Sony Patents Technology To Block Used Games From Working


Said technology, if implemented, would be available in the next PlayStation.

Found by NeoGAF, the technology, patented by Sony’s Japanese headquarters, wouldn’t need an internet connection (always-online) to work, as an  RFID ID would be stamped onto the new discs to track usage history and restrict the games to one console.

The tech would check a game disc’s RFID tag, which is capable of remembering if that game had been linked to a different machine or account. This check is performed offline and before the game is played.

While the technology can block used games altogether from working, it can also simply limit playable features, like blocking online access in lieu of online passes, or only making a few playthroughs available.

Find the full gist here.

Would you buy PS4 if you can’t play used games? It’s also important to remember that with each incoming console generation, these rumors, patents, etc appear, but somehow never get implemented. Microsoft, too, is mauling over including the tech into Xbox Durango, and SCEA’s Jack Tretton has said he opposes the feature, so don’t see this as set in stone just yet.

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Author: Ernice Gilbert View all posts by
Ernice Gilbert here. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Gamesthirst. Thanks for stopping by, make yourself at home!

22 Comments on "Sony Patents Technology To Block Used Games From Working"

  1. TheGrimOfDeath January 3, 2013 at 4:10 pm -

    Better not use it in the PS4 Sony.

  2. Ghost250 January 3, 2013 at 6:35 pm -

    guess im buying a next gen xbox or a steambox then, hmmm pretty sad tbh. sony can expect to screw themselves out the market. why would anyone play on a machine that blocks used games when the other competitors don’t do that. screw sony for that, like seriously. personally no matter how good their exclusives, it doesn’t justify the purchase of the machine to begin with. it really wouldn’t affect me since i buy all my games new but still, i can’t support something that goes against the consumer.

  3. nick January 4, 2013 at 3:40 am -

    EVERYONE will have some sort of used game prevention system in place.
    whether its to block the WHOLE game, or just a specific part of it, it WILL be there!
    developers are loosing money hand over fist because of used sales, and online passes really have not seemed to work, so this will be the next step like it or not.

  4. benzo January 4, 2013 at 11:13 am -

    I will still buy the PS4. I dont mind paying for new games. It is how I as a consumer reward the hard work that devs put into games. The used market, while great for consumers, is murder on devs. The dont get a penny from the sales while gamestop and disc replay make $40 to $50 on the games. Lest we forget all the devs that folded in 2012…The best way to support the gaming industry is to BUY NEW GAMES. NOT USED BUT NEW! With that being said, a price cut on new games will be key here. I have seen lots of people online comment that cheaper games would help soften the blow, and I agree.

  5. Ernice Gilbert January 4, 2013 at 11:16 am -

    Benzo! I agree with you. I never really buy used games at all. But if publishers could lower the price of titles and in turn block used games, I believe gamers would be appeased.

  6. Ernice Gilbert January 4, 2013 at 11:19 am -

    @Nick: I agree.

  7. benzo January 4, 2013 at 11:21 am -

    I forgot to say that I agree with you Nick!

  8. Ghost250 January 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm -

    sorry but if you agree with nick your obviously okay with losing your rights as a consumer.

    @benzo wrong used games do not murder publishers or devs if so then what stopped used games from killing other companies in past generations, oh wait it didn’t. even now big companies such as EA are posting huge gross in revenue, wouldn’t they be in trouble since sports games genre is by far the one where the most used games are purchased. all your doing is making excuses for the companies to bend you over. saying that used games is what kills devs is beyond the most ridiculous arguments in gaming ever. the only thing that kills these devs is the games they make themselves, the lack of actual quality put into their games. such as zipper who basically killed themselves with their crappy games over the years. or THQ who made a buisness decision to port a game to the 360 or PS3, a game that made them alot of money on the wii btw, an what happened it ended destroying their own company because it didn’t sell at all because no one bought it, one bad decision. grasshopper manufacturer another good dev doesn’t sell too many games but yet they are able to still continue to make games. i don’t see anything about them saying that used games sells hurt them. its all bull, im sorry. but hey im the only that see wrong in this guess.

  9. Ernice Gilbert January 4, 2013 at 9:55 pm -

    @Ghost: Good points, but what do you make of GameStop raking in billions on the back of these devs and pubs? That surely can’t be right.

  10. Ghost250 January 4, 2013 at 10:39 pm -

    Wal-Mart, Target, Hastings, Best Buy etc make money off film makers and film companies with used movies but yet i don’t see any one of those big movie companies complaining. same thing goes for gaming, no one brings up the whole used game thing unless a company made a company decision that screwed the company or their games just flat out suck and no one nuys them. like THQ who didn’t make a peep about used games until their company was going down the crapper. what about what these so “deserving” publishers & devs that ship games with online passes, day 1 dlc, on disc dlc, imposing day 1 patches, games running improperly because the devs are so damn incompetent, selling the endings of games in form of DLC, that isn’t right neither is it? plus in order for gamestop to have made billions off used games then they must have spent billions on the actual “new” product itself that they sell “new” and that eventually comes back to them “used” that they sell “used” to make a profit, perfectly justifiable if you ask me.

  11. Ernice Gilbert January 4, 2013 at 11:02 pm -

    Hmm, strong points again. What if the price of games (new) came down to $40 because of the used game block tech. Isn’t that a good trade off?

