Sony Reportedly Looking to Patent New Technology That Could Block Pre-Owned Games
MCV reports that Sony is looking for a way that could potentially block pre-owned games on the PS4.
A new tech-heavy documents talks about a technology patent by Sony that describes a process that sees the console tag discs with information. This reportedly includes whether or not they have previously been played on a different machine or associated with a different PSN account. This technology is also said to allow for consoles to block pre-owned titles even if the hardware is not connected to the internet.
The document reads: “The development of electronic content including game applications (APs) is costly and therefore in a content business it is vital to redistribute part of proceeds from sales of the electronic content to the developers. On the other hand, the electronic content is being bought and sold in second-hand markets. In such a scheme where the electronic content is bought and sold in the second-hand markets or the like, the sales proceeds resulting therefrom are not redistributed to the developers. Also, since the users who have purchased the second-hand items are somehow no longer potential buyers of the content, the developers would lose their profits otherwise gained in the first place. 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.
“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.”
There were rumors of a possible PS4 blocking of pre-owned games last March 2012. Sony dismissed the issue with Jack Tretton staying he was “opposed to blocking used games”, and that pre-owned games are “great for consumers” and any moves to block the trade would be considered “anti-consumer.” Retailers have also dismissed the claims of this technology.