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Jan 4th

Sony Patents Pre-Owned Games Block

‘Tags’ Games That Have Been Used In Other Consoles

Sony Computer Entertainment has filed a patent for technology that could suppress pre-owned game sales.

The patent – originally spotted by NeoGAF – describes NFC-style technology that ‘tags’ individual game copies with information such as whether they have been previously tied to different consoles or user accounts.

The system checks with the tag before playing the game and potentially could block playback of titles that have been purchased second hand.

The patent reads: “According to the present embodiment, realized is the electronic content processing system that reliably restricts the use of electronic content dealt in the second-hand markets.

“As a result, the dealing of electronic content in the second-hand markets is suppressed, which in turn supports the redistribution of part of proceeds from sales of the electronic content to the developers.

“Though in the following description a game application (AP) is exemplified as the electronic content, the present embodiment is similarly applicable to various kinds of electronic content such as an office suite, images, and music content.”

The patent doesn’t guarantee Sony will decide to implement the block but if they do, expect a massive downturn in their popularity.

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