Sony Patents Console Game Discs Tag Technology, Restricting Use of Second-Hand Games

Sony may have already lost the next generation console wars before stepping foot on the battlefield. That is, if it's granted a patent for a technology that would effectively eliminate the ability to play used games on the PlayStation 4, a move that would prove mighty unpopular among gamers and second-hand game shops if Sony actually implemented such a blocking mechanism.

Here's the abstract:
"A game playing system includes a use permission tag provided for use in a game disk for a user of a game, a disk drive, and a reproduction device for reproducing the game. The disk drive reads out a disk ID from the game disk. When the game is to be played, the reproduction device conveys the disk ID and a player ID to the use permission tag. The use permission tag stores the terms of use of the game and determines whether a combination of the disk ID and the player ID conveyed from the reproduction device fulfills the terms of use or not."
Sony Patent

The patent is curious for a number of reasons, one of which is that Sony boss Jack Tretton has previously stated that he's against the idea of blocking used video games. Yet here we are, staring at a patent filing for an NFC-style mechanism that would do exactly that.

"As a technique to suppress the second-hand sales and purchase, a user may be first required to send a password or the like to a remote authentication server from a reproduction device (game player) via the Internet and the reproduction of content may be permitted only for the device that has succeeded in authentication," the patent explains.

PlaySTation 4

The obvious problem there (well, other than the fact that restricting second-hand games is a jerk move) is that an Internet connection would be required to authenticate a game. To get around that, Sony wants to use radio frequency (RF) tags, as outlined above.

Because, you know, if you resell your used games, the terrorists win (commence eye rolling).