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#1 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/01/03/report-new-sony-patent-blocks-second-hand-games

It just came out that Sony may have filed a patent for technology that would allow them to lock a game to a console, a clear step towards killing the used game market. Now, I am by no means a supporter of the people that go out to save $5 and then turn around to bitch about Gamestop cutting profits that go to the actual developer and publisher. However, I also believe that the used market is incredibly important, especially in a world where games aren't available any where near day one digital, or often ever. For example, if you want to buy a PS2 game these days, chances are it'll be used, just because it's been so long since most of those games have been manufactured, so they are only available used. If the PS2 had this kind of technology, they would have stopped producing units far longer ago than they did.

While I understand the desire to fight used games sales, I think this is a hugely inappropriate approach. Eventually these games aren't going to be available brand new, and then what? People will just be out of luck? And what if your console is bricked, or you want to play at someone else's house? As far as I'm concerned, it should be completely illegal to put these kinds of limitations on a disc. If I have a PC game with a key, as long as I have the key, I can install it on any PC I want, unless I have some EA game from 2008 when they were charging for redownloads/installs after the first five.

So, do you guys think they are doing anything beyond snatching up the patent and prepping for a time when this might make more sense? Or are they serious about this? Are they really going to try and cut off the thing that kept the PS2 alive as long as it managed to stay around? It'll be a real shame when they sell out of a game, and then those copies are totally useless because you can only do so much with one game. There is a time and purpose for used games. Getting rid of them entirely will hurt sales of the hardware and it's not going to look good to anyone. While developers depend on NEW game sales for revenue, they are also made up of a lot of folks that play games, and I find it hard to believe there are many gamers out there that would be supportive of this kind of move. Anti-Piracy measures are one thing, but increasingly limiting the uses of a legally purchased item is a dangerous road to go down. What happens when the blu-ray player in my PS4 dies, and I have to get it replaced, but all of my games stop working because Sony is stupid enough to make the drive the thing that does all the identification work? What happens when I want to upgrade to the new shiny (or in the case of the PS3, matte) slim PS4, but none of my games work because it's a new console?

Anyway, what do all of you think about this precedent? It seems like more and more of this stupidity is going around, with the WiiU's absolutely dreadful file and account systems, New Copy DLC, etc. While I wasn't too worried about this before, because a lot of it has been so short lived that I expected it'd be more of a fad as publishers and developers worked their way up to an idea that helps both consumers and creators. But this puts a more serious edge on things. A console maker taking such a bold stance on this issue could spell trouble down the line, leading to a similar domino effect to EULA changes that've come about over the last year or so. I'm still not crying end of the world, but I'm a bit more worried than I was before.

Just a note, I think this has ramifications well beyond Sony and wanted to use this as a forum to discuss this concept in general as much as Sony's move to patent this technology, hence putting it in the General Discussion board.

#2 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

That would be fine if they would lower the cost of a new game. The reason I buy games used is because I can not all ways afford a new one at the high price.

#3 Posted by TheHBK (5563 posts) -

I don't buy games used most of the time. I only do because it is out of print or super hard to find. But my main concern is being able to borrow games. My brother and I play games at different paces and trade back and forth so it would suck ass if I could not let him borrow a game or I couldn't play something he picked up.

#4 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Not a shocker to me as used games are not really any different to piracy in the eyes of a publisher, no money to them = they are not happy.

As always though the consumer loses.

#5 Posted by Fallen189 (5052 posts) -

Its draconian reasons like this that make me glad I started playing PC games.

#6 Posted by Kidavenger (3629 posts) -

More likely they will be locked to your psn profile rather than the actual console, that is how pretty much every other online service functions.

I don't sell my games or buy used games so the only thing that would really bother me would be if they were locked to the console rather than a profile.

This would be devastating to the rental market though; do people still rent games?

#7 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Sooty said:

Not a shocker to me as used games are not really any different to piracy in the eyes of a publisher, no money to them = they are not happy.

As always though the consumer loses.

Yeah, but the thing that makes this a bit odd is that this is a console maker. Sony stands to lose from this kind of move, because if the Xbox 720 comes out and doesn't have this shit, and the PS4 does, a lot of people will move away from the PS brand. Again, I would have thought that Sony of all people would understand the place of used games, because again, used games kept the PS2 selling for a long ass time. It wasn't the only thing that kept it going, but it was a big part of it, undeniably.

