SCE President on the PS4’s DRM Policy: “We Were Slightly Perplexed, Because we had no Intention of Changing”
E3 may be a distant memory right now, but a few pieces of information and interviews are still trickling out from the major event, including one involving Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, with The Guardian.
Something that’s already been discussed in great detail is how Sony never planned to implement DRM or used game restrictions on the PlayStation 4, with Andrew giving us a little backstory on the matter:
Dating from about our February event, there had been questions about what our online policy would be. And I have to say that we were slightly perplexed, because we had no intention of changing from a model that I think has served us really well for several platform life-cycles. And then, of course, it was really the actions of others, and the reaction coming from consumers, which led to more speculation. So we felt that with E3, and Monday night’s press conference, it was a really good opportunity to set the record straight. But there weren’t any changes that we’d been considering.
As for the huge standing ovation they received once they announced that the PlayStation 4 would follow the same guidelines as PS3, House offered his opinion on it:
What you saw coming from gamers is not just, in my view, the views of the vocal minority. It became an expression of a little bit of concern bubbling up around the subject of what ownership means in an age of digital content overall. We and other entertainment industry players need to be very conscious of that and very careful. Bringing it back to the fundamentals again, we need to be fair and to think of the consumer experience first.
With everything they’re doing with the PS4, Andrew likens it to “taking Sony Computer Entertainment back to our original roots.” This is because, with the PS1 and PS2, “the goal was to give the consumer more choice, and lots of flexibility at a time when the delivery mechanism of games, on cartridges, placed a lot of restrictions on the industry.” He continued by talking about how discs gave developer “the chance to take risks and build a business.”
House then talked about how the PS4 is much easier to develop for, which has them “seeing a lot of developer coming out of the mobile space,” which he thinks is a “tremendously positive trend for console gaming” because they now “have access to a whole set of talent in gaming that we didn’t have before.”