Rumors had been making waves about Sony and Microsoft implementing some form of preventing used titles from playing on their next consoles. A patent recently filed by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan appears to bring some truth to the rumors.
The patent, filed on December 9th of 2012, explains how Sony plans on limit the ability to play used, or secondhand, titles on future consoles. Discs will have a “contactless tag” which is linked to the console first used to read the disc. Each time the disc is then read, the system will verify the ID of the disc against the system’s ID. If the IDs match up, you’ll be able to play the title. If they don’t, then the system will not run the disc. Though the patent goes into detail with the aid of diagrams, there is no mention on how it would work for those who encounter an issue similar to replacing a system which is linked to their gaming library.
Companies such as GameStop and GameFly, which rely heavily on the existence of used titles, are sure to see a loss in business due to this technology. For many gamers, buying or renting a second hand title is the only way they are able to experience games. It will not be much of a surprise to see disgruntled gamers pass on a system that eliminates the use of used games in this manner.
Sony has yet to respond to the news of this patent. But it is a safe bet that as the year progresses, more information will be released.