@The_Laughing_Man said:

That would be fine if they would lower the cost of a new game. The reason I buy games used is because I can not all ways afford a new one at the high price.

But imagine if you wanted to show your kids the games you grew up with as someone from the PS4 generation, but can't unless you keep all of that shit around, because used games are useless? Or if you can't afford a new console at all, and by the time you catch up, it's hard to find new games.

#8 Posted by niamahai (1394 posts) -

PC like CD keys are back!

#9 Posted by Brendan (8174 posts) -

Patent does not equal implementation, or even intent. In today's attrition heavy world in regards to tech companies and intellectual resources (patent wars) Sony would file this simply to sell it to a company who would use it., even if they had no intention of doing so themselves. I'm not saying that tech companies will spend time developing something that have no intention of ever using, but Sony could very well never use this technology.

#10 Posted by PenguinDust (12642 posts) -

Too limiting to the basic needs of the consumer. What if I want to take a game over to a friends to play co-op, or what if I have more than one console in my home, or what if my console breaks, am I going to have to re-buy games just to be able to enjoy them as I currently can? What does this mean for rental outlets like Gamefly and Redbox? If history has shown us anything it's that putting more impediments between a customer and how they would like to use their product encourages piracy rather than deter it.

I can see them linking a disc to a PSN account, but putting it on the console is just trouble waiting to happen. YLOD wasn't as pervasive as RROD, but can you imagine if the new hardware has a noticeable failure rate and consumers lose the ability to play all the games they've bought in addition to the console?

#11 Edited by _Zombie_ (1462 posts) -

Assuming anything comes of it, I'll just have another reason to run away to PC land.

#12 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11421 posts) -

Didn't similar news leak before the release of the PS3?

I don't think this is anything to worry about.

#13 Posted by xMEGADETHxSLY (445 posts) -

Another reason to move to the mountains

#14 Posted by Hunter5024 (5982 posts) -

The way companies handle patents make this honestly kind of a non news story. Patents are just a cheap potential source of revenue for a company some time down the line, they are no real indication of what the company intends. Honestly I don't see the Playstation 4 implementing this. Somewhere down the line though, I think this will be the direction the industry goes in. It's a shame, but a lot of the problems you mentioned will be alleviated as we see the digital market outpace retail, and we're just going to have to hope that the companies are pro consumer enough to handle this kind of stuff right.

#15 Posted by Zelyre (1276 posts) -

Oh man, imagine trying to input

X75IO L03BD 1LIL0 BD8B0 O0B80

On a controller. Even with a keyboard, inputting codes is the absolute worst if you can't copy and paste it.

Then you'll have to transfer titles ALA the Wii when your new Playstation or XBox craps out? If its tied to an account, it's crappy, but whatever. Tied to a console? Blargh. Forgetahboutit.

#16 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

So, they WANT people to destroy their next console with piracy again? Fine by me.

#17 Posted by Little_Socrates (5718 posts) -

Okay. I'll just buy less PlayStation games and make their console a lower priority purchase.

Woo?

In all seriousness, I don't mind this move as a consumer, but it poses some serious problems for collectors and game preservation. Unopened copies of Xenoblade: Chronicles would be worth a lot more than $90 on Amazon if the opened copies could never be used again. I really enjoy my end-of-generation buyback runs, where I rebuy games like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 or Pikmin that may have been lost due to my own sales or, well, simply losing them, or buying games I'd never have bought for more than $5 like Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad. That might make that nigh-impossible to accomplish.

Now, a $5 or $10 license fee to play the game used when you boot it up? Yeah, that one's fine with me, so long as the last title update is an unlock of all games so that I can play everything once the online servers are down. Again, if the platform holders feel they need to get theirs, by all means. It'll certainly lower the number of used games I buy, and lower the number of games I buy at all.

Essentially, the used game market seems healthy to me, and this seems like a bad business decision rather than an especially malicious or evil act. Like, fine, I won't buy used games. I'll never try half of what comes out, either, and I'll buy most of my multiplatform stuff on Nintendo or Microsoft platforms that don't do this, or during PC Steam Sales.

#18 Edited by Lavapotamus (199 posts) -

I don't buy used games anymore, but I do buy new games months or a year after their release because that's what I can afford. So this would mean if I'm unable to find a new copy three years after a game was released, I'd either have to buy it digitally or not play it at all? If the PS4 implements this and the next Xbox doesn't, I won't even have to decide between the two. If the next Xbox has something similar to this...fuck, I guess I'll just play my Wii U and learn how to build a gaming computer?

