Sony's next at bat, what if they swing and miss too?

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Posted by Phoenix654 (421 posts) -

We're all still reeling a bit from Microsoft's announcement yesterday of their policies on Always On and Used Games for the XBOne, and the internet seems justifiably concerned about this latest round in the DRM fight. Personally, I can see Microsoft's point of view in trying to make users less able to just lend out their licenses to play games, but it seems they've taken it a step further than people are prepared to follow them. Yes, PC gamers have been dealing with required installs and CD key activation for years, but not daily internet check ins to keep your computer running or byzantine rules regarding trade ins or retailer re-selling.

Which brings us to Sony, Microsoft's only real competitor in the console space (sorry Nintendo, Wii don't like U at the moment)*. While Sony has been heralded as the gamer's console this generation, we know from the previous one they have the ability to make colossal errors in judgement too**. With E3 now days away, they have not given out details of their internet requirements, if any such things exist. The decision to have the 24 hour check in requirement didn't seem to come from Microsoft, but rather pressure from publishers. Is Sony under the same pressure? If so, will the PS4 require daily check ins too?

And If that's the case, what will happen to people's opinion of the console space? Will we grin and bear it? Will we accept that online gaming is just the norm from two of the biggest brutes in this battle***? What do you guys think? After all, Microsoft has gone from being the first company to put an ethernet cable port on their console to requiring it to be online in just two generations (granted, one was among the shortest generations while the second has been the absolute longest), so what if this is the way of the future? Just a thought I needed to get out and see what people think.

*See what I did there? Huh? Huh?

**See PS3, initial prices of...

***Aliteration is amusing.

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#1 Posted by Benny (2009 posts) -

@phoenix654: I can say that there are a lot of naive people on the internet that think Sony wont be doing practically the exact same sort of stuff with their DRM too. I would be shocked if Sony unveiled any vastly different plans to what Microsoft has disclosed (by that I mean the used games thing and always on.)

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#2 Edited by Phoenix654 (421 posts) -

@benny: I agree, I'm just wondering if that will mean what Microsoft's doing will seem acceptable or if both companies will be scorned by the gaming population. Let's face it, people are going to buy the damn things anyway regardless (I never get first generation consoles but I know a lot of people do), I just wonder if all this ill will is going to be spread around or if it will evaporate.

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#3 Posted by turboman (9103 posts) -

@benny: Didn't Mark Cerny confirm that there was no Always On feature a few days ago because of foreign countries having much dodgier internet connections?

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#4 Edited by Phoenix654 (421 posts) -

@turboman said:

@benny: Didn't Mark Cerny confirm that there was no Always On feature a few days ago because of foreign countries having much dodgier internet connections?

Yes.

"PlayStation 4 is not a permanent connection system in that sense, but the experience is much richer if you are connected. You will have access to digital content and updates your games, along with a wide range of social functions: upload videos and screenshots, see your friends play and interact with them in various ways within the games."

Whole article right here...

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#5 Posted by mercutio123 (531 posts) -
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#6 Edited by Subjugation (4963 posts) -

It's pretty entertaining to watch people herald Sony as their gaming savior this generation when they quite literally don't know what they (Sony) are doing yet.

One E3 has come and gone I'll have no problem with people debating with informed opinions, but to see the amount of baseless, fabricated nonsense thrown around on these forums lately is disappointing to say the least. I guess some people don't ever grow out of the "system wars" mentality, and it's pretty embarrassing.

But hey man, I guess this is the internet and I shouldn't expect anything different. Logical arguments and mature concessions? Get outta here.

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#7 Edited by Phoenix654 (421 posts) -
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#8 Posted by Phoenix654 (421 posts) -

@subjugation: I'm not trying to foster a "system war" discussion here. I honestly don't care which console a game is on so long as it's good. I play shooters on Xbox because I like the controller, I play fighting games on PS3 because I like their d-pad (I know, but that's how I learned fighting games), I'm just curious what the general opinion of gamers would be if both companies are doing DRM this aggressively.

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#10 Posted by mercutio123 (531 posts) -

@phoenix654: I had a lot of fun reading that in Cerny's voice

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#11 Edited by Lind_L_Taylor (4123 posts) -

I think people are just hoping that Sony will do the right thing. To take the grievances and use that as counter-features to sell their own system. Sort of makes it a no-brainer to go with a pro-consumer platform. For me, I'm not going to drink the Kool-Aid(c) even if both sides force the issue in their next platforms. I'll just stick to PC gaming & focus on games that aren't so uptight about DRM or high prices. It's not that hard to do without, at least not for me. I plug an Xbox 360 controller into my PC, it feels like an Xbox.

