PS4 Rumors: Sony Fills Patent To Restrict Used Games
We might not know a lot about the PS4, but we know it’s gonna exist. Would it affect your opinion of it knowing that Sony could be planning to restrict games to a single console with it?
Disclaimer: Even though the patent is real, its application is just a rumor, so don’t take this for hard facts! We’re just speculating.
Some information surfaced today when NeoGAF user gofreak uncovered some information about a patent filled by Sony Japan for some new technology that would make used games unplayable on the next-gena Playstation, which we’ll refer here as the PS4.
In their own words, the system works “by employing the game playing system 1000 according to the present embodiment, the use permission tag 220 together with the game disk 210 is supplied to the user, and the use permission tag 220 actively determines the use permit/rejection of electronic content. Thereby, the use of game AP stored in the game disk 210 can be restricted as appropriate according to the attribute of a reproduction device. Consider, for example, a case where used is a game package 200 distributed in the second-hand market. Then the ID of reproduction device for the game disk 210 differs from the legitimate use device ID stored in the use permission tag 220, so that the game disk can be reproduced in a mode which is predetermined for those bought and sold in the second-hand market. Also, for example, a content key may be supplied to the reproduction device 130 and the encrypted game AP may be decrypted using the content key only if the reproduction device ID matches a legitimate use device ID. Hence, use of game APs bought and sold in the second-hand market can be eliminated.” What this basically means is that each game would come with an RF tag capable of remembering if a game has been tied to a different console or user account. The console would check this before launching the game, and if the tag doesn’t match, just not launch the game.
Sony (and other online services such as Xbox Live for Xbox 360 and Steam for PC’s) already have systems like that where each game bought is tied to a user account and can’t be resold, but this is the first time such a system would be applied to actual physical copies of a game. This would mean the end of friends lending each other games, and a lot of trouble if somehow a user account got hacked. But then again, if companies manage to cut some middle-men and/or save money by having less used games around, maybe triple A titles could go down in price. Ah, wishful thinking. Let us know what you think about this in the comments section.