We have some potentially worrying news to bring you now in the so called build up to the release of next-generation gaming consoles in 2013. We have previously heard whispers on how the likes of the next Xbox and Sony PS4 will not play used games, but now it looks like Sony has taken the bold step to potentially make this a reality for their next console. A new and recent patent filing has been discovered from Sony and it reveals plans for a console with the ability to block the use of used games on a system, with game discs being universally tied to a individual’s user account instead.
The patent has now been published and it could see a future where the Sony PS4 will not be able to play used games, a reality which many consumers will obviously not be very happy about. Sony hasn’t actually referenced the PS4 or any PlayStation product in the patent, but it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the most likely scenario as well as the timing of the patent, is that it specifically relates to the PS4.
You can read the detailed document for yourself here, courtesy of the discovery made over at Neogaf where the discussion is ongoing. The patent as you can imagine can be difficult to decipher in simpler terms, but it essentially reveals that NFC tagging may be put in place on all game discs, so that the system can log data on whether a respective disc has been used on a different console or not.
If Sony really are planning to press on with this plan on the PS4, then we imagine that game discs will also be locked to a user’s accounts, similar in the way which is now adopted on the PS Vita, where PSN accounts are locked to memory cards – unlike the PSP which was much more open and accessible to users.
Sony mentions in their patent that the new technology will provide a suitable replacement for the Online Pass system which shook the industry and its consumers last year. Will they really be able to convince bargain hunters though that this move will ultimately be for the good of the PS4? Used games sales are still a massive business – take that away and Sony may not be able to deal with the vicious backlash that could come their way if this is confirmed.
What are your initial thoughts on this move? The patent is there in black and white, so it could be a question of not if, but when.