They should be focusing on making digital distribution more attractive to consumers instead of tooling around with this. It's far more profitable for them to sell a game digitally and it seems like the inevitable route for gaming media to go, considering the movie and music industries. Providing discounts for buying digitally or promoting sales for their online stores are a lot less alienating to customers than stuff like this, too. Sales and promotions make a product much more inviting to consumers than restrictions and online passes do and they both target the same thing, that being used sales. Seems like a needless restriction with a lot of potential to inspire backlash.

I hope this is just a patent and never moves on to become more than that.

#19 Posted by Rafaelfc (1471 posts) -

More and more games are just products meant to make a quick buck for the companies putting them out with no plan or desire of having that thing even being available at all after enough years have passed.

Except for a lucky few games that will get remastered, re-released and re-sold until the end of time.

#20 Posted by Aetheldod (3737 posts) -

If this pans out then I have a reason to not get a PS4.

#21 Posted by Lego_My_Eggo (1066 posts) -

Around the same time the PS3 came out they had a patent that did something similar, people freaked out, and it never came out. So until they announce that they will actually use this i wouldn't worry about it.

#22 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@PenguinDust said:

I can see them linking a disc to a PSN account, but putting it on the console is just trouble waiting to happen. YLOD wasn't as pervasive as RROD, but can you imagine if the new hardware has a noticeable failure rate and consumers lose the ability to play all the games they've bought in addition to the console?

This I think would be the way to handle anything like this, if it was implemented at all. I wouldn't mind this as it would at least keep from screwing over the actual original purchaser of the product, because it's not hard to log into your PSN account at a buddy's house. That said, if they don't have internet, you're kinda screwed unless you can just put your profile on a thumb drive and it keeps all of that information there.

@Zelyre said:

Oh man, imagine trying to input

X75IO L03BD 1LIL0 BD8B0 O0B80

On a controller. Even with a keyboard, inputting codes is the absolute worst if you can't copy and paste it.

Then you'll have to transfer titles ALA the Wii when your new Playstation or XBox craps out? If its tied to an account, it's crappy, but whatever. Tied to a console? Blargh. Forgetahboutit.

You wouldn't be typing anything in. In fact, this is exactly how I think that the online pass should be handled: have technology in the system that automatically identifies the disc and it'll just toss that code to your PSN/XBL account instead of having to type in a stupid 25 character key on a gamepad. But this technology uses RFID or something to that effect so you don't have to actually input anything other than maybe picking the account you want to tie to.

@Brendan said:

Patent does not equal implementation, or even intent. In today's attrition heavy world in regards to tech companies and intellectual resources (patent wars) Sony would file this simply to sell it to a company who would use it., even if they had no intention of doing so themselves. I'm not saying that tech companies will spend time developing something that have no intention of ever using, but Sony could very well never use this technology.

Which is why I didn't say "oh my god the end of the world!"

But now that the patent is there, someone will use it. Either Sony or someone licensing or finding a similar method of their own to accomplish the same thing. It might just be some tiny thing that no one cares about, but just because it doesn't mean they will put it to use in the PS4 doesn't mean it's not cause for concern.

#23 Posted by Discoman (171 posts) -

I'm sure less games will be bought. Besides used games, this also kills borrowing games or doing LAN parties unless you bring your console. Try spreading a franchise when people are hesitant to buy a new game that's different? That's why the market is flooded with sequels, developers are playing it safe and that will flourish if this model is undertaken.

#24 Posted by NegativeCero (3041 posts) -

As long as they plan to offer games well past their physical lifetime(digital releases) for reasonable prices with occasional Steam-like sales I would be okay with it. I could see how it could hurt certain demographics like younger kida, though.

#25 Posted by clumsyninja1 (816 posts) -

It was time. Now to take down rental retailers, I'm looking at you gamestop!

#26 Posted by Phatmac (5730 posts) -

As a frequent user of Gamefly if this is true than I'll have a hard time with buying a PS4.

#27 Edited by DarthOrange (3909 posts) -

edit: Shit someone said the same thing already. Fuck me for not reading the comments first.
 
Patent does not equal reality. 
 
 
  

#28 Posted by DrDarkStryfe (1148 posts) -

GameStop can still flex their muscles, but I imagine that this will be the last console generation that brick and mortar retail has any push.

