In January of this year Sony filed for a patent for disc based DRM to control used game sales. No policies are detailed but a rough outline of the technology was given and Sony's stance on enforcement.
- Ownership of game is tied to users profile, interesting to note they do not specify their PSN ID. Just "user's account on the console". The disc itself stores this information, knowing what user is authorized to use it then checking with the console to see if everything matches.
- The disc is embedded with near field communication tags. The tags lock the disc to the user account.
- The NFC tag communicates directly to the console itself. No need of a server was mentioned as well as Sony eluding to the fact internet based checks simply don't work because not everyone takes their console online.
- The system is designed to be as lenient as Sony wants it to be. The NFC tag can store data for the disc to act as a trial version and allow for multiple users. The possibility of curbing used sales by limiting the number of times a game can be resold is briefly mentioned.
Sony says the technology is to control used sales but a used game market cannot be eliminated entirely. Also goes on to say requiring any sort of password (I guess they mean the equivalent to a CD Key) is impractical. And as mentioned earlier Sony says that internet verification does not work because not everyone has or goes online and there would be no way to control them if that was the case.
If this is what is used it sounds like it keeps with the goals of Xbox Ones near draconian restrictions but it does it in a high tech fashion while leaving the door open for a more user friendly more lenient experience. Also entirely circumventing the internet is a pretty big deal. A lot goes unsaid here, Sony only expresses a few vague attitudes towards the issue and only how the technology works. There is no definitive policy on how this will be used in practice or how it addresses used sales, sharing with friends, etc. Hopefully Sony is watching the public opinion on what Microsoft is doing and acts accordingly. These NFC chips could accomplish the same ends but in a totally different less intrusive way.
*Edit sorry don't know why link wouldn't work just inserted as text for those interested.