A Brazilian judge has ordered Sony to unlock a Playstation 5 console that was banned from online use.
A story on a Brazilian news website, Metropoles, (initially raised on Reset Era) reports that a Brazilian judge, in a preliminary decision, ordered Sony to unban a Playstation 5 that was banned from going online. Passed through Google Translate, the article refers to a court case where a single plaintiff took Sony to court after their Playstation 5 was banned from online use.
Judge Anderson Antonucci ordered Sony to unban the console, saying he understood that, as long as the console was banned, there was “danger of irreparable damage or difficult repair”. That’s not entirely correct but this could be a translation issue. It is the case that being banned severely hampers the functionality of current and last-gen consoles.
This case appears to only have involved one Playstation 5 owner, but the implication is that Sony could be ordered to unban other users’ consoles. Why it was banned from going online? We don’t yet know for sure, but it may have something to do with the Playstation Plus Collection, a set of ‘free’ PS4 games available to Playstation 5 owners who subscribe to the service. Some people have been sharing their Playstation Plus accounts, allowing people without Playstation Plus to download these games and there have been (unconfirmed) reports of users being banned for just this behaviour.
Whatever the cause, we suspect Sony will appeal this decision and it doesn’t mean that other courts are going to follow suit. But we’ve always been aware that, as digital-only consoles become more common, you don’t really ‘own’ the games you buy. With the press of a button, a company could deny you access to hundreds or even thousands of pounds worth of purchases. We’ll be watching this unfold with interest.