#29 Posted by Wacomole (837 posts) -

As I mentioned elsewehere, I think the most likely usage of this would be, once a game is found to be a used copy, rather than completely blocking usage, the player would be sent to the PSN Store to purchase an "Entitlement Pass" for a small fee to unlock it.

#30 Edited by Franstone (1156 posts) -

I never buy used games but I do trade games in which would obviously be affected by this.

If only retailers like Gamestop and the industry could share the profits of used games than maybe this war would be over.

Split used game sales 50/50 ya greedy bastards

I hate that Gamestop can charge $5 or less for a new "used" game multiple times and the publishers/devs don't see a dime of it.

But I can understand if someone can't afford a game new so it might be attractive to buy an older game at a higher discounted rate.

(if ya can't afford an extra $5 you probably shouldn't be spending that money on a game in the first place, save for longer.)

The publishers get screwed as well as the devs who are already getting screwed by the publishers in the first place.

#31 Posted by MetalGearSunny (7003 posts) -

Fuck that. I can't spend 60 bucks on every single game.

#32 Posted by mcmax3000 (290 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan said:

Didn't similar news leak before the release of the PS3?

I don't think this is anything to worry about.

THIS!

Why are so few people remembering this? There was a nearly identical story a year, or two before the launch of the PS3, and what did it amount to?

They are NOT going to do this.

1) As someone else already mentioned, if they do this, and Microsoft doesn't, a huge number of people will run to the next Xbox.

2) The only way for them to enforce something like this would be to require an internet connection for the console to run. There are still a ton of people that either can't, or don't want to, connect their console to the internet. That number is going to go down over time, but for right now, that's still a decent size of the potential user base that the console manufacturers are not going to risk shutting out, especially given the race to capture the casual market.

#33 Posted by JeanLuc (3608 posts) -

Should I start cancelling my GameFly account?

#34 Posted by Daneian (1251 posts) -

@Fallen189 said:

Its draconian reasons like this that make me glad I started playing PC games.

The PC being a haven for the used game market.

#35 Posted by KamasamaK (2410 posts) -

The patent claims the process can use "a reproduction device ID or a user ID" (i.e. console ID or PSN ID). Using the console ID would be a terrible idea, and they probably know that. Nevertheless, you want to include that use case in your patent just in case someone wants to use that process for something in the future.

@Fallen189 said:

Its draconian reasons like this that make me glad I started playing PC games.

PC has had DRM on games for a long time now. I don't know how you get your games now, but I have 280 games, plus plenty of add-ons, on Steam that is tied to my account.

#36 Posted by EXTomar (4951 posts) -

Hey that is cool if any of the platform vendors want to enact this stuff. Just make sure your platform hosts quality games or you'll choke the life out of it.

#37 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4899 posts) -

@MoleyUK said:

As I mentioned elsewehere, I think the most likely usage of this would be, once a game is found to be a used copy, rather than completely blocking usage, the player would be sent to the PSN Store to purchase an "Entitlement Pass" for a small fee to unlock it.

I know you're not arguing otherwise, but to everyone with common sense your "entitlement pass" was buying the fucking thing in the first place.

If the next generation has this kind of restrictive shit built into the box, I'm gonna say fuck consoles and just play on PC. I play on consoles for the ease of use associated with the machine and the lack of headaches. If this happens, then Sony will have effectively killed said ease of use and lack of headaches.

Patent hoarding or not, just, ugh. Bad form Sony.

#38 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1922 posts) -

Isn't there some weird thing with the Wii-U, where game saves are linked to a console, and cannot be copied but only 'moved?' And Capcom made it impossible to delete saves/profiles on some portable games?

The Japanese market seems intent to try quite a few weird tactics to prevent used game sales, so this wouldn't surprise me if Sony tried this... but I still wouldn't bet on it happening.

#39 Posted by ajamafalous (12166 posts) -

Doesn't bother me in the slightest. I buy 95% of my games on PC (which have had CD keys for, what, 15 years at least?), and when I do buy console games, it's always new, never used.
 

So yeah. I don't care at all.

#40 Posted by TooWalrus (13258 posts) -

When discs are locked to consoles, what is the fucking point of discs?

...let me answer my own question. "bandwidth caps."

#41 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4504 posts) -

@ajamafalous said:

Doesn't bother me in the slightest. I buy 95% of my games on PC (which have had CD keys for, what, 15 years at least?), and when I do buy console games, it's always new, never used.