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#12 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2951 posts) -

It would not surprise me in the slightest if Sony pulls most (if not all) the DRM restrictions that Microsoft has put in place. As others mentioned it is very funny to see people think that Sony won't pull off all the same shit and be the console "savior" this gen. But hey, if Sony does do a better job with the DRM stuff more power to them.

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#13 Edited by cheishxc (104 posts) -

I think Sony's going to have very comparable DRM restrictions to MS but since MS has shit the bed so badly with their messaging that Sony's been forgotten about and haven't had to say really anything about what their restrictions will be.

In the end, we all lose.

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#14 Posted by Slag (7349 posts) -

I have a feeling they are going to do it too. If nothing else because everyone expects them too, which in a way lets Sony off the hook if they do so. EA et al have got to be breathing down Sony's necks as hard as they Microsoft's.

Hopefully Sony Eye-Toy won't be a mandatory pack-in spying machine.

I think at this point the best we might be able to hope for is a longer check-in period. 24 hours is nuts.

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#15 Posted by Phoenix654 (421 posts) -

@cheishxc: After seeing the Cerny quote though, I don't see how they can do the same DRM restrictions. Microsoft can only do it this way because there is a constant internet connection, while it sounds like you can play the PS4 while (shock of shocks) it's NOT connected to the interwebs. The experience may be lessened but at least your game console still plays games when not connected.

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#16 Posted by iAmJohn (6232 posts) -

I'm sure they will do it too, and when they do them the PS4 goes into the "do not buy" pile right with the Xbox One. PC gaming is pretty great you guys, and the Wii U doesn't force me to deal with this bullshit.

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#17 Edited by MezZa (2673 posts) -

If Sony's policies sound as bad as Microsofts do right now then I'm just going to go curl up in the corner and hold my PC and handhelds close. All while wondering if the Wii U is going to get any good games. Honestly I would be surprised if Sony doesn't pull the same stuff as Microsoft. If they are smart, they'll just do it a bit less and take the stance of "well, we have this too, but our terms aren't as harsh as our competitors." Ideally they will just not have any of it at all, but I don't think they can ignore what the publishers want to that extent.

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#18 Edited by Cold_Wolven (2484 posts) -

This whole used games issue and online check doesn't affect me so I'll carry on with the next gen consoles like nothing's changed. As for Sony there is no way they can get away without any used games policies even if they end up doing the same thing as Microsoft. If this whole used games debacle is because publishers pushed for it then publishers can do gamers the respect of not charging ridiculous prices for online versions as a way of encouraging us to buy the version you clearly can't trade in.

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#19 Edited by pr1mus (4158 posts) -

It so interesting and also depressing having witnessed my number 1 hobby evolve over 25 or so years. On one hand PC gaming has gotten progressively simpler and more convenient while trading in some freedom but freedom that i feel has been largely compensated and then some with the slew of services we got in exchange.

Consoles have progressively become more complex and tedious to use overtime. Now both PC and consoles have more or less reached the same point. But PC has overall improved to reach this point where as consoles took the other way around so of course it looks way, way worst when MS and Sony pull something like that and we can't blame people for being pissed. Your platform of choice should get better overtime, not worst!

As someone who has been playing on both PC and consoles for 25 years i certainly feel pretty good with how PC gaming has developed but i can't say the same for consoles.

For Sony specifically they already did say they weren't going to be blocking used game and would let Publishers deal with this stuff. It sounded super vague at the time but now they really don't have to say much for people to get the message that it's the same thing as with the Xbox One. I always felt it was pretty clear from the get go that Publishers were in charge this time around. They're the ones dictating how these things should work to MS and Sony and not the other way around.

That 24h online check is madness though. Sony can win this in the head of most people by not having this one little detail.

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#20 Edited by Zeik (4413 posts) -

As long as they avoid the stupid 24 hour check-in I'll still pick one up eventually, probably. I don't pick consoles up at launch anyway though, so it's not like I'm in any rush to purchase any of these new consoles. Current gen and handhelds are fine with me for the time being.

