It's no secret that the next generation of home consoles is upon us. With Nintendo launching the "Wii U" late last year and Microsoft recently launching a "count down to E3" marketing campaign, developers are starting to get into the swing of "next gen."
But what about Sony? The third major player in this "console war" has come under heavy financial woes as of late, causing much concern about their roll in the next generation of home console video games. It's not that we aren't expecting a Playstation 4, it's just that we don't really know what to expect.
Well thanks to a recent patent filed by Sony, we may have some indication of what direction they're heading. It would seem that Sony is going after the used game market next generation, as the patent revolves around limiting and banning the use of used games for use on their console. The patent is pretty elaborate, so I will try to post a relative exert from it:
1. An electronic content processing system comprising: a use permission apparatus provided for use in a recording medium that stores electronic content for a user of the electronic content; a medium drive configured to read the electronic content from the recording medium; and a reproduction device configured to reproduce the electronic content read by the medium drive, the medium drive having a security management unit configured to read from the recording medium an article ID that is an ID of the electronic content or the recording medium, the reproduction device having a security management unit configured to convey a reproduction entity ID, which is a reproduction device ID or a user ID, together with the article ID read by the medium drive to the use permission apparatus when the electronic content is to be reproduced, the use permission apparatus including: a use condition storage for storing a use condition that defines an attribute of an entity accessible to the electronic content; and a determining unit for determining whether or not a combination of the article ID and the reproduction entity ID conveyed from the reproduction device fulfills the use condition, wherein the security management unit of the reproduction device determines a reproduction mode of the electronic content based on a decision result as to whether or not the combination thereof fulfills the use condition.
English translation: The Playstation 4 will include a device between it's disk reader and hardware that provides verification of an unused game being played. The application refers to a system that can tie a game to your user ID (i.e. your account), or a machine ID.
This has been an ongoing rumor regarding both Microsoft and Sony's next home console's, and it seems at least one of them has took the bait. What this means for the consumer is pretty obvious; No used games. What this means for Sony remains unclear, however. Retail outlets that make a majority of their revenue on used games will most certainly be against such technology, so it will be interesting to see how the market reacts to this...interesting choice of "security" hardware being implemented on the system.
What's everyone's thoughts on Sony potentially blocking owners the ability to play used games on their potentially $500+ home console? Let me know by subscribing to me here and following me on twitter @NicholasGigante.