Speaking of next generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony, many voices within the gaming industry has led us to believe that these systems will feature a new technology that will eliminate the used video game market. Through the use of this functionality, users will no longer have the ability to play second-hand titles. According to a new patent that was filed by Sony, this type of functionality could very well be on its way into Sony’s next-generation system, which is expected to be the PS4.
As found through a post on the NeoGAF forums, Sony has filed a new patent that provides the following description:
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.
By employing the game playing system 1000 according to the present embodiment, the use permission tag 220 together with the game disk 210 is supplied to the user, and the use permission tag 220 actively determines the use permit/rejection of electronic content. Thereby, the use of game AP stored in the game disk 210 can be restricted as appropriate according to the attribute of a reproduction device. 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.
As stated above, this new technology will implement a tagging system with each copy of a game. Through the use of this, Sony will be granted the ability to limit each game to one specific piece of hardware. The used game market will be completely eliminated with the help of this technology. But, readers should realize that this is just a simple patent, it does not necessarily mean that Sony will be implementing this technology with the PS4.