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#21 Edited by Franstone (1455 posts) -

@turboman said:

@benny: Didn't Mark Cerny confirm that there was no Always On feature a few days ago because of foreign countries having much dodgier internet connections?

Yes.

"PlayStation 4 is not a permanent connection system in that sense, but the experience is much richer if you are connected. You will have access to digital content and updates your games, along with a wide range of social functions: upload videos and screenshots, see your friends play and interact with them in various ways within the games."

Whole article right here...

I wouldn't say that a system that does an online check once every 24 hours as an "always online" system either.
They could have just carefully worded that to avoid the sort of backlash that MS is getting while all along planning to do the same thing.

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#22 Edited by zudthespud (3332 posts) -

EA, Ubisoft and Activision must be super happy that they are making Microsoft take the blame for all of this. It would be so easy for them to turn to Sony and tell them that if they don't do the same they won't get any of their games.

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#23 Edited by mrfluke (5834 posts) -

@phoenix654: so food for thought, the 8-4 podcast guys brought up a good point, Japan, one of sony's biggest markets that they hold big dominance over microsoft, is apparently all about used games. so they said they would be surprised if sony directly follows suit.

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#24 Posted by Piranesi (467 posts) -

I love the playground arguments that have sprung up about the new consoles - reminds me of the Spectrum vs. Commodore debates way back when.

What worries me is that Sony will start to listen to keep the fans on board. Give it's precarious financial position, I don't think it can afford another failure. Costly hardware and a lack of triple-A exclusives will not create a sales rush. The lackluster Vita, poor first party catalogue and the shunning of the "mainstream gamer" is not a winning combination.

CoD and FIFA sells machines, indie games look nice but apart from Minecraft do nothing at all beyond Metacritic reviews and prestige points. Heavy Rain looks great in a press conference but not on a Walmart shelf. They aren't the cash cows that Sony needs to recoup the development costs and the PS4 desperately needs to make money.

I hope Sony has a future and doesn't base it's financial success on beating Microsoft to the hearts and minds of the consumer. Microsoft does seem to jump from PR crisis to PR disaster but does the regular customer care as long as they can play the next flashy shooter?

There's been a lot of silence, mis-talk, rumour, fan baiting and opinion - that's great but we still need to wait until we make judgement. Either way, these are definitely interesting times - a lot has changed over the years but this is what makes me excited for the future.

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#25 Edited by mrfluke (5834 posts) -

its just the fucking online check in every 24 hours, thats a fucking abysmal rule to put on your console.

imo sony can do whatever they want on used games as it doesnt impact me, but i do get the rage people have on the used games policy

but man i just hope they don't follow suit on the online check in requirement for games, if they do, them im leaving consoles and going the steam route.

its just good to have that guarantee that your games are not reliant on a internet connection for them to work.

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#26 Posted by Hunter5024 (6702 posts) -

At this point Sony has remained so quiet on the matter that they must have some shitty news in store for us. However I still think it would be smart for them not to include DRM. Saying they don't have these systems in place will be a huge selling point. People act like the platform holders need the publishers, but this relationship goes both ways. If publishers decide not to put their games out on PS4, then that means they are limiting themselves to one third of the next gen console audience. As Jeff said, this is a math problem at some point: does the number of people who play your game used make up for the number of people who don't buy your game at all because its not on their system of choice? I'm not convinced it does.

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#27 Posted by Tarsier (1491 posts) -

they already did?....!

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#28 Posted by Tarsier (1491 posts) -

@mrfluke said:

its just the fucking online check in every 24 hours, thats a fucking abysmal rule to put on your console.

imo sony can do whatever they want on used games as it doesnt impact me, but i do get the rage people have on the used games policy

but man i just hope they don't follow suit on the online check in requirement for games, if they do, them im leaving consoles and going the steam route.

its just good to have that guarantee that your games are not reliant on a internet connection for them to work.

they need to be able to upload your daily video/audio feed to stellar wind so that bill gates and the elites can decide who needs to be euthanized in the nwo.

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#29 Edited by Zeik (4413 posts) -

@piranesi: I think if Sony is going to do well this gen they need to consider a global perspective. Microsoft seems wholly focused on the United States. They don't seem to realize (or maybe even care) how many of their console policies or features are going to affect people outside of America. A lot of people fail to realize that Sony is actually ahead of Microsoft just about everywhere expect America. I don't think Sony can afford to screw over everyone else in favor of trying to win the market in the US.

