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Sony patents pre-owned games block


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#1 MightyJordan

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 14:33

From NeoGAF...

So I believe this is interesting in light of a prior rumour about Sony limiting second hand game sales on PS4.

Sony has been working on new technology for limiting used game sales, and has applied for a patent. The patent was filed 09/12/2012 by SCEJ.

Perhaps this work is where the rumour came from. Or perhaps it independently corroborates the rumour.

Link: http://www.freepaten...13/0007892.html

Anyway, here's some of the relevant detail:

According to the present embodiment, realized is the electronic content processing system that reliably restricts the use of electronic content dealt in the second-hand markets. As a result, the dealing of electronic content in the second-hand markets is suppressed, which in turn supports the redistribution of part of proceeds from sales of the electronic content to the developers. Though in the following description a game application (AP) is exemplified as the electronic content, the present embodiment is similarly applicable to various kinds of electronic content such as an office suite, images, and music content.


By employing the game playing system 1000 according to the present embodiment, the use permission tag 220 together with the game disk 210 is supplied to the user, and the use permission tag 220 actively determines the use permit/rejection of electronic content. Thereby, the use of game AP stored in the game disk 210 can be restricted as appropriate according to the attribute of a reproduction device. Consider, for example, a case where used is a game package 200 distributed in the second-hand market. Then the ID of reproduction device for the game disk 210 differs from the legitimate use device ID stored in the use permission tag 220, so that the game disk can be reproduced in a mode which is predetermined for those bought and sold in the second-hand market. Also, for example, a content key may be supplied to the reproduction device 130 and the encrypted game AP may be decrypted using the content key only if the reproduction device ID matches a legitimate use device ID. Hence, use of game APs bought and sold in the second-hand market can be eliminated.



It works by supplying a contactless RF tag with each copy of a game (NFC?), which can (independent of a network connection), remember if a game has been tied to a different machine or user account previously. The system checks with the tag before playing the game.

I suppose I should say that this doesn't mean PS4 will, for sure, restrict second hand games. This would not be the first time Sony registered patents in this area and then did nothing with the tech. In fact I remember a patent fueling rumours prior to PS3's launch. The decision would be a business one, not one based on technical feasibility. This system would be relatively expensive to implement vs network-DRM. Although it could have the double effect of limiting piracy - at least until pirates could hack or reproduce the 'rf tag' system.

The last official comment we had from someone at Sony was Jack Tretton's "'for the record, I'm totally opposed to blocking used games." - but maybe people would be better reassured by a comment from SCEJ...

So with those qualifications out of the way, have at it :p

edit - since it's causing some confusion, the application refers to a system that can tie a game to your user ID (i.e. your account), or a machine ID via the RF tag. For people wondering what would happen if your console died etc.


To quote the Chuckle Brothers...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwCvJ_d9GFc

I said last year that I'd probably not buy into the next generation of consoles. If this gets implemented in the next PlayStation, then it looks like I might have jumped off the ship right before it hit the iceberg.


#2 spacer

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 14:39

Measures like these will just drive more people to piracy in my opinion.

Especially, if technology like this "locks" the game to the first system it's played on, regardless of network connection. Like the quote says, what happens if your console dies and you have to get a new one? Do you have to re-buy the games too?

#3 Jason S.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 14:43

if this were to be true, i still doubt it's going to hurt overall game sales that much. sure, there are local chains in my area that sell used games, but the prices arent always that good. Hell, Gamestop sells some used games for a whopping $5 less than a new version. which would you rather buy?

Also, with the growing popularity of downloaded games, it's not like you can resell them anyway. i'm fairly sure i cant resell games i bought on Steam, or even 'donate' them to a friend. If i download a game on my PS3, i cant sell that to someone else or Gamestop, right?

#4 lothodon

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 14:44

There is already a method to transfer purchased content to a new console on both the 360 and PS3, so I'm quite certain they would have the functionality in place if they ever decide to implement this.

#5 Glassed Silver

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 14:50

EU laws got me covered, so yeah, come at me bro! :laugh:

Anyways, as the article says, apparently Sony opposes the idea of limiting used game sales and I hope this will stay that way so they can block this particular type of crippling future retro gamers and current normal people wanting to ditch a game from being used.
Don't license the patent! :)

If for once a patent troll could possibly be helpful, it'd be with DRM in general.
Patent all possible solutions and then don't license them. :p

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#6 ahhell

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 14:52

Doesn't the Wii-U tie games to your machine/user id?

#7 TheExperiment

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 17:04

One of my friends is a lawyer and mentioned that having a patent for something means absolutely nothing. They're likely covering their bases in case they decide to pursue it in the future, so someone can't pre-empt and make them pay for it if they do.

