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.
“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?