Any and all PlayStation and Xbox console owners residing in the United States now have the lawful right to repair their consoles.
According to a report by GamesIndustry earlier today, the United States Copyright Office has ruled in favor of letting console owners repair their own consoles. The right to self-repair however has been limited to only optical drives to make sure that console owners do not exploit the ruling for piracy purposes.
“Narrowing the exemption for consoles in this manner appropriately balances the specific adverse effects experienced by users against opponents’ legitimate concerns over links between console circumvention and piracy,” reads the United States Copyright Office ruling.
There are also other limitations to be aware of. For example, the right to self-repair covers only consoles with optical drives. The all-digital PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S models are hence not eligible for self-repair under the new ruling. Furthermore, console owners have no right to indulge in any self-repair which relates to “purpose of gaining access to other copyrighted works.”
There have been several petitions laid out in front of the United States Copyright Office in recent years for the exemption to repair optical drives. The underlined assertion being that authorized and first-party repair services can be expensive and unavailable in the case of legacy consoles which are no longer supported by their respective console manufacturer.
Incidentally, Microsoft announced earlier in the month that it will be increasing options for Xbox owners to repair their consoles by the end of 2022. Microsoft has not outlined any potential options for the time being but has been asked by shareholders to consider “a third-party study evaluating the environmental and social impacts associated with increasing consumer access to repair and determine new mechanisms to increase access to repair, including for Surface devices and Xbox consoles.”