Sony patents tech to stop used games and rentals
Posted: 03.01.2013 17:12 by Comments: 10
Sony is once again exploring tech that will lock games to a single console, removing the option of gamers to buy used games or rent them. This was discovered by a NeoGAF member who found the patent application by Sony Japan.

The filing reads, “According to the present embodiment, realized is the electronic content processing system that reliably restricts the use of electronic content dealt in the second-hand markets. As a result, the dealing of electronic content in the second-hand markets is suppressed, which in turn supports the redistribution of part of proceeds from sales of the electronic content to the developers.”

Of course, such a system uses an online-only connection, according to the filing.

“As a technique to suppress the second-hand sales and purchase, a user may be first required to send a password or the like to a remote authentication server from a reproduction device (game player) via the Internet and the reproduction of content may be permitted only for the device that has succeeded in authentication.”

“However, where the reproduction device is not connected to the Internet, use of the content cannot be controlled. Also, where the connection to the Internet is an absolute requirement, user’s convenience may be significantly reduced. Besides, users may communicate to share the password between them and therefore the second-hand sales and purchase cannot be eliminated reliably.”

Back in May 2012, Sony America CEO Jack Tretton stated that he was opposed to such measures, calling it "anti-consumer". He might have known something was up when he added that Sony Japan felt differently.

This is not the first time Sony explored tech to combat used game sales and rentals. Back in 2006, a furor arose from Sony patenting tech to bind games to single PlayStation 3's. The tech was never implemented.


By danfreeman (SI Elite) on Jan 03, 2013
Well,pirating it is then,sorry but you can`t expect everyone to buy your games at max price sony.
By JonahFalcon (SI Elite) on Jan 03, 2013
No excuse for piracy. Ever. Just don't buy a PS4.
By djole381 (SI Elite) on Jan 03, 2013
I highly doubt Sony will ever implement this tech. If for some reason they decide to give it a go, the backlash from the gamers will be huge.
By Xyfer117 (SI Core) on Jan 04, 2013
The Playstation 4 will get boycotted if this happens.
By Hammerjinx (SI Core) on Jan 04, 2013
I don't think ppl will boycot, but people will sure as shit buy many fewer games if they know they cannot re-sell in any way. AAA titles will probably do alright, smaller titles had better be prepared to go for a much lower cost if they want to shift units.

There may also be a strong swing towards XBox - assuming MS doesn't *also* gouge consumers.

That could be a big assumption.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jan 04, 2013
I would be quite surprised if this is even relevant. Most sales would be going through the digital distribution platforms, which means they'll be linked to an account.

The way I see it most games won't even release a physical copy at all. At least they shouldn't have to.
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jan 04, 2013
Exactly, I can't lend any of my Steam games.

But still, these guys should realize that second hand buyers give money to original buyers to buy more new games with.

I understand that they want to shut down the second hand retailers that make moneys off of their work, I really get that, but they should find some middle ground that doesn't punish their best customers.
By HenoKutus (SI Elite) on Jan 04, 2013
A very bad idea,just like the new store they implemented-slow and chaotic,no second hand games means xbox for me if they go through with it!
By JonahFalcon (SI Elite) on Jan 04, 2013
And Microsoft will brag about that. "You can buy used 360 games, or rent them on GameFly!"
By Jasca_Ducato (SI Core) on Jan 04, 2013
Well, let's just hope they're setting up patents pure,y to stop others setting up something similar in future. There is absolutely no way, whatsoever, that this feature combats piracy, as all it does is 'lock down' (for lack of a better term) legally purchased games.

Season Pass are the way forward if Developers want to maximise their second-hand sales, and even then I find that insulting as, in my eyes, the second I hand over the cash, the disc, and the right to access the contents on it, are mine ad infinitum.