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Sony applies for RFID DRM patent that would block used games

By Matthew · 35 replies
Jan 3, 2013
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  1. Sony has applied for a patent on a hardware-based DRM technology that would let the company block second-hand games. Filed last September, the application (PDF) hadn't been published until this week and it's unclear if or when the patent will be...

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  2. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,446   +349

    So what happens if your console bricks out and you have to replace it? You'll have to buy the game (in some form) again?

    Either that, or it'll make you register it with your PSN account (or equivalent) or something... meh. =/
  3. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,550   +235

    Block used games? why in the world.... nevermind... just... wtf. wtf... wtf. This will be a big impact... and of course all the publishers would love to jump on board for this... because it's all about money.... I dont even... dot dot dot
  4. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,363   +67

    PC gaming all the way.
    Xclusiveitalian likes this.
  5. PinothyJ

    PinothyJ TS Guru Posts: 451   +21

    Because always on DRM is any better...
  6. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,550   +235

    My preferred gaming method is also with a PC, I didn't mention this because I was still thinking about the fact that it does require keys, and keys can only be used once, right? I mean correct me if I'm wrong... but I use to try to pirate games, and people wouldn't give out keys because of limits on it's usage... so they always resorted to cracks, patches, keygens, and whatever else I didn't like the idea of doing.... along with trusting unknown programmers who know how to do this stuff sneaking in a rootkit or some other trojan or backdoor bug.... but anyways back to my point, isn't the key a similar deterrent that can only (technically) be used once?

    I know today now we have Steam, and that's my main source of games. I use a few of the other's when they have good deals, but hate using them because they are not like Steam.

    Also, less shops deal with used PC games... I just don't see that around very much.
  7. jeffz6

    jeffz6 TS Rookie Posts: 79

    Almost all PC games now are linked to your account somehow, so who cares. You can pick up PC games so cheap most of the time.

    Used games are not any different from a pirate copies to developers. No income either way for them. I have no problem with this single user approach, but I would like to see cheaper prices then, especially for electronic distribution.
  8. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 887   +437

    Well... Either Sony can boost their respect and never use this, or guarantee that a lot of people won't be buying the console that integrates it...
  9. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,507   +3,510

    Implementing a system such as this would more or less seal Sony's fate in the console market. They missed a lot of opportunity with the PS3 and eliminating options for customers on upcoming platforms will only compound their problems.

    I have a physical collection of 41 PS3 titles. When each of the games in my collection launched, they did so at $60 a pop. Some of them are still near that figure. That puts original retail around $2,400 with a current used value below $450. Given the plethora of lackluster products that developers and publishers have been producing over the past several years, that price difference between new and used is gargantuan from a consumer stand point. If they double that secondary figure by requiring an activation fee for used games or (bring us closer to MSRP) quadruple it by prohibiting used games, it'll be back to PC for me. I might even pick up a Wii U for the heck of it.

    That having been said, this seems like a pretty effective way to regulate used game sales. I would even go as far as to say that it beats the hell out of the always-on DRM on a day-to-day basis. Not so much if your console dies and you're stuck with a bunch of coasters, though.
  10. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Posts: 706   +69

    Now that used games will be gone, you'll have to pay the $70 fee to get the game or you pretty won't be able to play. They know what they are doing. Xbox is already following through too. Good to be a PC gamer.
  11. NTAPRO

    NTAPRO TS Evangelist Posts: 809   +102

    I know this isn't going to happen but, the best way to get even would be to boycott Sony, Never hurts to dream :[

    $70 would be despicable and deserves a boycott honestly. Most pc games are much cheaper T_T

    Sony can be innovative and stupid at the same time...
  12. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,920   +629

    Ha, if this happens I'll cry. Consoles games in Australia launch at $100. :'(
  13. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,765   +435

    Just another company I'll be avoiding the products of... got a pretty substantial Steam library and there isn't a shortage of great alternatives to those companies that stuff you around with restrictive DRM.
  14. Littleczr

    Littleczr TS Addict Posts: 439   +84

    I don't own a console I do my gaming on pc. The problem is that they make more profit on consoles and port a game from console to the pc, where our hardware that can do 10x more gets the shaft along with us.

    Lets face it, if they come out with a maxed out console and sell very well. We will see more graphically better games.