So yeah. I don't care at all.

This, sucks for people who won't be able to afford to constantly drop 60 on a game but I honestly can't act like I personally care what Sony is doing against used games.

#42 Posted by darkdragonmage99 (741 posts) -

The answer to games not being available for purchase and not playable used is simple piracy the pirates already have ways around every form of DRM this would be no different.

#43 Posted by La_raga (40 posts) -

i think that they want to lock the content for account, and if you sell the game or rent it you need to buy the access from the store like the online pass but now for the whole game, they secretly tested this by locking the content for ps allstar battle royale for the ps vita on the ps3 disc for one use only by the first account that activate it, then it could not get it again from other account.

#44 Posted by ajamafalous (12166 posts) -
@Colourful_Hippie said:

@ajamafalous said:

Doesn't bother me in the slightest. I buy 95% of my games on PC (which have had CD keys for, what, 15 years at least?), and when I do buy console games, it's always new, never used.


So yeah. I don't care at all.

This, sucks for people who won't be able to afford to constantly drop 60 on a game but I honestly can't act like I personally care what Sony is doing against used games.

I haven't paid over $25 for a game in probably about six years. Games are so cheap if you wait 6 months after their release.
#45 Posted by procrasturbate (277 posts) -

YO! Who wouldn't want to use "protection" with used games??? Who knows where those used games been? Think about it.

#46 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Make AAA games 40 dollars at launch that can be activated midnight on release day. Games are way too expensive.

#47 Posted by Zekhariah (695 posts) -

It might be hard to attract publishers in the long term if there is no feature like this, and it gets around the lockout thing.

I'm hoping it only works on online pass items in practice, as I want to be able to easily play games down the road if I end up trying to boot up a game well after the platform is dead (and happen to have a different console at hand). At that point online pass issues would be beside the point. Used games kind of need to go though, Gamestop tries to argue that their substantial profit margins are all for the good for the industry. But if the publishers dislike used games I would imagine they actually ran the numbers and did find that the used market is more or less a leach.

Otherwise, it will be like my interpretation of game value vs. DRM annoyance. DRM free, Steam, and Origin are acceptable to me with minimal penalty, but games with Tages have to cost less than 4 dollars to be worth a purchase, etc.

#48 Posted by Yillb (34 posts) -
#49 Posted by Mr402 (144 posts) -

I built my gaming PC in May and it has opened my eyes to the BS that console makers are serving up to the gaming consumer. If you have followed the digital distribution scene lately you will have noticed how Steam, Amazon and other digital download sites are completely blowing away consoles on sale prices and value. Who needs used when you can get a day one release for 40 bucks? Or wait 2 month's and that same game will be onsale for 50 to 75 percent off. I"ll simply treat Sony's next console like I treat Nintendo consoles. I'll buy one simply to play Sony 1st party games like Uncharted and God of War then it will collect dust while I play all the multiplatform games on my PC. I've done this with every Nintendo console since the N64 and have no problem treating Sony's machine the same way. Microsoft and me are done. I loved the 360 but the pay to play online model plus there complete lack of priority with creating 1st party exclusives has me thinking the next Xbox will simply be a underpowered gaming pc and media hub anyway. I traded in my 360 for a Wii U and haven't missed it one bit. This next gen is the first generation where I have little to no hype coming into it at all. I thank my gaming PC for that.l

#50 Posted by Worcanna (90 posts) -

So while it really sucks for the consumer end, its kinda smart business and attractive to developers. With the developer war on used sales this year getting a lot more vocal, this will attract a lot of people to the console without much need to sell it on much else other then "Your game sales are yours. No second hand". Of course, as has been said, a lot of gamers can't afford that $60 drop every game. On the other hand (And not to strike up a elitist tone), it might cause gamers to pick their games a little more wisely too. The market is flooded with junk and having gamers have to pick a little more exact on what they want seems a great way for good games to be praised with good sales while poor ones to be shown exactly what they are worth. Remember that any game right now can be considered popular just by second hand sales, if that was removed. I think we'd see developers be a lot more exact in what they sell.

Of course, it could all go to hell and we only see the trash being brought because they market it at a lower price then the well made expensive stuff because the price range would start to create a "Price to performance" ratio in gaming. Creating a "knock off brand wars" where we start getting crappy versions of games just to make quick bucks.

.......*Facepalm* I answered my own question. Didn't i.