'Retailers won't stock PS4 if it blocks used games,' says Pachter

Other analysts agree it would be a foolish move

Michael Pachter, Wedbush Securities analyst and gaming's very own Mystic Meg, has said it wouldn't be in Sony's best interests to block used games on PS4 as it could result in a retailer backlash.


His comments follow rumours that PS4 is called Orbis, won't offer backwards compatibility and will feature anti-used games measures when it launches in late 2013.

Offering comments that you guys might actually agree with for once, Pachter told GamesIndustry that blocking second-hand games might benefit publishers such as EA and Activision, but would ultimately deal a big blow to Sony's own hardware.

"It isn't really in Sony's or Microsoft's best interests to block used games," he said. "It would benefit Activision and EA slightly, and would hurt GameStop a great deal. If Sony unilaterally did this, I could see GameStop refusing to carry their console, and sales of the PS4 would therefore suffer."

Pachter went on to say that all three of the major platform holders would have to implement similar measures, but he thinks that none of them "are stupid enough to do this unilaterally" or "evil enough to do it together".

"If one does it and the others don't, the one who does it will see a loss of market share."

DFC Intelligence's David Cole agreed with Pachter's sentiments, saying that the move could put off the core gaming audience.

"A system that tried to stop used game sales would probably turn off the core consumers that rush to trade in their old product to buy new product. In other words, I don't think it would do so well in the core market," said Cole.

Elsewhere Lewis Ward, IDC's research manager, said customers would likely rebel against the blocking of used games. He believes it's more likely that online passes will become more prevalent in the next-generation of consoles and games.

"Customers would rebel. Until there's the equivalent of a great 'used' digital console game trade-in program up and running, gamers will continue to like the ability to trade in discs and basically get discounts on other games," he commented.

"I can certainly see Sony stepping up the idea of $10 online passes for connected multiplayer and so on, but especially for families of limited means or that have a narrowband connection at home, the ability to buy/trade use discs is an important reason why they buy game consoles in the first place."