Sony Files Patent for Tying a Game Disc to Specific Player

posted on 2013-01-03 22:33 EST

On September 12, 2012, Japan's Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. filed a U.S. patent application for a system that determines if a player has permission to use a game, depending on the disc's ID and the player's ID. According to this proposed patent (#20130007892), a disc would have a radio-frequency tag that can track if a game is allowed to play on a particular console. This system is specifically designed to work without an Internet connection, unlike current methods that use online authentication.

Concerns that such a system would restrict used games resulted in the GameStop store chain's stock price dropping by five percent ($1.30) on Thursday. Michael Pachter and other industry analysts downplayed the possibility of Sony adding this system to its next console in notes to investors.

Pachter said, "Sony benefits little from a unilateral decision to block games. 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."

[Via NeoGAF, Kotaku (link 2)]

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