Latest Sony Patent Threatens Second Hand Games


But will this new technology ever be utilized? Does the used game market have something to fear?

Earlier today we discovered that Sony Computer Entertainment Japan had secured a patent for technology that could block the use of second hand games.

The technology itself is unerringly simple. A contact-less tag attached to a game disc will link that particular game to your console user account. Should the same disc be used in someone else’s console or if you tried to play a game linked to someone else’s account then the console will reject the game.

“When the game is to be played, the reproduction device conveys the disc ID and a player ID to the use permission tag,” reads the patent document. “The use permission tag stores the terms of use of the game and determines whether a combination of the disc ID and the player ID conveyed from the reproduction device fulfils the terms of use or not.”

“As a result [of the patented idea], the dealing of electronic content in second-hand markets is suppressed, which in turn supports the redistribution of part of proceeds from sales of the electronic content to the developers.”

Sony have experimented with anti-piracy and anti-second hand games and how to block them before with Online Passes or passwords. Whilst these methods work, they only work in limited ways and usually require an internet connection to be even remotely effective.

This news is harrowing for the used gaming market which makes up a significant portion of games retailers today. Whilst we still don’t know exactly what Sony intends to do with the technology, this could mean dire things for the next console to be released by Sony. We’re expecting an official announcement to the PlayStation 3’s successor later this year, but with this recent revelation what can we possibly expect?

By Liam Stanway

You might know Liam as the host of the XPGrind podcast and video series. Liam's a freelance writer who posts news for SegmentNext as well as recording, editing and publishing podcasts and video.

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