Rumor: Sony considering serial keys for PS3 games

By Emil · 43 replies
Jan 21, 2011
Post New Reply
  1. Sony may be looking to the PC gaming market to help solve its piracy problem on the PlayStation 3. That's right; the company may choose to introduce serial keys for its games, according to SKFU, a "very reliable source" cited by the Dutch website PS3Sense.

    Read the whole story
  2. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,718   +859

    I'm not a console gamer, but if the serial key was a one-time entry, I don't see where it would be that big of a deal. But if you had to enter it in every time you played the game, I think that would be a deal breaker that would ultimately bring down the PS3.
  3. vipor231

    vipor231 TS Rookie Posts: 27

    i can see pc's having this but consoles? cmon its not gonna help many times do they need to relize that
  4. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,676

    Yah it is bud. You do realize that they're going to consider this because that damn root key got released.
  5. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +67

    It has to be one time entry. The problem with the free psn is that you cant "ban" effectively if a new account can be recreated without any cash outlay. One of the unseen benefits of Xbox live costing money per month although its not immune to piracy by any means.
  6. I agree that a 1 time entry serial would be ok and not an absolute pain in the *** i guess. Why can it not help ? Kaspersky uses a serial system that seems to be pretty tough ? Or am I wrong? I know from years of being on the net that its blacklist system has annoyed many p2p users.

    At the same time i am not sure if I would buy multiplayer games again. Geohot's code or hack w/e he said was not possible to use pirated games ? Well in that youtube vid that was on here thats what I heard... I could of got that wrong. But sadly there are sites sharing games for jailbroken ps3's geohots hack or otherwise ... Is it not geohots tho that can cause other hacks ? game hacks ? people cheating in online games ? i havent myself seen anything suspicious, but then i havent played much lately.

    Seems to me if the code can cause hackers to be so epicly lame as they have to cheat to think they are cool and the most awesome ... when truly they suck and need cheats, well, then all ps3 games are fudged, and my system is pointless in the gaming sense.

    If there are people haxing in games, i think they should just turn god mode on for all and then scrap the ps3.

    If they werent such corporate a55h0les chargin an insane amount of money for games maybe people wouldnt steal games. But when you pay £40 for a game to find out its crap and completeable in 3 hours, you feel so ripped off. I dont believe games are worth more than £20 new, and anyone who says they are is a tool. Continue to bend over and let them rape you. And they say that 100million is lost in pirated games, well, that crap black ops made 1 billion and is overall rated at average 3/5.

    Quite frankly the corporations feel they are getting fudged, well so does the consumer... i know i feel like ive wasted an epic amount of money on games that just dont deliver, and I end up going back to the same old games. Ironically my words of image verification, field and victim... well who is the victim in all this, cause i dunno. I want my money back for my ps3 and games.
  7. It won't works very well. Because of rental and what if you borrow/lend/trade the game to one of your friend? When I was young, my friends and I always borrow by trade games for a few days. I am not sure how the serial will works with that?
  8. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    I agree about wasting money on games that suck, but it goes back to the old adage, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. After being disappointed several times with buggy games, I pretty much stopped buying new games.

    They announce the release date of games months ahead, and yet somehow always keep the schedule, and since people plop down the money for a pre-order, basically trading a bug free game in return for a bonus pair of camo socks that their character can wear in MP, they take away the company's incentive to put out a finished product.
  9. Lurker101

    Lurker101 TS Evangelist Posts: 820   +344

    This is a punishment on paying customers and nothing more. In case Sony have been asleep for the past decade, they should have noticed that serial keys are a worthless piece of DRM which can be overcome with very little effort. This merely unishes the customers without any real hindrance for pirates.
  10. i pretty much all of my 20 ps3 games require me to install them, so im sure serial keys could work. Plus i think they should introduce a security system where people with a ps3 eye can use it to show the ps3 a special bar code printed inside a game case!
  11. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,676

    So lurker. Name us one AAA game from 2010 that would work fully online without the serial key.
  12. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    This concept would kill rental and resale companies... And, of course, it implies that there is a connection to verify the game is valid, so I'd imagine it would use PSN much the same way that certain retail PC games are registered in Steam. Great in theory, but I'm sure it would cause such a backlash from customers and companies like GameStop, that it would implode on Sony.

