Sony’s CEO Talks PS4’s Media Content Policy “you buy it, you own it”

Andrew House, the President and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment spoke with Yahoo Games during E3, and helped clear understanding of the direction their media policy is heading. He describes the topic of ownership in media content, “a storm in a teacup”.

The user can do whatever they please with their media content, “if you buy it, you own it”. The concept should not be applied to only games, but to movies, music, and any other media the customer buys.

He says, “You could argue that it’s a storm in a teacup – a very vocal minority of passionate gamers. This huge outpouring of feeling around the concept of ownership of content. But I have to say I don’t see it that way.

“I think we saw a lightning rod for feeling that has been bubbling up – that doesn’t just apply to games, but to entertainment overall. I think there’s an increasing nervousness about what ownership of content means, in the absence of physical goods. When that nervousness was starting to migrate into control over physical goods that consumers have purchased, that was a bridge too far.

“I want to be very clear about where we have been on this issue: I think there’s a danger that we could be seen to have reacted and capitalized on a situation. When we first announced PS4 in February, people were saying, ‘Oh, Sony’s being coy’ – almost with some implicit suspicion.


“It struck us as very odd. We had no intention of changing our position – it hasn’t changed from what it’s been for the last fifteen years. We believe that if you buy it, you own it, you’re able to do with it what you want.”

Core gamers are definitely going to be important because, “They are extremely influential – they are passionate consumers of other forms of entertainment beyond games. They are opinion formers. Other people go to them for advice on technology purchases.”

Sony is doing to do their best to have a better selection of games, it won’t just be the typical let’s shoot things kind of game. The PS4 will have all kinds of genre for all different kinds of gamers, so everyone should have a chance to play what they like.

House goes on to say, “I am very vocal on the topic of indie games. The industry has an increasing reliance on high-end, high-production-values games – the equivalent of Hollywood blockbuster game franchises. A creative entertainment industry absolutely needs a counterbalance to that, the equivalent of arthouse cinema – the creative, the different, the new. Our goal is to have PlayStation be the best place to foster that.”

Lastly he states, “I appreciate that this is a bit fluffy and ‘nice’ but I think it’s a good goal to have. Networks and gameplay could be a bit more than headshots and trash talk – although, of course, that’s all very well for those that enjoy it… my son included.”

What do you think about Sony’s Media Content Policy?