Just as the launch date of PlayStation 4 comes closer, Sony has surprised potential customers by updating their Software Usage Terms to disallow resell or renting of all PlayStation games unless authorized by them and the publisher in case it is not Sony.
Sony started off as the good guy against Microsoft's Xbox One by announcing support for game-lending and resale at the E3 2013 conference back in June. No-DRM was also a key point of Sony's PS4 presentation. However, Sony has updated the Software Usage Terms for the UK and backtracked on the claims it had made earlier.
The terms for PlayStation 3 can be read in entirety over here, the points in question are as follows:
6.3. You must not lease, rent, sublicense, publish, modify, adapt, or translate any portion of the Software.
7.1. You must not resell either Disc-based Software or Software Downloads, unless expressly authorised by us and, if the publisher is another company, additionally by the publisher.
The previous version of the document published in July did not include the newly introduced terms. A more generalized version of the Software Usage Terms which covers all PlayStation devices, has been published to the UK PlayStation website.
It is worth noting that an older, abridged version of those terms on the UK site already included a clause preventing the reselling of games for the PS3, but the newer terms have now expanded this to encompass the PS4 too, apparently contradicting Sony's claims that it would not prevent users from selling their games on after use. We have contacted Sony to request clarification and will update this article if and when we hear back from them.
Gamers who had been upset with Microsoft's DRM policies voiced support for Sony's PlayStation 4 after the E3 announcement which led to Microsoft reversing on some of their policies. The PlayStation 4 will be available in the US and Europe starting November 15 and November 29, respectively.
Sent in as a news tip. | Image via The Verge
Update: Sony has responded to our request for comment with this statement:
As SCE announced at E3, consumers will be able to sell or share their PS4 disc products."
Unfortunately, while this statement will reassure PS4 buyers who may want to sell their "disc products" further down the line, it does nothing to clarify the changes that Sony made to its terms of service, which introduced new clauses forbidding certain actions - including the sale of "disc-based software" - nor does it address how these changes will actually affect users.
Editor's note: This article was updated after publishing to clarify comparisons made between the older and newer versions of Sony's terms of usage.