Jump to content

Sony Patent Could Stop You From Playing Used Games, Possibly on the Next PlayStation


Recommended Posts

  • Retromags Curator

And if this happens, I will not buy new games or the new system. If Sony wants to shoot themselves in the foot, so be it......I will just start buying more old school games that I missed out on back in the 80's and 90's!

Sony's PlayStation division has patented technology that can block the use of second hand games on a console.

The idea sees individual game discs matched to user accounts. Games which have been associated with another user's account will be rejected.

Discs would come branded with a contactless tag which would be recognised and read by your console, using the same sort of NFC technology present in modern bank cards.

"When the game is to be played, the reproduction device conveys the disc ID and a player ID to the use permission tag," the patent document filed by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan reads (thanks, NeoGAF). "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."

The documentation goes into detail about Sony's desire and past efforts to "suppress" second hand game sales, and notes that the technology is a neat alternative to a simple password or Online Pass solution.

"Where the reproduction device [console] is not connected to the internet, use of the content cannot be controlled," the text states. As for a simple passcode feature, "users may communicate to share the password between them and therefore the second-hand sales and purchases cannot be eliminated reliably."

Sony aims for its new technology to be able to change that.

"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."

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-01-03-sony-patents-tech-to-block-use-of-second-hand-games

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Retromags Curator

Also, what happens if your console dies down the road? Take for example....

You buy the PS4 in 2015 and over the next 5 years you build a library of 50+ games. It's now 2022, and your PS4 dies....so you go onto eBay and pick up a second hand unit to replace it. Oh what's that? Now your library of 50 games is tied to the broken unit, and Sony no longer supports the PS4 because it is now 7 years later. So you are essentially screwed and can't even sell your games because they won't work on anyone else's PS4 either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Retromags Curator

While I think this is a terribly foolish step for Sony to take, one thing we need to keep in mind is that companies patent things ALL THE TIME. They'll patent crap they don't even have any plan to use because it means that their competition won't be able to use it without paying licensing fees. I'll be pretty shocked if this actually comes about though. It's the model the PC has been using for years, with major studios tying their products to limited installs, online-activation, always-on internet connections, and other rubbish forms of DRM, and the PC game market is stalling because of it.

VGChartz.com shows US PC game sales in 2012 lagged behind almost every other console except the newly-launched WiiU, the PSP, and Sony's PS Vita.

Think about that: the 3DS sold more (gaming) software than the PC market in 2012. The 360 outperformed PC software sales by a factor of 10, and the PS3 did so by a factor of 6. PC gaming is now a niche market, and it's highly doubtful that Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo will implement this level of restriction unless there's broad acceptance for it across all their platforms making it an "our way or you don't play" type of situation.

*huggles*
Areala

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Put me in the boat with Areala. Companies do patent things more often than they make use of them. Luckily enough for us. They all have to realize that as much as they want to limit secondhand sales this will do FAR more harm than good. The PC market is a great example of how protection schemes do little to those it intends to stop and merely turns legit customers away. I gave up PC gaming once I saw what Steam does to your PC, and other malware and DRM sealed the deal.

If your console breaks, if you need to share with a family member, if you want to rent games, then you're out of luck. Cutting used games will destroy sales as people won't trade things into GS and won't be using credit for new games, plus without GS there goes a major retailer. What if it's a niche title and you can't find a new copy? What if you go back to collect old games in the future? The fact the 'feature' is there will encourage hacking and we know how that goes. You'd think companies would keep it simple to keep customers happy and reduce the need or desire to hack. Not being future proof is a big reason why I prefer disc games over digital.

I guess it wouldn't hugely affect me as I wait until games drop into the $30 range regardless if they're new or used. It's the principle of the thing that would make me say "no, this is enough". With my collection I could easily not buy another platform after the U and keep myself busy with the classics I've gathered over the years. I guess in a very slight way a crash would be good news as I could then finish my backlog then go back to all the PS1 games I've wanted to replay.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, what happens if your console dies down the road? Take for example....

You buy the PS4 in 2015 and over the next 5 years you build a library of 50+ games. It's now 2022, and your PS4 dies....so you go onto eBay and pick up a second hand unit to replace it. Oh what's that? Now your library of 50 games is tied to the broken unit, and Sony no longer supports the PS4 because it is now 7 years later. So you are essentially screwed and can't even sell your games because they won't work on anyone else's PS4 either.

Well, if you read the patent carefully, the game discs are associated with your PS4 user name you created when you first booted up the system. The user name can be transferred to another system later on, as long as you know the password. I heard Microsoft is doing something similar with the next Xbox as well. So the Next Generation might be a bummer for folks who want to buy or sell used games.

But yeah, this would destroy 70% of all GameStop sales, eBay, Craigslist, or any used games avenue. Personally, I don't have a problem with it because all I buy are new games, and I keep them forever. Even 20 year old games, I still buy them new, despite the high cost.

Remember though that hackers will always be on the case as soon as the PS4 comes out. If you really want to get used games, there will always be a way. Despite PC DRM, hackers always managed to get games working. I don't condone such actions. But if you want it badly, there's a way around it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That only solves the issue where your hardware is disabled. There are still many more issues this patent ignores.

