New Patent Suggests Sony May Block Used Games On Their Next Console

A NeoGaf user discovered a recent patent filing that suggest Sony might be resurrecting plans to attach software to hardware.

Because the problem for Sony in 2012 was used game sales.

Gaf user gofreak dug up the patent which was filed back in September which claims to have a method to “reliably restricts the use of electronic content dealt in the second-hand markets.” The thrust of the patent is that Sony would potentially use some kind of tagging to restrict software use by device.

For instance, one method suggests a chip embedded in a disc which will require the console to be connected to the Internet before it could be used. Alternately, one method suggests a keymaster/gatekeeper type situation where a disc would include an encryption key that would only be unlocked by the console which initially decrypted it.

It’s all part of the ongoing concern that publishers aren’t getting a cut of the used game market, but to the extent that it feels like it’s infringing on the rights of the consumer if it does take place. Now you could point to digital releases which are restricted by online profile/hardware, but it feels weird that Sony would put something in place where I couldn’t use physical goods as I see fit.

For now, it’s simply a patent and nothing more, but in terms of moving games and getting a cut of the profits, this is the wrong (and kind of sleazy) approach.


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