Last year's controversy of disc locked content may now be the least of gamers worries due to Sony's new idea that aims to fight against anti-piracy.
There are reports circulating that the company has locked in a patent that would restrict "second hand" gaming by linking software discs to the consoles that it was first played in.
According to a NeoGAF message board member, the recently filed patent aims to synthesize one game to one console and restricting said software to be played on another console. The document argues that this would be a great way to tackle their declining sales linked to used games and while Sony has yet to confirm that the patent exists, it's obvious that the move would indeed harbor money for the publishers and developers who make the games.
Before thinking about how much of a loss retailers would be if the patent were put into place, gamers can't help but think of the worst case scenarios: not being able to sell used games in exchange for newer titles, not being able to trade with friends and the possibility of having to replace a malfunctioning console with a new one which leads to having to re-purchase a game (or a set of games for those who are collectors).
Avid gamers have started placing an early bet of the forthcoming console war and stocks are being pulled from Gamestop. However, while this is just a premature speculation on what could possibly be the worst decision in video game history, one has to grasp the entire picture that paints a portrait of the method easily being sworn in by Sony's rivals, Nintendo and Microsoft.
It's far-fetched to say that they would considering the landscape of competition, but the two adversaries could easily wait until Sony actually puts the plan in motion and hope that it backfires. Sony dies and then the race between who makes a similar patent that would (I would like to think) similarly persuade consumers from reselling games would ensue.
This probably won't happen. Patents are made with the intention that no one else could come up with the idea. The plan will fail to come to fruition, of course, but it's mind boggling to think that Sony is supposedly 100% behind making the gaming industry work ten times harder.
Gamers who want to try out select PlayStation titles won't be allowed the option with this logic. Rental companies would be forced to shun away those titles and thus sales will be solely based on reviews; a marketing strategy that would be good for Sony's business but, again, bad for the consumer.
Just the thought of it is not a reputable effort by any means especially since new consoles are on the horizon and not to mention the horde of angry consumers that would be at their doorstep alongside a slew of game rental establishments itching to get their revenge Kratos-style. Sony would become the new Dreamcast and the thirst for a third option in video gaming would start to fester inside the hearts of fans across the nation.
For now, we can just only hope that they're joking, at least that what "analysts" are thinking.
"Sony would be materially hurt if its console blocked used games and competitor consoles from Microsoft and Nintendo did not. The company's first party software sales represent less than 10 percent of overall sales on its consoles, and it is unlikely that blocking used games would result in a lift of more than 10 percent in new game sales. We do not believe that either Sony or any publishers are currently foolhardy enough to take such a risk." - Wedbush Securities analyst Micheal Pachter | Kotaku.com
They better be not foolhardy. Or joking. Sony is totally in laughs right about now, right? Right!? Otherwise, PlayStation 4 will be just as the same as this patent, an idea that failed.