Sony has taken out a patent which plans to prevent second-hand games from running on the PlayStation 4. How could this impact the second-hand game market?
It has been revealed that Sony has been busy working on technology that could potentially block the playability of second-hand games on the PlayStation 4. The technology works similar to that used for bankcards, it associates the disk to the user’s account, which means if you try to play the game on another console / account then it would be blocked.
Sony has yet to confirm that it will use the technology in future consoles. However, it seems quite likely that it will happen; the real question is when will it happen? Doubts have been cast as to whether Sony would currently make such a move.
Could Sony kill the video game rental market? Many gamers rent video games from online rental services. Unless Sony was to give special unrestricted disks to rental firms, it would mean that this sector would also suffer.
Might it be down to the developers to choose whether to use the technology for their games? It doesn’t seem that farfetched that Sony could allow developers to decide if they wish to use the technology. This would mean that certain game developers would be incorporating the technology and others wouldn’t, making a split second-hand market.
There is also talk that Microsoft might incorporate a similar technology with the XBOX 720. Is either developer bold enough to take such a drastic move? It's certainly not going to win them any new fans; it would surely have the opposite effect.