    Plus, you can virtually guarantee that, even though they would supposedly be fighting piracy and ensuring higher actual sales of their games, there would be zero financial trickle-down to the consumer. They'd get higher sales numbers, and the pockets would be lined with cash, but the games would still cost the same, even though there was no reselling option anymore.
  13. mccartercar

    mccartercar TS Booster Posts: 140   +26

    Not from 2010, but last time I checked Borderlands requires no key for use on gamespy online...come to think of it most games that use gamespy dont need a key entered. And also most games for windows live 2.0 games can use just one gfwl key to activate any gfwl game. And when serial keys are in place most of the time if the game has a lan option that can act as online play through tunngle/hamachi to circumvent key use anyway for multiplayer.
    If sony thinks serial keys for console games will stop the mad rush of pirates headed their way...they are just grasping at straws. Oh yea....what about that huge back catalog of games up until gt5 (which works jailbroken) that work as backups and online. How many games in the ps3's foreseen future could utilize this that would actually save sony and devs money? I'd say it will only deter sales as doing the same exact thing on a 360 will be less hassle and all that more reason to switch. I dont own an xbox Im just sayin.

    Seems like this will be a wasted effort for surely if we can obtain some super secret, military grade protected, software key; why would we have trouble circumventing authorization of a game key.
    I always like razor1911's fancy key generator app's and their tecno music.
  14. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,676

    Razor's keys won't ever get you online though. Also borderlands was the only one I can think of too, and hamachi doesn't count. I'm talking official servers. I liked the BC2 approach where only server hosting companies got the files, but unlike Black Ops it isn't just one damn provider that is available.
  15. MrAnderson

    MrAnderson TS Maniac Posts: 488   +10

    I would not mind as long as the keys are not stuck to a console and they can be transferable across a profiles email accounts ect with out issues.

    My main issue is that they will become a problem when you want to go back and play your back log of games if there is some internet activation service needed. I take issue with that indeed. I don't want my ability to play my games on consoles to be dependent on having access to the web. Do it for PSN game content/multiplayer functionality if you will, but leave my single player game alone!
  16. If this is going to work, it's going to have to assign the "key" on a user account level, ala Steam, as opposed to onto the console itself. I own 2 PS3s personally, I would be super pissed if I could only play a PS3 game I bought on one of them.
  17. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    This seems like a waste of time, somehow someway somebody will find a way of getting around this, as is always the case.

    And I doubt piracy on the PS3 will take off like it has on other consoles, given that it would take days/weeks to download a 10-20GB Bluray file.
  18. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,535   +51

    It's hard to see it being very good or very bad. Fighting against piracy is obviously good, but the possible trapping of a game to one console and the possible killing of the second hand PS3 game market would be a disaster for the PS3.

    I save a nice bit of cash borrowing a game or two off my mates (and vice versa), and i'de like to keep it that way ;)
  19. This is probably their best bet to fight piracy or at least to keep it off their PSN servers. The way I see it is serial numbers come in cases that need to be entered the first time the player tries to play online. After the serial is entered it is saved to the hard drive and no longer needs to be entered for that console. Serials can be entered on as many consoles as you want but serial verification occurs on PSN which only allows the serial to be used on a console at a time.

    As far as rentals that can still work, either they don't give out the serial when you rent i.e. no online play or they give the serial and hopefully that serial hasn't been exploited by everyone that has rented the game.

    It wouldn't really effect resales as long as you don't lose your case, sure the original seller still has the key tied to his ps3 but he cant play it without the disk.

    A better way to fight piracy though would be to make sure the game is running off the bluray drive and not the harddrive. If its running off the hard drive ban the ps3's MAC address and that console can no longer access PSN.
  20. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,676

    Typical PS3 games aren't 10-20gb. They're smaller than PC versions due to lower quality models/textures.
  21. Also as long as you can get your hands on a disk it takes just a couple of minutes to back up a game straight to your harddrive using the ps3 itself.
  22. Tekkaraiden

    Tekkaraiden TS Evangelist Posts: 997   +93

    That would be one way to end the used game market.
  23. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Posts: 714   +75

    That's a stupid idea that's only going to lead people to pirating out of annoyance. If I was them I would definitely try to block multilayer functionality since most people buy games for the multilayer. There is no point to pirating MAG you know.
  24. jsv004

    jsv004 TS Rookie

    I don't see any problems with this, I'm sure they'll make it that you'll only enter the key once in the beginning if this is true. If you find it annoying and frustrated, then you only have Geohot to blame for forcing Sony to go this route LOL. People seem to be cheering for this guy and think he did something good for the mod community but all he did is make something that hurts the consumer more in the end.
  25. Zecias

    Zecias TS Booster Posts: 202

    i dont think it'll take days/weeks to download 10-20 gb it takes me around a day to download 10 gb at 150 kbs. My internet connection is slow, or at the most, average.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...