Even if Sony can't completely ignore everything that Microsoft is doing, I think they have to at least do it differently. Americans are upset largely on a matter of principle, but outside of America these types of limitations can result in far more direct consequences.

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#30 Posted by NaesPeden (10 posts) -

Microsoft could easily overcome everyone's problem with 24hr check in, by allowing offline play as along as the Disc is in the drive.

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#31 Edited by Lind_L_Taylor (4123 posts) -

At this point Sony has remained so quiet on the matter that they must have some shitty news in store for us. However I still think it would be smart for them not to include DRM. Saying they don't have these systems in place will be a huge selling point. People act like the platform holders need the publishers, but this relationship goes both ways. If publishers decide not to put their games out on PS4, then that means they are limiting themselves to one third of the next gen console audience. As Jeff said, this is a math problem at some point: does the number of people who play your game used make up for the number of people who don't buy your game at all because its not on their system of choice? I'm not convinced it does.

Well it could be that Sony is retooling to show it's a pro-consumer device. Makes me wonder if the Consoles are going to be post-poned & pushed back to 2014 now to take into account what nobody wants in their system. Where are the focus groups? Recall how Microsoft Vista went through a focus group process to produce Windows 7. Then they just blew off the focus groups for Windows 8. I don't know why they would get rid of something that seems so vital to building something that people actually want...instead of just making egotistical assumptions on what people want & then designing a product in a customer vacuum.

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#32 Posted by Hunter5024 (6702 posts) -

@hunter5024 said:

At this point Sony has remained so quiet on the matter that they must have some shitty news in store for us. However I still think it would be smart for them not to include DRM. Saying they don't have these systems in place will be a huge selling point. People act like the platform holders need the publishers, but this relationship goes both ways. If publishers decide not to put their games out on PS4, then that means they are limiting themselves to one third of the next gen console audience. As Jeff said, this is a math problem at some point: does the number of people who play your game used make up for the number of people who don't buy your game at all because its not on their system of choice? I'm not convinced it does.

Well it could be that Sony is retooling to show it's a pro-consumer device. Makes me wonder if the Consoles are going to be post-poned & pushed back to 2014 now to take into account what nobody wants in their system. Where are the focus groups? Recall how Microsoft Vista went through a focus group process to produce Windows 7. Then they just blew off the focus groups for Windows 8. I don't know why they would get rid of something that seems so vital to building something that people actually want...instead of just making egotistical assumptions on what people want & then designing a product in a customer vacuum.

It may be that no consumer wants these changes, but if both companies choose to include them, then we really won't have any choice but to accept them. Or exclusively play the Wii U, because that's the only alternative if people want to make a stand against DRM. Which is why I really hope Sony understands that they don't have to do this for their console to succeed. The only way the audience accepts this DRM is if both companies do it, otherwise the whole thing falls apart.

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#33 Posted by Jimbo (10472 posts) -

EA, Ubisoft and Activision must be super happy that they are making Microsoft take the blame for all of this. It would be so easy for them to turn to Sony and tell them that if they don't do the same they won't get any of their games.

And it would be easy for Sony to call them on that bluff if they have the balls to do it.

If they have their shit together, Sony have more than enough first-party firepower to get them started. Combine that with a lot of early adopters and opinion makers viewing them as 'the good guys' and they could get off to a great start. Publishers do want to kill used sales, but they won't cut off their nose to spite their face: the bottom line is what matters. They'll cave in a heartbeat if it's a choice between selling their game exclusively to 10m X1 owners or selling their game to 10m on each console.

I know the prevailing view is that Sony are gonna come out and be just as bad as Microsoft, but if Jack Tretton gets up on stage with 'FUCK DRM!' tattoed across his knuckles and says "All that shit those others guys are doing? We ain't doing none of it!" he's gonna get carried around shoulder high for the entirety of the show. E3 would turn into a coronation for Sony.

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#34 Posted by mrfluke (5834 posts) -

i am really really curious to see the sales of the xbox one at launch,

to see if the average everyday person who doesn't search the internet like us will care about all the policies or get turned off immediately once they hear they cant buy used games anymore.

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#35 Posted by Max_Cherry (1276 posts) -

All The PS4 has to do is not require an internet connection and they will have hit that ball out of the park. They can do the bare minimum coming from big publishers through discs. I believe this is what Sony is going to do.

