Sony has filed a new patent, and it’s one that is bound to generate a lot of controversy if implemented in the PS4.
Sony’s Japanese division, SCEJ, has filed for a new patent and it’s a very recent one that was filed on 09/12/2012. If granted–which will probably take two or three years–they can implement this new tech, and according to them the second-hand market can be eliminated.
Here’s what they had to say about why such a tech was necessary and the impact of second-hand sales on game developers.
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.
There’s a lot of complicated language that was used in the patent filing, but here’s something that will make sense as to what the patent actually does.
Consider, for example, a case where used is a game package 200 distributed in the second-hand market. Then the ID of reproduction device for the game disk 210 differs from the legitimate use device ID stored in the use permission tag 220, so that the game disk can be reproduced in a mode which is predetermined for those bought and sold in the second-hand market.
Also, for example, a content key may be supplied to the reproduction device 130 and the encrypted game AP may be decrypted using the content key only if the reproduction device ID matches a legitimate use device ID. Hence, use of game APs bought and sold in the second-hand market can be eliminated.
Each game will contain an RF tag that will remember whether a game has been tied to a different machine or user account. So this will easily nullify second-hand game sales because it checks for the tag before starting the game.
This looks like a very easy way of suppressing second-hand sales, and one has to wonder why these platform holders are so hell bent in taking away the rights of consumers to resell their game.