The used market is never going anywhere. For some it's the only way to acquire goods, especially when retail price creeps higher and higher. Sure I buy many games new thanks to B2G1 sales, Amazon markdowns, coupons, black Friday deals, and so on. I never pay retail price, I wait for price drops. But I also buy plenty used when the price is right. Hell there's a number of games I got solely because they looked ok and I needed a second/third game to take advantage of the sale. Things like Alice, Killzone 2, the first AssCreed, Medal of Honor, or Mirror's Edge. The developers got their money from the first sale and found a new customer for later. I too never trade in but would be extremely disappointed to know they have zero value in the future. It's also very unlikely you'll find that many 'new' games 20 years from now. At least not at prices I'd be willing to pay. Speaking of which any game that is old enough to be out of print you're just paying the collector's inflated price. None of that goes to the dev.

Exactly. PC piracy prevention proved you'll make more money with less protection. It won't stop pirates, they'll find a workaround. Meanwhile the more invasive protection becomes, the more likely people such as myself will get fed up and go elsewhere. We see that piracy didn't slow down the Wii or DS. Hackers aren't going to suddenly start buying games so what do companies stand to gain with these schemes? Screw the shareholders. They'll be happier when they see thrilled and returning customers than they would be knowing a game is overprotected and sitting on shelves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Sony and especially M$ also try this whole "no used games stunt", then Nintendo will already win the 8th gen console war before it even starts. So it looks like the "not a real 8th gen console that has the funny college name" may end up having the last laugh. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

You know, there are plenty of games I'd love to be able to play digitally, since they were limited release games, or low production numbers sort of games. Take Suikoden II for example. Sony and Konami could be RAKING in money if they'd release it on PSN for $10-15. Considering what people pay on eBay... no-brainer, right?

However, they see none of the eBay money because they are second hand sales. Whose fault is that now? NOT MINE!

Time will tell, but I really don't see Sony being this dense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the price people are willing to pay on eBay is more for the rare collectible than something that will see a lot of use. I don't buy much from PSN because I don't like spending more than $5 or $10 on something without a case or manual but would greatly prefer they focus on new content over producing tons of ports. Some guaranteed hits like MGS or FF7 would make more sense, Suikoden was kinda a niche title.

We've little reason to expect them to go all digital anytime soon, there are a lot of issues to solve first. However this may be their solution for BC, to emulate the games rather than provide the proper chips now then remove them later to reduce costs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For what it is worth, all PS1 games I've bought on PSN (in a couple cases to encourage releasing more titles like it), they have had a digital manual you can zoom in on, and the quality is quite nice. My biggest reason for preferring a disc based game is that if my internet craps out, I still have access to it. Also, with PS1 titles, I can put the disc in my PS1, and Gameshark it however I so choose...

I think the biggest hurdle to an all-digital model, other than the hard drive space, is internet speeds. Sure, things have gotten better in most places, but if you require that internet be active to download and/or play your games, you would cut off a vast majority of the people in rural areas, or areas with poor internet service. I know where I live JUST got reasonably quick internet a few years ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • Retromags Curator

Sony's current plan for the PS4's backwards compatibility with PS3 titles is apparently an online streaming service like "On Live" where you won't be playing the game on your physical hardware, you'll be playing it in their cloud and they'll stream the video at you as it happens. One thing I'm curious for though...how will they know what games you own? Will you have to re-buy them so you can play them digitally? Or will you put the disc into the system and it counts as "unlocking" the game on their server so you can play it?

This coming generation is weirding me out. I want my games to exist in my house on my discs so I can use them when and where I see fit, not tied to some digital cloud server somewhere that won't let me play them if my internet connection conks out on me.

*huggles*
Areala

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well ..... if there is any truth to the rumours that both the new Xbox and PS4 have x86 based CPU's the only way to play older content is likely via game streaming as the logistics of emulating cell CPU code onto x86 would be a nightmare. That and the fact that if they actually do it then the hackers will likely work out how they are doing it and it won't be long before emulators are out there for PC users to run PS3 games etc.

No, I think backwards compatibility is going to be non-existent with the new generation of consoles.

Ironically that makes them somewhat less desirable as people with current consoles need to retain their older consoles and hope they don't break. And if they are PC chipset based what can they bring to the table that a PC cannot other than a closed box with likely no upgradability? Nope, I am not sold on the idea of these new consoles. I am eagerly awaiting their announcements though so I can see if the rumours are correct.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally I'm still a bit irked that I can't play PS2 games on my PS3, and for frankly silly reasons. Then again, how many people would be buying PSN versions of PS2 games if they still have the discs? All about the money I suspect. Also related, I'm a bit worried now that if my PS2 ends up dying, it may prove difficult to find another new one now that Sony has quit making them.

However, I'm trying to look at the bright side of any new console info. Everything I hear so far is really making me look at my back catalog more seriously haha. :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems Sony will be officially announcing the Playstation 4 this coming Wednesday, Feb. 20. So we'll see what happens. Meanwhile, there are many rumors (which usually comes true in this industry) that the next Xbox will not play used games either. In fact, it may require people to have an internet connection in order for you to play it, similar to Steam, which uses a DRM system that checks if that is the game that you own by matching it with your online gamertag. All future Xbox games that you buy brand new will come with a special code you gotta input when you first play the game as well. The physical copy, therefore, would be useless if you say, sold it on eBay or at GameStop. Unless of course, GameStop sells you a new code along with the used copy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recent Achievements

    • Crystal earned a badge
      Member for 1 Day
    • NEStalgia314 earned a badge
      Member for 3 Months
    • hypostatic earned a badge
      Member for 5 Years
    • hypostatic earned a badge
      Member for 1 Day
    • hypostatic earned a badge
      Member for 3 Months
×
×
  • Create New...