While it is great news to hear that the PlayStation 4 continues the trend of being a region-free console in terms of gaming, the same cannot be said for all of the console’s multimedia facets. Despite Sony being a main investor into the Blu-Ray Disc Association, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida confirmed that the PS4 Blu-Ray player will be region-locked.
@elijahq region locked
— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) October 20, 2013
Although disappointing, it would have been much harder for Sony to have the PS4 Blu-Ray circumvent the on-disc region coding, as it would go against film studios’ intended plans for price distribution worldwide. That kind of backlash would be difficult for Sony to maintain and nurture their business relationships in the film industry, especially when it comes to possible limitations of selections for paid services like Sony Unlimited or Netflix. It is at least fair for Yoshida to make this statement outright, as there is quite a misunderstanding when it comes to whether or not Sony owns Blu-Ray.
As mentioned, it will be up to the film studios themselves to decide whether or not their content will be region-coded. As of now, there are few major North American film studios that actually put said restrictions on a significant amount of their Blu-Ray titles. Some of those companies include MGM, Lionsgate and 20th Century Fox.
The PlayStation 4 will launch in North America on November 15th, in Europe, South America and Australia on November 29th, in Asian countries this December and in Japan on February 22nd, 2014. If you are a fan of high-definition film and plan on picking up a PlayStation 4, make sure to buy from a location where a PS4 Blu-Ray player is the least likely to have film restrictions for your area.
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