Sony Patent Could Mean the End of Second Hand Gaming for Good


Sony, in a shock turn of events, has filed a new patent for game disk technology that could end the second hand market for good, well, at least if you’re a Playstation Gamer.

Filed on 09/12/12, only 22 days ago, the patent puts forward a design which involves adding an RFID tag to each game disk. This tag is then read by the console and either tied to the machine itself, or the user account associated with it, the “Disk ID” and “Player ID” are both verified by a tag on the disk before it can be used. this could mean that the disk would be unusable or limited severely on other consoles, rendering games useless to trade in or lend to others.

It’s no lie that publishers/developers have been trying to combat the losses caused by the second hand market, one of EA’s recent embargo against it has involved the inclusion of Multiplayer Unlock keys, which unlocks multiplayer only once on the first (the original consumer’s) console. Anyone purchasing that specific game second hand will have to pay the publisher/developer directly to unlock multiplayer for themselves, feeding potentially lost funds back to the developer instead of a game retailer.

it goes without saying that this patent could throw up numerous consumer rights issues accross the US, UK and other areas, especially with the UK’s strict enforcement on the ability to return opened and used software within a short period, but fortunately, thanks to the Patent application process, this hardware may not see the light of day for a few years, and that’s if it passes the application process, one comment over at ARSTECHNICA sums up the story entirely in two perfect points.

One thing’s for sure, if this is implemented, someone is going to have a good go at hacking it. Let us know what your take is on this by leaving a comment.