  12. Ghost250 January 4, 2013 at 11:19 pm -

    the only way i could except tech like that is if every game has demo released on PSN, XBL, Steam, Nintendo Network etc.. thats the one and only way i’ll ever except that tech. that way everyone has a chance to play a reflection of the end product itself. and thus base their decisions if they want to buy a specific game or not, otherwise these companies can go screw themselves. dropping the price the price is cool but it wont change anything because people will be paying the premium prices anyways in the form of DLC. just another way that these greedy companies can screw us. people fail to understand that if companies can invest hundreds of millions of dollars into making games and advertising than they aren’t being hurt by used games otherwise they wouldn’t be able to do that all. it all comes from the quality of the games they make and the business decisions these companies make that can hurt them.

  13. nick January 5, 2013 at 10:42 am -

    dude you cant use movies as a excuse.
    most of their revenue is going to be at the box office, games dont have a luxury period where there only available new like what movies at the cinema does.
    if games were like films where they were only available brand new for 4 months of release, than developers and manufactures would not be complaining.
    id be better for manufactures to do something like that, but how are they going to stop people from trading games in and stop stores from selling them?
    maybe $ony will be using this technology on games, but only for the first x months of release after that its open season.

  14. Ernice Gilbert January 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm -

    Nice point, Nick!

  15. Ghost250 January 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm -

    @nick actually games do have a luxury period which is has always been the first week of release incase you didn’t know that. thats the period where every major publisher or developer makes their most revenue. so a game like Resident Evil 6 sells 676,585 the first week which made over $40,000,000 in revenue. say if RE6 was a movie factor your standard ticket sale price it makes only over $4,000,000 i guess we can’t compare games to movies even though a standard game can make more than a movie. an i didn’t even factor how people bought collector’s edition how paid more for the product or who the new DLC which made even more money. so i guess we really can’t use movies but yet a game makes more the first week than a lot of movies could even hope to do. maybe i should have compare movies to games like COD, guess we can’t compare that neither but yet it COD breaks entertainment records constantly with their games getting sold used at the same time. like i said stop making lame excuses because its bullcrap.

  16. nick January 6, 2013 at 9:34 am -

    just encase you dident know movies are at box office for a hell of allot longer than a week!
    some games make most their money within a week, but allot dont allot of games dont have their best week till a few weeks later.
    games dont have the luxury movies do, movies have a good 10 weeks or so where your only able to watch them by going to the movies, thus the creators see the profit.
    games, well, ive seen used copies of games on the same day of release!
    hell when i went to pick up my copy of black ops 2 on release someone had traded in the care package so i was able to buy it for a friend as a chrissy present.
    point is developers and publishers are loosing so much money over this BS, they need to find a way to stop that and this seems the easiest most effective solution.

  17. Ghost250 January 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm -

    sigh…… yes nick yes they are losing so much money, i mean COD doesn’t keep continually outdoing itself and breaking entertainment records, you know records that movies could never do. GTA, Mario, Gran Turismo, Gears Of War, Halo, Assassins Creed, The Elder Scrolls, Uncharted, etc. i mean they have really lost soooooo much money that these companies didn’t make profits at allllll…… even though used games have been around since the beginning of gaming, these companies sure didn’t amount to crap since used games lost sooooo much money. done, keep letting companies take away your consumers rights then they will continue to screw because all it is, is an excuse for them to screw you. an its not even the fact that it’ll effect me neither since i buy all my games new, its just a stupid thing to support in general.

  18. nick January 7, 2013 at 9:38 am -

    christ your arrogance is unbelievable!
    i give up, id have better luck convincing osama america is not the devil!

  19. foxton January 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm -

    im with you on this one ghost, this would be disastrous for the gaming industry, and would kill off a lot of gaming. I buy a lot of second hand games and if my gaming was restricted on 2nd hand games then it would really put me off. Nick what about films that dont make box office? believe it or not there are a lot of films that go straight to DVD or dont get the advertisement or the backing that a small minority of these huge multi million pound films that are being made.
    If sony take away the right of being able to buy 2nd hand games where would this take us next? Electrical items? Clothes? if i buy a game i own the right to be able to do with it what. If i want to sell it on or give it away to a friend thats my choice and no one elses. This would take away gaming from the poorer sections of society who are dealing with enough hardship in these climates.
    The only way i could maybe see it acceptable would be if they did it with downloadable games only, e.g. you could download a game for say £10 but it would only stay on your ps3 for a week, after that it would delete itself or something, or you could have the option to pay a bit more to keep it for longer, or buy it outright. I guess ultimately in the future discs will be a thing of the past and all gaming will be downloaded, like how the music industry has headed, and the film industry seems to be following suit with the huge influx of netflix and other film streaming organisations crippling the old fashion video shops. Maybe these patents will be for downloadable games instead of old fashion discs that would be harder to do.

  20. narwall14 January 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm -

    osama is dead or is he…..

  21. foxton January 7, 2013 at 12:41 pm -

    i think thats his point…

  22. Ghost250 January 7, 2013 at 3:04 pm -

    nick your ignorance is on a level i never knew existed, plus you wouldn’t convince anyone because what your trying to defend is stupid. im sorry but its flat out stupid. your nothing more but brainwashed by these companies.

    @foxton good points, totally forgot about straght to dvd releases. an while i don’t think sony will implement this type of tech. i still find it that people like nick are willing to give away their rights as consumers. once they do that then these companies will be taking advantage of us all of the time and who’s to say that this type of stuff doesn’t spill into other mediums aswell.

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