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#36 Posted by sagebirt (64 posts) -

Well, I would say "I'll just upgrade the PC". But FIFA 14 won't have the next-gen engine for the Pc version, so that's reason enough for me to not go down that road. It's still between Microsoft and Sony. E3 will sort things out!

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#37 Edited by Lind_L_Taylor (4123 posts) -

@hunter5024 said:

@lind_l_taylor said:

@hunter5024 said:

At this point Sony has remained so quiet on the matter that they must have some shitty news in store for us. However I still think it would be smart for them not to include DRM. Saying they don't have these systems in place will be a huge selling point. People act like the platform holders need the publishers, but this relationship goes both ways. If publishers decide not to put their games out on PS4, then that means they are limiting themselves to one third of the next gen console audience. As Jeff said, this is a math problem at some point: does the number of people who play your game used make up for the number of people who don't buy your game at all because its not on their system of choice? I'm not convinced it does.

Well it could be that Sony is retooling to show it's a pro-consumer device. Makes me wonder if the Consoles are going to be post-poned & pushed back to 2014 now to take into account what nobody wants in their system. Where are the focus groups? Recall how Microsoft Vista went through a focus group process to produce Windows 7. Then they just blew off the focus groups for Windows 8. I don't know why they would get rid of something that seems so vital to building something that people actually want...instead of just making egotistical assumptions on what people want & then designing a product in a customer vacuum.

It may be that no consumer wants these changes, but if both companies choose to include them, then we really won't have any choice but to accept them. Or exclusively play the Wii U, because that's the only alternative if people want to make a stand against DRM. Which is why I really hope Sony understands that they don't have to do this for their console to succeed. The only way the audience accepts this DRM is if both companies do it, otherwise the whole thing falls apart.

The DRM isn't that strong on the PC either. Nobody has to buy big blockbuster games. I, for one, don't feel like I'm missing out if a high dollar game is going to give me shit on my system. I'll just wait for the price to drop & enjoy other games in the interim. Paying high prices for games & putting up with bullshit DRM is somebody else's battle not mine. I'm looking forward to Shadowrun Returns & they're already promising a DRM free product. There are plenty of games that we can all hunker down into until the shit storm passes & these game companies & console builders collapse under their own greed. It only has any power if people agree to let it & I'm guessing a lot of people will walk away or at least wait for huge price drops to occur.

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#38 Edited by neoepoch (1317 posts) -

@piranesi said:
"poor first party catalogue"

Huh? I find Sony's first party catalog to be FAR more interesting than Microsoft's. It isn't Nintendo level of quality/nostalgia-mining, but it is a pretty sizable and quality catalog.

Also, if Sony still wants to have DRM to appease the 3rd party publishers, they could implement an offline mode that is similar to Steam and not dogshit like X1's is shaping to be. As in functional for the end user.

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#39 Posted by EarthBowl (174 posts) -

I love the fact that the majority of talk surrounding the Xbone and PS4 are primarily negative while Nintendo is quietly building on reasons people should buy the WiiU.

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#40 Posted by jsnyder82 (851 posts) -

Never have I been more glad to have built a new gaming PC (and bought a Wii U). I want to believe Sony taking notes during all of this Xbox One shitstorm. But I'm just not that naive. I really hope I'm proven wrong.

@mrfluke said:

i am really really curious to see the sales of the xbox one at launch,

to see if the average everyday person who doesn't search the internet like us will care about all the policies or get turned off immediately once they hear they cant buy used games anymore.

Yeah, that's what I think is going to happen. A lot of buyer's remorse when average everyday Joe goes Gamestop to do some trading-in / buying used games and realizes what's going on.

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#41 Posted by MildMolasses (3200 posts) -

@mrfluke said:

its just the fucking online check in every 24 hours, thats a fucking abysmal rule to put on your console.

I'm with you on that. I have zero issue with any policy regarding resale and used games, but the check-in is terrible. I remember as a kid bringing my Nintendo to the cottage in case it rained and you couldn't go outside. Can't do that with an XBONE because there's no internet. And I don't think taking your console someplace on a trip is that much of an edge case that can be ignored

I don't know what was wrong with the 360 method of tying a game to the console. That way it will always work on my console. And if I want to play any of those games at a friend's house, I would have to be connected to the internet, which makes sense anyway, because how else would I verify my account and even access those games in the first place without the connecttion

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