SCEE UK & Ireland MD Fergal Gara has attempted to clarify comments made by SCEA president Jack Tretton earlier today, telling VideoGamer.com that Tretton's comments were referring to the use of online passes or "certain [other] restrictions" by third-party publishers, rather than an option to lock disc-based titles to user accounts.
Confusion over PS4's DRM policy arose earlier today, after Tretton suggested that third-party publishers would be able to dictate DRM policies on their titles, hours after the firm stated that PS4 would not have DRM restrictions.
But Gara states that Sony is "not enforcing DRM" and that it "will not be locking" disc-based games on PS4, with a SCEE PR representative explaining that, though Sony has to "respect our third party publishers", PS4 "isn't designed to support [DRM]".
Below is the conversation with Gara as it played out:
VideoGamer.com: Jack Tretton suggested that DRM policy [on PS4] was down to third-party publishers. Is that the case?
SCEE PR representative: We've been trying to clarify that point because obviously it seemed counter to what we said last night and... Our stance is, it'll be the same as PS3, basically. Our position, certainly from a first-party publisher is, we are not having DRM and the architecture has been built actually for that. Clearly we have to respect our third party publishers and look to them to look to their own models. That's the open system, the open relationship we have with them, but the system isn't designed to support that.
Fergal Gara, SCEE UK & Ireland MD: We think it comes down to the fact that a lot of the online gameplay will use the servers owned and operated by the third parties. It's not out of the question that they might decide they want certain passes or certain restrictions, so I think that is all that Jack was getting at. The point remains true that we are not enforcing DRM.
VideoGamer.com: It still seems to be unclear whether third-parties will be able to lock disc-based PS4 games to user accounts. Can you clarify whether or not they [will have that option]?
Fergal Gara: For disc-based games I believe that is not the case - we will not be locking them. It's also interesting now the Online Pass goes, so by virtue of including online multiplayer in PlayStation Plus that effectively replaces and supersedes any Online Passes that we may have used in the past.
VideoGamer.com: Does that apply to third-parties as well or will third parties still be able to implement Online Passes if they so wish.
Fergal Gara: I think the same will apply to them. PlayStation Plus gives you online multiplayer, so I think it would be foolish - it might still be their decision but I think it would be foolish to have a double mechanic in place for online multiplayer.