Posted by Chuck Corbin on Jan 7, 2013

Sony Patent Could Prevent Used Copies Of Games From Being Played

With the PS3 and other consoles being out for over 6 years it’s no wonder that people have been wondering about the capabilities of the new consoles that will be taking their place. Microsoft is allegedly including the Kinect 2 into their next system. Sony, however, has been the subject of more worrisome rumors, including the fact that their next console may restrict or even ban the use of used games.

Until now it’s been unknown as to exactly how Sony would accomplish this feat. I figured that each game would contain something like a CD-key that would tie a game to a console, but it doesn’t look like Sony is going with that sort of brute-force method. Instead, according to a patent that Sony filed back in September, all discs will have an RFID tag stamped onto them that can be used to track and report their usage history.

Because the system would use an RFID tag the system would not need to be connected to the internet to see if that particular game has been associated with any other console or account. While the console could then block a used game from being played, what’s more likely to happen is that the game will still be allowed to be played, though with limited capabilities such as lack of multiplayer, or perhaps part of the main campaign is blocked off until the user pays some sort of fee through the console. In other words, the RFID tag would essentially be a higher-tech version of the Online Passcodes that many companies like EA use in order to discourage gamers from buying used copies of games, as the publishers and developers get no money from used copy sales. While it sucks that such a measure is likely to happen in this new console, at least you won’t be forced to type in some 28 digit code using the controller anymore.

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Written by Chuck Corbin

Growing up in Bloomington, Indiana, Chuck has always had a love of games, starting with the Sega Genesis and the GameBoy, and that love has evolved into building and tweaking his PC.

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