Sao Paulo Court Rules Sony Can't Block PS5 Consoles Over PS Plus Collection Sale

Published: December 28, 2020 11:01 AM /


The logo for the PlayStation Plus Collection

The Court of Justice of Sao Paulo has ruled that Sony must unlock PlayStation 5 consoles it locked over the sale of PlayStation Plus Collection-eligible accounts. Users had been creating PS5 accounts with access to the Collection, then selling access to those accounts to PS4 gamers.

What does this PS5 ruling mean for Sony?

Right now, it's possible for PS5 users and PS4 users to be logged into the same PlayStation Network account simultaneously. This has led some PS5 users to create accounts with access to PlayStation Plus - and thus the new PlayStation Plus Collection library of PS4 back-catalogue games - and then sell access to those accounts to PS4 users for a nominal fee. Sony says this violates the PS5's terms of use, and it's been locking the consoles of PS5 users who have been doing this.

Bloodborne, part of Sony's new PlayStation Plus Collection
PS5 users have been selling access to the PlayStation Plus Collection via compatible accounts.

Now, however, according to a report by Brazilian news platform Metropoles (note: link is in Portuguese and we're using machine translation), the Court of Justice of Sao Paulo has ruled that Sony must unlock these consoles. This is corroborated by Brazilian platform The Enemy (again, we're using machine translation for this link). The Enemy says that Sao Paulo court judge Anderson Antonucci says blocking PS5s constitutes "danger of irreparable damage" to the consoles. In essence, Sony is within its rights to ban users' accounts for this practice, but it is not within its legal rights as a company to block their consoles in Brazil.

Does this decision have any worldwide implications?

Users aren't just doing this in Brazil. All over the world, PS5 users have been selling access to the PlayStation Plus Collection. One Twitter user claims that "thousands of PSN accounts" have been banned in Hong Kong over this practice, with some PS5 consoles also being blocked in the same way as they were in Brazil. The Sao Paulo court judge compared Sony's practice of banning consoles to Netflix breaking your television if you violate its terms of service.

We don't know of any other court cases regarding this issue in other territories yet. This is a Brazil-specific ruling, so the Sao Paulo justice court's decision doesn't apply elsewhere in the world. However, if Sony does block PS5 consoles rather than simply banning users, it's likely we'll be hearing more outcry from PS5 owners who can't access their consoles. We'll bring you more as we get it.

What is the PlayStation Plus Collection?

The PlayStation Plus Collection is a curated library of games that PlayStation Plus subscribers can access at no additional cost to their subscription fee. At the moment, the collection consists entirely of PS4 games, although many of them have been enhanced on PS5. Titles include PS4 exclusives like BloodborneRatchet and Clank, and Days Gone, as well as third-party partner games such as Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. You'll have access to the PlayStation Plus Collection for as long as you're a PS Plus subscriber.

How do you feel about the Court of Justice's decision? Let us know in the comments below!

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Joe has been writing for TechRaptor for five years, and in those five years has learned a lot about the gaming industry and its foibles. He’s originally an… More about Joseph