Monday, April 9, 2012

Playstation... Orbis?

Coming out of the rumor mill recently is the Playstation 4.  What rumors is the mill churning out?  What does everyone want to know?  Well, first off, the name Orbis is being passed around all over.  Does it play all of my old PS3 games?  I sure have created a solid collection! And, most importantly, with the used game market coming under fire as of late, will Sony try to block the games you buy from friends and second hand stores instead of the developers?  Let's take a look at these individually.

Will it continue to be called the Orbis?  For now.
Try going to  Brings you to a developer's site for Sony products.  Same thing with  Or even All of them work!  Orbis is a code name for something that Sony is working on.  And these signs point towards another system.  It should be in development already, given that all of their competitors are already working on new systems as well, and Sony is not one to be left out of a technology race.  

Well I severely doubt that.
What about backwards compatibility?
I severely doubt that this could continue to be an option at this point.  While I would love to be able to play my PS3 games on a new system, Sony is recognizing the profits gained from re-releasing HD collections of beloved games, and if upping the quality of the system's technology is the aim here, Sony could be sitting on a cash cow by "hyperHDifying" (I just made that up.) their franchises like Uncharted and Killzone.  
Point is: I view backwards compatibility to be a slim chance.  Sony wants their customers (and their profits) to keep moving forward. 

Will the PSOrbis block used games?
The current rumor about used games on the Orbis is simply this:  That a game purchased for the system in physical form (aka NOT downloaded, but on a disc potentially) will be tied to a specific PSN name.  This means that anyone that wants to play it that is not your PSN name will have access to only limited features, if any at all. If you want to play one that is tied to someone else's name, you must 'unlock' the game by paying a fee. This also means: No used purchases, no borrowing it/trading it from a friend, no renting the game.

It seems that analysts are rife with opinions about the used games problem.  Industry analyst Michael Patchter recently opinionated to that killing off the used games market would be a bad idea for both Sony and Microsoft.  This would harm beneficial relationships that Sony has always had with Gamestop and basically seperate them from the entire market, as why would a used games store carry a system that does not support used games.  If Gamestop didn't carry Sony's Orbit (or whatever its going to be called), then that would be a huge step back for Sony in the "games arms race".  
"You would miss me, right?"

Another industry analyst reporter from, James Brightman, agrees that blocking used games sales in any way, shape, or form would ultimately give gamers more of a swing to go elsewhere: such as Microsoft or even Nintendo. 
"If Sony moves forward with this rumored plan, it'll be a huge black eye for the company from the consumer perspective. Quite simply, Sony would be taking away consumer choice, and that's never a good thing."
I know I don't have sixty bones to drop on every new game that comes out, and buying used gives me a money saving choice.  My friends and I trade games all the time, and with my personal working experience at Blockbuster, I have three solid reasons why blocking used games would hurt me.  
So will it happen?  I know companies like Activision and EA would love it to, but big companies like Gamestop would not love it so much.  I'd say the odds are just slightly more in not banning them, but only because the customer is always right.  Not the developers.
More news will be reported on the Orbis/PS4 when it appears!
Evil?  Or money-savers? What do you think?

What do you think?  Is it smart to block used games?  Or should Playstation listen a bit more to their consumers and ixnay on the anningsbay?  Let us know by subscribing and posting in our comments! I would love to hear from you!

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  1. As far as used games are concerned, the industry seems as though it is headed towards a world in which the consumer can choose to order from an internet warehouse (Amazon or similar marketplaces) or download a digital copy of the game.

    As much as I love physical games, it's hard for me to tear myself away from the capitalistic idea that a developer gets money when I enjoy their product. About seven years ago, I bought Advent Rising from a Half Price Books. I enjoyed it so hard - and wished for a sequel just as hard - but, at the end of the day, GlyphX and Majesco got nothing. Orson Scott Card got nothing. Nobody involved in the game got anything. Half Price Books got my money for a used game that someone else bought.

    Of course, one could make the argument that younger me strayed away from new games because I simply didn't have the money. This seems pretty accurate, and maybe is a legitimate reason to keep used gaming in business; at least the poor among us will be able to approach and enjoy good games.

    But, if we can, it seems as though we should be giving as much money as possible to the equally poor humans that are making the games we're trying to enjoy, so that they can continue to create them. Especially our favorite studios.

  2. Well, put MortimasIV. As a matter of principle I purchase games new to encourage developers to create more of what I enjoy (Mirrors Edge 2 please), but alas, the Activisions of the world will flock to where the money is and if we don't put our wallets where we want our controllers, we may see a different world in the near future.

  3. I do think that if you have the monetary funding you should purchase new. I view every new purchase to be like a vote for our faith in a game: the more purchased, the more interest the masses show for a game, the more get made. For example: Shadows of the Damned. I love that game, but it sold poorly. Will I ever get to see a sequel? Probably not.

    However, taking an entire market out of the question is really ballsy. I am very much behind the "project ten dollar" schemes like EA does, where if you buy a game used, you have to know that you are getting what you pay for, and therefore you have a reason to buy it new, but still have the option.

  4. I am more impressed with the mention of Advent Rising from mortimasIV. I also loved that game, bugs and all. Too bad they screwed up that million dollar giveaway. I could have used that money.

    1. Yes!

      Oh man, I had some good times with Gideon. The hour or so after you received your Ultimate God Of Throwing People Wherever You Want Powers was maybe the most personally messianic I've ever felt.

      Oh, and I'm MortimasIV. I don't know why it displayed that as my name.