    Blizzard is the only company that makes hits on the PC and the problem with them is that it takes a decade to make a game.
  15. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,946   +200

    I guess it's time to go after the second hand sales of games now since it's hurting the industry and causing little kittens to die?
    I mean wtf, limitations like these is just stupidity (or genius) at it's best.
    Have several consoles in your home? Buy several copies of games.
    Want to go over to your friends place and play a game you own? Buy several copies
    Want to sell your crappy game that you bought at retail price? Forget it
    avoidz likes this.
  16. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,044   +794

    I honestly wouldn't mind if they implemented this, then less people would buy consoles and instead buy PC! I mean, Valve are planning to release some kind of Linux based Box that can run steam games, I bet if the price is a little more than the PS4 it would still out sell it if this DRM goes through purely because Sony are still going to charge $60 a game while steam will be $30 and links to your account so if your machine does everything still works on a new one, this tech that Sony have come out with seems to be flawed in that, if your console breaks, you'd have a load of useless disks?
  17. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,840   +1,184

    Not that I'm agreeing with this sort of DRM policy, but your arguments aren't even relevant. Who has several consoles in thier house? The only reason would for a family with many kids and you'd only own more than one console if they were both going to be used at the same time, and if you want to play the game at the same time you'd need two copies anyway.

    If you want to play at a friends place that badly then bring your own console with you. No one would buy a separate copy (that could then only be played at that friends house anyway).

    You can't resell old crappy games at retail price now.

    The people who'll be hurt by this are college kids in dorms who can't swap games around. It's not going to force people to buy several copies.

    All of this is probably irrelevant. All Sony did was apply for a patent that would allow games to be matched to the console. Maybe they'll just use it to track resales etc. Why does everyone assume the worst?
  18. PC nerd

    PC nerd TS Booster Posts: 317   +41

    Sony have really pissed me off recently. They used to be so respectable and reliable.

    My little brother got a PS3 for christmas (the 12GB version because we're not well-off).

    Turns out you're forced to install every game you play nowadays, so after playing 4-5 games, the hard drive is full, meaning he can't play any more games until he buys another 2.5" drive to put in there.

    After dropping £40 on a 500GB WD Blue 5400rpm 2.5" drive, we realise you need to buy the "OFFICIAL SONY DRIVE CADDY" or some ****. £20 to get one in Britain.

    Ended up bodging the hard drive into the bay using a variety of spares/scrap computer parts from my PC building days.

    Even Microsoft are more honest than Sony are nowadays.
  19. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,507   +3,510

    What exactly has the industry done to inspire optimism over the past 7 years?
    avoidz likes this.
  20. Ranger1st

    Ranger1st TS Evangelist Posts: 348   +124

    A $150 for a 320Gig drive to fit a 360 slim is hardly honest..

  21. PC nerd

    PC nerd TS Booster Posts: 317   +41

    Sony "forget" to mention that you need their OFFICIAL HURR DURR CADDY until you buy the hard drive.

    At least Microsoft are open about their dodgy selling techniques.
  22. likedamaster

    likedamaster TS Enthusiast Posts: 86   +12

    Disgusting. Unfortunately nothing new, they've been doing this since the 80's. Sony diehards can hopefully realize what they're really supporting.
  23. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,773   +598

    See now your criticizing Sony for your own lack of foresight, or at least your parents.

    Use this example: Buy a car with a 4 cylinder engine and complain its not powerful enough, so its Ford or Volvo or wtv's fault that you didn't get the V6 option and its going to cost you half the price of the car to have it swapped in... But this is the car manufacturers fault.

    Until I read your original comment I didn't even know a 12GB version of the PS3 existed and honestly am feeling sorry for you to have to fight with it to accommodate a HDD. The other models all have the ability to swap HDDs really easily, you just got stuck with the complicated one. Compared to the 360, ha, no way to put your own store bough oem drive in there. And thats far enough off topic.

    Back to the DRM, which is honestly sad, PS4, yeah, no thanks, PC gaming is going to get stronger. And honestly is about time, consoles, although practical, are holding back the industry and now are literally taking a step backwards. How about start by making a game thats actually worth $60, not re-re-releasing Call of Duty every year which to my astonishment breaks sales records. Obviously they need more money. And don't think Microsoft won't have a similar tech in their next console, on the bright side PC components are getting lower and lower.
  24. Nekromantik

    Nekromantik TS Rookie

  25. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 872   +12

    Maybe the game will be matched to the active account on the console?

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