A recently-discovered patent suggests that Sony is keen to suppress the pre-owned games market, potentially using Near Field Communication to tether game discs to specific consoles. Like, just for example... the PS4?
According to the patent, found by NeoGAF member gofreak, game discs would contain a small electronic tag that automatically syncs with the first console it's registered with. Other consoles would either be unable to play it or could only access limited functionality.
As always, the patent is worded in the most obtuse way possible, but here's the relevant section:
"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.
"By employing the game playing system 1000 according to the present embodiment, the use permission tag 220 together with the game disk 210 is supplied to the user, and the use permission tag 220 actively determines the use permit/rejection of electronic content. Thereby, the use of game AP stored in the game disk 210 can be restricted as appropriate according to the attribute of a reproduction device. Consider, for example, a case where used is a game package 200 distributed in the second-hand market. Then the ID of reproduction device for the game disk 210 differs from the legitimate use device ID stored in the use permission tag 220, so that the game disk can be reproduced in a mode which is predetermined for those bought and sold in the second-hand market. Also, for example, a content key may be supplied to the reproduction device 130 and the encrypted game AP may be decrypted using the content key only if the reproduction device ID matches a legitimate use device ID."
"Hence, use of game APs bought and sold in the second-hand market can be eliminated."
Rumours already suggest that the PS4 will attempt to combat the used game market. Could it use this tech? And, if so, would it affect your purchasing decision? We'll have to wait and see.