Sony disabling five-system game shares on PSN

Sony announced Friday that an upcoming policy change to the PlayStation Network usage policies will in effect neuter the five-system game shares that many users participated in. The new policies go into effect on November 18, 2011, and will limit game content activations to only two PlayStation 3 systems and two PlayStation Portables, down from the five systems each previously.

For the unaware, PlayStation Network accounts are currently able to be logged into and activated on up to five different systems. This means that it was a common practice among friends and online gaming communities to coordinate groups of five willing participants, who would "share" the game content on the account and split the costs five ways, in effect getting a huge discount on PSN games. While some argued this was essentially a form of sanctioned piracy, others said that the one copy of the game being sold to five people was better than the zero copies sold to actual pirates, and that it was a legitimate loophole that Sony had designed into the system. Not anymore.

The good news for users currently on one (or more) game share accounts is that this policy change will not affect any content purchased before November 18, 2011. This means that anyone desperate to save money on current content or anything being released in the next two weeks has time to jump in before five-system sharing goes away forever.

Sony also announced that they plan to update the PlayStation Network account management website to allow users to remotely deactivate a particular device from the convenience of their computer, a feature that was strongly requested, perhaps ironically, by users wanting to eject a non-paying member from share groups.

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16 Comments

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It's a sad case when Sony couldn't be bothered preventing and just removing taking the easy route, sooner or later we'll just be able to play games and that's it, it's not like the buddy features have any use whatsoever.

so first PSN pass, now this... since psn pass works like psn games it limited to activate on 5 devices now they can only activate on 2 devices... Basically all first party games from sony which you buy at full price only works on less device now...

Adding psn pass was annoying in the first place. Console gaming its popular because it was simple put and use...

Now they want us to activate the devices, insert 12 digit codes, sign in, what its next? always online.... This kind of measure its annoying, do a big disservice to their customers... Plus the fact that one reason why people are moving away from PC gaming in the first place its the crappy and deplorable experience that legit users get with all DRM used to combat piracy....

What they are doing its force people to not buy anything.... go pirate way something that its almost not existent in console.... They going after our rights as a consumer, limit on how we should or we could play the games that we bought... Basically they are treating us like criminals... Its a deplorable practice and as i said before the only way to stop this its not buying games that have this...

It seems that instead of making digital distribution more affordable, compelling, fast and easy.... Digital distribution its just more controlled, forceful, annoying and hurts more the experience of gaming than anything else..

Well since my first PS3 got the YLOD and now I'm activated on my cousin's there's no point in buying a new one because I won't be allowed to play online. Sony can go die now.

Kreuger said,
Well since my first PS3 got the YLOD and now I'm activated on my cousin's there's no point in buying a new one because I won't be allowed to play online. Sony can go die now.

Did you read the article? You can deactivate the PS3 with the YLOD via the PSN website. So yes, you would be able to play online.

Amarok said,

Did you read the article? You can deactivate the PS3 with the YLOD via the PSN website. So yes, you would be able to play online.

I missed that part.

brent3000 said,
Think of the gaming communities which have games in a 5 way split

Some people are going to be pretty un-happy...


Well they will still work. This is for games from 18th Nov.

Plus, who cares if they're unhappy...they're breaking the ToS anyway.

Ryoken said,
Sucks for families that have more than 2 PS3's.

Why should a family with more than 2 PS3s (or more than 1 for that matter) be allowed to have additional free copies of (digital) games??

You don't get extra copies of disc-based games for your other consoles...so why for PSN games?

Even 2 activations is generous, and they're going to provide an online interface to activate/deactivate PS3s.

Bhav said,

Why should a family with more than 2 PS3s (or more than 1 for that matter) be allowed to have additional free copies of (digital) games??

You don't get extra copies of disc-based games for your other consoles...so why for PSN games?

Even 2 activations is generous, and they're going to provide an online interface to activate/deactivate PS3s.

If I have 1 copy of a game on physical disc, I can play it in the PS3 in the living room. Then, if my Kids want to play it. I take it out of the PS3 in the living room, hand it to them and they take the disc and put it in their PS3 in their bedroom. Then, sometimes the girls want to play the same game, so I yell at the boy to hand the game over to the girls and they can play it on their PS3 in the kitchen. (Or their bedroom if that offends you, geez im running out of rooms here...).

Now, if I have PSN games I'll have to yell at the kids to either bring one console from their rooms into the other room, disconnect the wires etc just to play a game we'd paid for? Nah, not going to happen. Thats why I always try to get physical discs when ever I can, and when I'm finished with the game, I can swap them with a friend's game or trade them into a retail store for discounts on new games.

Most of the time, digital games are far more expensive then their physical counterparts as well. Its shocking.

I have another prediction. The genius that convinced them squeezing the their remaining customers for more money will end up costing them more in the long run.

Watching Sony navigate business issues is like watching a drunk cross the street.

I predict a lot of people are going to be mad that they can't pirate games and DLC through a loophole in Sony's policies now.

Amarok said,
I predict a lot of people are going to be mad that they can't pirate games and DLC through a loophole in Sony's policies now.

Yeah, but even if you didn't, it sounds like another **** poor feature removal from Sony. The PS3 and PSN just become less and less enticing to buy.