With the anticipation of next generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft, many experts believe that these systems will feature some type of technology that will eliminate the ability to operate second-hand titles. While official news surrounding this type of technology has been kept quiet, a new patent from Sony leads us to believe that the PS4 is well on its way to delivering this functionality.
According to the patent that was filed, the following information has been given:
The development of electronic content including game applications (APs) is costly and therefore in a content business it is vital to redistribute part of proceeds from sales of the electronic content to the developers. On the other hand, the electronic content is being bought and sold in second-hand markets.
In such a scheme where the electronic content is bought and sold in the second-hand markets or the like, the sales proceeds resulting therefrom are not redistributed to the developers. Also, since the users who have purchased the second-hand items are somehow no longer potential buyers of the content, the developers would lose their profits otherwise gained in the first place.
By employing the game playing system 1000 according to the present embodiment, the use permission tag 220 together with the game disk 210 is supplied to the user, and the use permission tag 220 actively determines the use permit/rejection of electronic content. Thereby, the use of game AP stored in the game disk 210 can be restricted as appropriate according to the attribute of a reproduction device. Consider, for example, a case where used is a game package 200 distributed in the second-hand market. Then the ID of reproduction device for the game disk 210 differs from the legitimate use device ID stored in the use permission tag 220, so that the game disk can be reproduced in a mode which is predetermined for those bought and sold in the second-hand market. Also, for example, a content key may be supplied to the reproduction device 130 and the encrypted game AP may be decrypted using the content key only if the reproduction device ID matches a legitimate use device ID. Hence, use of game APs bought and sold in the second-hand market can be eliminated.
With the use of this technology, each game will be supplied with a tag that can only be tied to one system. With this being implemented, Sony would completely eliminate the second-hand market on console titles; that's if they even decide to use this technology.
We have also listed a few concept photos of the PS4 in the slide-show above this article for those of you that may be interested.