GameStop stock dropped Thursday following the reveal of a Sony patent that could potentially be used in the Playstation 4 to all but eliminate the used game market. The ramifications of the rumor was enough to cause Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter to send out a note to investors explaining why Sony would likely not implement the anti-used games measure in its next-gen console.
"Sony benefits little from a unilateral decision to block games," Pachter wrote. "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. That means that Sony's sales would rise only marginally if the PS4 blocked used games."
"Sony would be materially hurt if its console blocked used games and competitor consoles from Microsoft and Nintendo did not," he concluded.
So why a patent designed to block previously played games from the console? Pacther thinks it is there for third-party publishers such as Electronic Arts, Activision or Ubisoft to use if they so choose.
We would have to agree with Mr. Pachter as part of the games business is engendering a certain amount of goodwill with the gaming community. Blocking used games would create a tremendous backlash against Sony and any publishers who implemented the measures detailed in the filed patent.
Crazier things have happened though and this will be one issue gamers will be watching throughout 2013 leading up to the launch of the Playstation 4 and Xbox 720.