How Sony’s New Patented Technology Will Stop The Creation Of Second-hand Games
If you are like me, if you are able to get a movie, or game or piece of music second-hand, you will go out and find it. That’s why I really appreciate places like Gamestop, EB Games, and second-hand stores. They offer pre-owned and discounted games and accessories that I can buy for a fraction of the cost of a new retail release. That’s why I also find myself contemplating the possible end of the second hand video game market with news of a technology that Sony has patented for the Playstation 3.
According to Gamestop.com, Sony has “researched and patented new technology that could be used to block used games”. In the article, Sony has developed new technology that would lock games to certain user accounts, making them incapable of being used under other user’s accounts or systems. The patent itself was filed in December of 2012 and has yet to be implemented in the current console generation, but many people suspect it could be used for the Playstation 4 and other future Sony devices. The article also says that the technology works, and could easily be applied to music and photos as well. The reasoning given for this technology was that content developers do not receive royalties from the sale of used games, and that the second-hand market deprives them of such royalties.
While the article quotes Sony as saying that the technology would effectively “‘suppress’ the second-hand game market”, it’ll do more than that. It will kill the second-hand game market by making it impossible to sell something second-hand. It will allow major corporations to effectively set the price for the content that we enjoy. We will trade the ability to earn some money for our things, for just a little more convenience. We already see it happening with online stores like itunes, XBOX Live and the Playstation Network; now we will see it in other places as well.
Clifford Taylor Hofferd is a University Graduate living in Prince George. You can read his blog at thengpblog.blogspot.ca