Upcoming Sony Patent Blocks Use of Secondhand Games

Unique disc IDs via contactless tags will bond games to specific users

I prefer to buy my games new. However, there's a lot to be said for buying used games, or borrowing them from friends--in fact, GameStop's "Buy 2, Get 2 Free" sales are actually pretty dangerous for the slowly-dwindling space on my shelves. Bad news for people in the same boat--a new Sony patent looks like it might cripple used game sellers like GameStop or renters like RedBox, as the new technology will disallow the use of secondhand games on consoles.

 

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Using contactless tags like a bank card, the disc ID and player ID will be stored on the tag--every time the disc is inserted into the system, the IDs are checked, and if they don't match, the disc won't start up. The document also shows a "temporary use ID" system that will apparently limit the amount of uses to games that aren't bonded to your console.

 

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The document further explains that this is part of Sony's continuing efforts to slow secondhand video game sales, and is apparently an easier solution than always-on DRM and passwords.

 

So far, Sony hasn't made any comment on this patent, so we're not 100% sure if this is for the upcoming PlayStation4/Orbis console. What do you think? If this technology makes its way into the next console generation, what do you think it will do to the video game buying market?

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