Shut Up And Take My Money. No Thanks, Says Sony

23 May 2024

Ghost of Tsushima's PC port has been mired in controversy after Sony decided to limit sales of the game to countries where the PlayStation Network is available, leaving me with the following prompt when I tried to purchase it:

Announced in March, Ghost of Tsushima was supposed to be the latest PlayStation exclusive to cross over to the PC with the same bells and whistles we've seen in previous ports — nearly all of which have gone without a hitch. Instead, the debacle has ended up highlighting discriminatory sales behavior as Sony is quite literally telling gamers in the 170 or so nations where the PSN is not available that it does not want their money.

Sony has argued that a PSN account is necessary to access the online features of Ghost of Tsushima, but that appears to be an artificial requirement. The game is not a multiplayer title, at least, not the way games like Helldivers 2 are, yet, the company insists it can't be played unless one has a PSN account.

The PSN account requirement also contradicts a previous statement from Tsushima developer Sucker Punch assuring gamers that such an account was only necessary for the multiplayer portion of the game. Sony splashed water on all of that by requiring that the game be only playable through its new PlayStation overlay, which, surprise surprise, requires a PSN account.

One would imagine that Sony would want to maximize its profit by increasing access to its library of games, but noooooo, it appears the company is more interested in upping the number of people who have the PlayStation overlay installed on their PCs. As if gamers want another launcher.

Looks like Sony also didn't learn its lesson from the Helldivers 2 fiasco where it received backlash for pulling the same stunt, only to reverse that decision soon after. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like Sony would do the same for Ghost of Tsushima, even if it means losing sales.

Whether Sony will expand the number of regions that support PSN is yet to be seen, but the company's decision does raise some uncomfortable questions about titles both past and future. Will the company insist that previously released titles come into the PSN fold too? Will it make the PSN requirement a standard fare for hotly-anticipated releases like God of War: Ragnarok?

Region-locking software on PCs also has serious implications for consumers, as it bars them from legally accessing products they would otherwise need to pirate. Plenty of evidence shows that consumers pirate less when they can easily access something on the Internet, be it video games, movies, or even music. Regional pricing also helps, since wealth is unevenly distributed across the globe.

Over at Reddit, some users are already suggesting pirating Ghost of Tsushima, which would be the opposite of what a company like Sony would want:

But of course, the memo seems to have been lost on executives who seem to be chasing oddly specific metrics (in Sony's case, the number of PSN accounts created). If anyone from Sony is reading this: please stop this madness and keep the region-locking shenanigans away!

Sony ranked #67 on HackerNoon's Tech Company Rankings this week.

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Nvidia's $200 Billion Opportunity🤑

Nvidia, the AI boom's poster child, could see its valuation rise by a cool $200 billion depending on how its quarterly earnings play out.

Team green has stunned markets with its earnings ever since OpenAI's public launch of ChatGPT jump started an AI arms race to secure hardware that can support large language models for a variety of purposes. Quarter after quarter, the company has consistently reported an increase in sales and profit because of all the demand it is seeing for its chips.

But despite all the success, Wall Street believes the company is still primed to go up, so much so that traders believe Nvidia's upcoming earnings could serve as a catalyst for even further growth in its valuation, which is already above $2 trillion.

Most expect to see the company reporting a massive increase in revenue and profit this quarter on the back of continuing demand for the company's chips. According to Reuters, analysts on average see Nvidia reporting a 242% jump in revenue to $24.60 billion for the fiscal quarter ending in April, with net income pegged to rise from $2.04 billion a year ago to $12.83 billion.

That is a massive jump and we'll keep you posted on how the earnings play out.

In Other News.. 📰

  • Trump Becomes First Major Party Candidate to Accept Crypto Donations — via CoinDesk
  • Data-labeling startup Scale AI raises $1B as valuation doubles to $13.8B — via TechCrunch
  • Microsoft thinks it found a way to make PCs relevant again — via CNN
  • Europe sets benchmark for rest of the world with landmark AI laws — via Reuters
  • Google tries to win over Microsoft's government cyber business — via Axios
  • Uniswap fights back against SEC as the ethereum crackdown continues — via CNBC

And that's a wrap! Don't forget to share this newsletter with your family and friends! See y'all next week. PEACE! ☮️

Sheharyar Khan, Editor, Business Tech @ HackerNoon

*All rankings are current as of Monday. To see how the rankings have changed, please visit HackerNoon's Tech Company Rankings page.

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