PS4's lead architect disses Xbox One on Fallon show

Popping up on the late-night talk show, video-game industry vet Mike Cerny plays up the fact that the PS4 won't require an Internet connection and that Sony won't impose restrictions on trading or selling used games.

Jimmy Fallon (left) and Mark Cerny check out the PS4.
Jimmy Fallon (left) and Mark Cerny check out the PS4. Late Night with Jimmy Fallon/YouTube/screenshot by CNET

Microsoft's upcoming Xbox One received a not-so-subtle dig courtesy of a spot on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."

Continuing video-game week on his show, Fallon invited Mark Cerny, chief system architect of the Sony PS4, to appear Tuesday to discuss and demo Sony's upcoming game console. Before diving into playing an actual game, the two chit-chatted about the PS4's various features.

At one point, Fallon chimed in: "The big story that everyone's talking about is that this system [the PS4] is the only one where you can still play used games." To which Cerny responded: "We support used games. We don't require an Internet connection."

Fallon called those features "pretty amazing," prompting a surge of applause from the audience.

Obviously, Fallon and Cerny were talking about the Xbox One, which ironically appeared on the Monday edition of "Late Night." But was the dig against Microsoft's upcoming console fair and accurate?

Well, yes and no. The Xbox One will require an Internet connection. Specifically, the Xbox One needs to check in with Microsoft once every 24 hours to determine if you've added more games to your collection. Despite a surge of user protests over that requirement, Microsoft has been firm in its stance. Xbox executive Don Mattrick even recently offered some advice to Xbox users without Internet access: stick with the Xbox 360 .

However, Fallon's comment about the PS4 being the only one where you can still play used games doesn't ring true. The misperception isn't surprising, though, since Microsoft itself has been vague about this matter. Earlier this month, the company tried to clear up some of the confusion by clarifying its used games policy.

Both sales and lending of used games for the Xbox One will be allowed, but they will be restricted in certain ways. You'll be able to trade in your used games to participating retailers. Microsoft said it won't charge a fee to you or the retailers for transferring used games. But if you want to give away a game to a friend, you can only give them to people who have been on your Xbox Live friends list for 30 days or more, and each game can be given away only once.

The new rules still lack certain key details. For instance, who exactly will the "participating retailers" be? And are there other restrictions on the sale of used games? Clearly, Microsoft still has a bit more explaining to do to ease the concerns of gamers and potential Xbox One buyers.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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