof that the experience will be better at all!
Right now I feel that an extra $100 for a cloud enabled gaming console including sensor looks like a better investment.

Sony also announced that THEY were not doing any DRM on the PS4, not that the PS4 would be DRM free. At the press conference after their show, they confirmed that DRM is left to the publishers. So at least MS has an expected and consistent model across the board.

midispider said,
Microsoft has just been OWNED on Price, Performance and Bloody common sense.
After owning the first Xbox and an Xbox360 I'm definitely going to get a PS4.
Well done Sony.

I agree - i have not owned a playstation since ps1 - i've been xbox through and through.... and then E3 2013 happened..

Ok I get that sometimes currency valuation, taxes, and laws are some of the reasons that some devices are region locked as well as piracy, so can someone enlighten me as to how Sony can go region free and not MS? Don't get me wrong, I get that MS is going to probably partner with cable/satellite companies who would want to protect their "turf" if you will, but why do the games have to be region locked?

I think Microsoft's cloud infrastructure would not provide a decent quality of service for certain regions; especially how xbox one is built from the ground up to be a connected device. Some regions have poor internet, or low population to not justify investing in cloud infrastructure nearby.

I guess because the PS3 is already region free and it wasn't a big deal, so they kept with that. All of Nintendo's handhelds pre-3DS were region free as well.

Wrong only game them self are region free so tech the PS4 IS NOT 100% region free any DVD or Blu-ray will still have region restrictions.

Don't worry, Sony will change their story on region encoding in the next couple days. They backtracked a bit on the story of DRM this morning. There is a lot of time for them to change their story, just like they did from the announcement of the PS3 and when it was finally released.

StephenBratz said,
Don't worry, Sony will change their story on region encoding in the next couple days. They backtracked a bit on the story of DRM this morning. There is a lot of time for them to change their story, just like they did from the announcement of the PS3 and when it was finally released.

Backtrack, they are using the exact same DRM model they used with the PS3. Noone ever complained about it the current generation. And now people are complaining about it.
If you didnt make an issue about it in 2006, then why are u now.

StephenBratz said,
Don't worry, Sony will change their story on region encoding in the next couple days. They backtracked a bit on the story of DRM this morning. There is a lot of time for them to change their story, just like they did from the announcement of the PS3 and when it was finally released.

Yep they just did start changing their story..
So would you rather be told the truth from day one or have the CEO of the console company openly lie to you during their press conference?
http://kotaku.com/third-party-...-say-on-used-game-512643240

DukeWars said,

Yep they just did start changing their story..
So would you rather be told the truth from day one or have the CEO of the console company openly lie to you during their press conference?
http://kotaku.com/third-party-...-say-on-used-game-512643240

Rubbish - It clearly states that any DISC based game for PS4 will have NO restrictions what so ever. Sony have done everything they can not to implement a drm system & simply state that if a developer wants to put some kind of activation on their games then they can, but it will be their sales suffering from a result of it!