On DRM in Console Games

Posted by Count_Zero (301 posts) -

Kotaku has reported that Capcom included DRM in the PS3 release of Final Fight: Double Impact. The DRM, which was similar to the DRM that Ubisoft had adopted for PC games, required the player have an always on internet connection while playing the game. If the PS3's internet connection is lost - either in single or multiplayer, the game quits to the dashboard. Additionally, the game could only be played on the PSN account on which the game was purchased. I bring that last bit up, because that, apparently, is the point of the DRM. To prevent a user of the PS3 from playing a game another user purchased.
 
Now, home console gamers are no stranger to DRM. The NES required cartridges to send a string of ASCII characters to the main board reading "Copyright Nintendo of America" in order for games to work. The Genesis had similar restrictions, as did the TurboGraphics. With the introduction of disk based games on the Sega CD and the TurboGrafx-CD, games began to be region coded to keep people from burning bootlegs of games and running them on their systems (this also prevented imports - though I suspect that manufacturers were focused more on blocking bootleggers from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, than US importers.) However, none of this DRM was based on the assumption that the player was a criminal. It was based on the assumption someone else - a manufacturer was a criminal.
 
However, what makes this absolutely absurd is that it's practically impossible to bootleg a game being sold on PlayStation Network anyway. You cannot download the game in the first place without connecting to PSN on the account that purchased the game. Once you've bought and downloaded the game to your system, you can't upload the game to another system unless you backup your entire hard drive on one system, and then re-format and install over that system's hard drive. From prior experience upgrading my own system's hard drive, the entire backup, format, and re-installation process is a very drawn out process, that can take up to 5-7 hours, depending on the size of the hard drive, and the amount of space in use. Nobody does it for purposes of piracy. So, the only people who this would really be hurting would be a group of people in the same house or apartment, sharing a PS3, with different PSN accounts, either because of their PSP go, or because they had or have their own PS3(s) and are sharing the PS3 on the primary TV for purposes of Trophies.
 
The fact that Capcom USA has taken the "assume the customer is a criminal" tack for the DRM on their PSN game, in a fashion that is far more draconian than Ubisoft's DRM scheme is absurd and insulting. Fortunately, Capcom has said in the article that this is being done to put out feelers to see if the gaming community is willing to accept similar DRM restrictions on other games. If the game does well with the DRM, it will be used on other games - despite the fact that the DRM was not disclosed on the game's listing on PlayStation Network until someone complained about the DRM. I urge gamers to refrain from purchasing the PS3 version of the game while it has the DRM. If you have a Xbox 360 and you want to play Final Fight: Double Impact, purchase the game on that system (your achievements will sync with Giant Bomb and other sites anyway). If you don't have a 360 and have no intentions of getting one, then for now I would recommend holding off from getting the game on this system until the DRM is removed, which leads me to my next point. Inform Capcom that you will not purchase Final Fight: Double Impact because of the DRM, nor will you purchase any additional PSN releases that are similarly protected. As a way of following up on this, buy Capcom games that don't have DRM - get Commando: Wolf of the Battlefield. Get Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. Get Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. I'm not calling for a blanket boycott. That's impractical - especially with Super Street Fighter IV coming up . All I'm asking is that we, as gamers vote with our dollars, and show to Capcom that games without DRM sell better than games with DRM. Because that's the only way we can change things.

#1 Posted by Count_Zero (301 posts) -

Kotaku has reported that Capcom included DRM in the PS3 release of Final Fight: Double Impact. The DRM, which was similar to the DRM that Ubisoft had adopted for PC games, required the player have an always on internet connection while playing the game. If the PS3's internet connection is lost - either in single or multiplayer, the game quits to the dashboard. Additionally, the game could only be played on the PSN account on which the game was purchased. I bring that last bit up, because that, apparently, is the point of the DRM. To prevent a user of the PS3 from playing a game another user purchased.
 
Now, home console gamers are no stranger to DRM. The NES required cartridges to send a string of ASCII characters to the main board reading "Copyright Nintendo of America" in order for games to work. The Genesis had similar restrictions, as did the TurboGraphics. With the introduction of disk based games on the Sega CD and the TurboGrafx-CD, games began to be region coded to keep people from burning bootlegs of games and running them on their systems (this also prevented imports - though I suspect that manufacturers were focused more on blocking bootleggers from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, than US importers.) However, none of this DRM was based on the assumption that the player was a criminal. It was based on the assumption someone else - a manufacturer was a criminal.
 
However, what makes this absolutely absurd is that it's practically impossible to bootleg a game being sold on PlayStation Network anyway. You cannot download the game in the first place without connecting to PSN on the account that purchased the game. Once you've bought and downloaded the game to your system, you can't upload the game to another system unless you backup your entire hard drive on one system, and then re-format and install over that system's hard drive. From prior experience upgrading my own system's hard drive, the entire backup, format, and re-installation process is a very drawn out process, that can take up to 5-7 hours, depending on the size of the hard drive, and the amount of space in use. Nobody does it for purposes of piracy. So, the only people who this would really be hurting would be a group of people in the same house or apartment, sharing a PS3, with different PSN accounts, either because of their PSP go, or because they had or have their own PS3(s) and are sharing the PS3 on the primary TV for purposes of Trophies.
 
The fact that Capcom USA has taken the "assume the customer is a criminal" tack for the DRM on their PSN game, in a fashion that is far more draconian than Ubisoft's DRM scheme is absurd and insulting. Fortunately, Capcom has said in the article that this is being done to put out feelers to see if the gaming community is willing to accept similar DRM restrictions on other games. If the game does well with the DRM, it will be used on other games - despite the fact that the DRM was not disclosed on the game's listing on PlayStation Network until someone complained about the DRM. I urge gamers to refrain from purchasing the PS3 version of the game while it has the DRM. If you have a Xbox 360 and you want to play Final Fight: Double Impact, purchase the game on that system (your achievements will sync with Giant Bomb and other sites anyway). If you don't have a 360 and have no intentions of getting one, then for now I would recommend holding off from getting the game on this system until the DRM is removed, which leads me to my next point. Inform Capcom that you will not purchase Final Fight: Double Impact because of the DRM, nor will you purchase any additional PSN releases that are similarly protected. As a way of following up on this, buy Capcom games that don't have DRM - get Commando: Wolf of the Battlefield. Get Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. Get Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. I'm not calling for a blanket boycott. That's impractical - especially with Super Street Fighter IV coming up . All I'm asking is that we, as gamers vote with our dollars, and show to Capcom that games without DRM sell better than games with DRM. Because that's the only way we can change things.

#2 Edited by HitmanAgent47 (8576 posts) -

That's the craziest thing i've ever heard, now i'm not buying any of their games online on psn. Not that I have any psn games to begin with, that's going too far. Pc has DRM because of pirates, however this is completely unnecessary.   
 
The thing is I don't buy DRM games that uses ubisoft style DRM at all. I didn't buy assassin's creed 2 on the pc and I am thinking maybe I should skip out on splinter cell conviction. Now this is completely unncessary and over the top considering it's a console game on PSN.

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