Sony: We're setting the standard for used-games policy

While publishers will be free to set their own policies, one Sony executive believes it is unlikely they will set fees for PlayStation used games.

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LOS ANGELES -- Sony wasn't originally going to talk about its game sharing policy at E3.

But the company saw the ill will Microsoft engendered with its guidelines, and stuck it in the script, according to Scott Rhode, head of software product development for Sony Worldwide Studios America.

Sony had never thought about imposing restrictions or fees on used games, and wouldn't have addressed the controversy had it not cropped up over the last few weeks, Rhode said in an interview with CNET on Tuesday.

"This was always part of our plan," he said. "We didn't feel it was necessary for us to talk about it."

Sony, however, is only setting the standard for the used game policy, which states that anyone who buys a game can sell it back or lend it without any restrictions. Rhode said that it is up to each publisher to decide on what to do.

"We can't dictate what another company's policy will be," Rhode said.

That take sounds suspiciously similar to Microsoft's own guideline, which states that it has no hand in imposing fees on used games, but would leave it up to the publisher.

Rhode, however, said Sony's policy is clearer and different because it explicitly says it is against fees on used games.

While publishers can impose fees, Rhode said it was highly unlikely that they would do so. No publisher wants to be the lone company adding restrictions to used games, he added.

"Especially after they saw the reaction from last night," he said.

After Sony announced the policy, as well as declaring that the PlayStation 4 would not require an online connection, the attendees at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles Monday night roared in approval.

Rhode disputed speculation that the moves were made in the 11th hour after Microsoft's press conference. There have been some rumors that Sony set its price of $399 for the PlayStation 4 after seeing Microsoft set the price of the Xbox One at $499, but Rhode dashed that notion too.

"This is a big business, and we can't change things that quickly," he said. "This has always been the price we have targeted for years."

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