#8 Glassed Silver

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 17:24

One of my friends is a lawyer and mentioned that having a patent for something means absolutely nothing. They're likely covering their bases in case they decide to pursue it in the future, so someone can't pre-empt and make them pay for it if they do.

They can block that sh*te from being used by anyone else as long as they like imho.
Maybe they should make sure that nothing similar can be legally developed and used in other systems...
It'd be very sad to see others get the hint and work around it. :no:



:p

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#9 Lord Method Man

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 17:28

Doesn't the Wii-U tie games to your machine/user id?


Not that I know of. Nintendo Accounts are tied to a specific console and can't be transferred but as far as I know the games themselves aren't tied to anything.

#10 +Audioboxer

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 18:32

Stupid idea, unlike in the PC world where digital distribution can keep titles around forever, many low print console games (rare RPGs especially) can become very hard to find. Try finding a copy of Aquanaut's Holiday for the PS3 in English (Only the Asian version was and now fetches silly money).

Keep your online passes going if you must, but this is simply suicide.

#11 TheExperiment

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 18:43

unlike in the PC world where digital distribution can keep titles around forever

I don't really get your point here. Consoles can do the same thing.

#12 LaP

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 19:01

So I believe this is interesting in light of a prior rumour about Sony limiting second hand game sales on PS4.

Sony has been working on new technology for limiting used game sales, and has applied for a patent. The patent was filed 09/12/2012 by SCEJ.

Perhaps this work is where the rumour came from. Or perhaps it independently corroborates the rumour.


I think we should limit the sales of used cars too. Sales of used houses should be limited too. While we're at it sales of used computer parts should be limited too.

The thing i'll never understand about the current laws is this.

Companies say we buy the right to the game only and not the game. So they can do whatever they want even if it's against our rights as a human. The right to own things.

But then they ask you money multiple time for the same product. Want to play COD on PC you got to pay. Want to play COD on your XBox too with different friends you got to pay AGAIN. Want to play Angry Bird on your iPhone got to pay. Want to play Angry bird on your new LUmia replacing your iPhone you got to pay AGAIN.

If we buy only the right to the game should not this include the right to every physical media version of it ? Cause in the end we don't really buy the physical media we just borrow it.

#13 +Audioboxer

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 19:12

I don't really get your point here. Consoles can do the same thing.


They can? We have strict DRM, completely unknown future around whether or not we can carry our games to new hardware (are all my PSN games playable on PS4? who knows....), Sony set publishing and licensing fees on the platform (even for patches due to bandwidth). Sony control and run the whole network and if you don't like their digital policies and/or can't afford to pay them what they tell you, tough luck. You do not have that issue, at least to that extent, on a PC.

Konami wouldn't even release an Xbox 360 patch for Silent Hill HD saying MS charge too much.

My point is sure FIFA/COD will be there day 1 digitally, but the PC market is absolutely light years ahead of consoles for allowing developers (especially indie) to distribute their games and updates as they see fit (DRM free, through torrents, for whatever price they want, ect).

Consoles are closed platforms, and as long as they remain that are consoles, if they ever become open they essentially become a PC under your TV.

#14 -Razorfold

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 19:20

Good job Sony, get more people to pirate games :rolleyes:

When will companies learn...

#15 Glassed Silver

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 22:03

They can? We have strict DRM, completely unknown future around whether or not we can carry our games to new hardware (are all my PSN games playable on PS4? who knows....), Sony set publishing and licensing fees on the platform (even for patches due to bandwidth). Sony control and run the whole network and if you don't like their digital policies and/or can't afford to pay them what they tell you, tough luck. You do not have that issue, at least to that extent, on a PC.

Konami wouldn't even release an Xbox 360 patch for Silent Hill HD saying MS charge too much.

My point is sure FIFA/COD will be there day 1 digitally, but the PC market is absolutely light years ahead of consoles for allowing developers (especially indie) to distribute their games and updates as they see fit (DRM free, through torrents, for whatever price they want, ect).

Consoles are closed platforms, and as long as they remain that are consoles, if they ever become open they essentially become a PC under your TV.

Preach it man.

I finally friended you, hope that's something that you can live with :p

I like your stance on preservability and even more so - that you actually care about it.

Today we live in a world filling up with games, developers and publishers who will make it increasingly harder or at least worrisome to maintain a game's lifespan for future retro gaming. Oh and not all games are popular enough to get rereleases (which often will suck or at least cost you good money AGAIN) like FF titles. :)

Finally someone who cares and thinks about all this in a way I can sympathize with.

Glassed Silver:mac