Sony files patent to block used games

Controversy has surrounded the rumors that the PlayStation 4 (and possibly the Xbox 720) could block used games completely. Now a recently filed patent shows Sony might seriously take action against used games with the yet to be announced PS4. 

Used games have been around almost since the beginning of gaming. Used games have given gamers the ability to play buy games for cheap, which offers those on a budget the chance to enjoy video games. Among other things used games have a lot of benefit and major corporations like Gamestop have thrived off the used games market. Most game developers have been against the used games market for a long time for one reason; developers do not see any revenue from used games that are bought or sold. Some developers have taken arms against used games with the use of Online passes, which is a code for online play that can only be used once and if that game was bought used, to access those features you’d have to pay for that pass. Rumor awhile back was that developers and console developers wanted and were looking to take used games to the grave by blocking used games completely with the next generation of consoles. That rumor seems to be coming true from the new patient that Sony just filed, with Sony themselves saying that it’s vital used games are blocked.


     Sony has researched and patented new technology that could be implemented in consoles or handhelds to block used games. Sony patient number 20130007892 was filed for an “Electronic Content Processing System” and “Use Apparatus” that would associate individual game discs with matched user accounts using a more advanced system. The system works, according to the document, by attaching RF tags to each game which could be read without any network connection. The document states “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 details of the document basically show a full on block of used games for all consoles with no way around it, besides of course hacking; even that would be difficult considering security on a next gen console would be increased. The document continues on by saying “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. Though in the following description a game application (AP) is exemplified as the electronic content, the present embodiment is similarly applicable to various kinds of electronic content such as an office suite, images, and music content.”

In the patent filed, Sony said in the games industry that it is vital to redistribute a portion of the proceeds from sales to developers, who do not see a dime from secondhand sales. However, if Sony or any company was to block used games on their consoles present or future, it would be negative. Not only would it take away options for gamers but used games are necessary in this economy and are not even a threat at revenue, something you can see with the $1billion dollars made in 15 days from Call Of Duty on new games alone. If a game is good enough it will sell, and shouldn’t be affected by the small potion of sales of used games, something analysts have been saying for a long time. Blocking used games would give gamers less of a choice when it comes down to price. Its also unfair to not allow gamers to get some money back that they could put towards a new one. Blocking used games also means games would no longer be able to be found if production was to be ceased. Doing so could also devastate the economy, both in normal markets and used game markets. Companies like Gamestop would be non existent, and sites like eBay would lose sellers, lets also not forget rental services like Redbox and Gamefly would be dead. It would be a terrible mistake to block used games on any console.

The main question is whether or not Sony would actually do something this drastic. It’s already created an uproar and made company shares fall. A lot of patents get filed, and a lot never see the light of day so now its a waiting game to see if Sony could actually do it. Until then sound off in the comments and let me know how you feel if used games were to be blocked.

  1. DiGi’s avatar

    It’s like a music artist suing a person for downloading there songs. Puts them in debt for life while they’re making millions anyway… Same concept. Everyone just want’s more money to spend.

    The only good thing that could come out of this is bringing more PC gamers. Why? Because used games was a HUGE part of consoles. They take that away, what point is there in consoles now other then usability? Only reason I’d buy a game for XBOX was to share it with my brothers when I was done. Can’t do that, why bother now?


  2. Someone Else’s avatar

    Boycott the next-gen consoles.
    Don’t support Adolf.


  3. Nathan’s avatar

    I honestly believe game specialty stores like Gamestop will boycott the consoles blocking used content for us. That is how they make a good chunk of their money, used items. Then they’ll file a lawsuit and sony can’t pay off anyone because they are not influential to any market other than the Blu-ray industry. Best Buy might boycott as well.


  4. SupahLeecha’s avatar

    Sony is getting more and more greedy.
    Dear sony how is your ps vita sales? Goodluck to you then.
    We, users, never felt your generousity.
    If used games cannot be sold/bought from the market, then, can you please offer a money back guarantee? I just want to make sure I will satisfied for what I paid for.


  5. Alcatraz’s avatar

    OMG Dear Sony,
    Thats the biggest Shit ive ever heard from you.


  6. SonYIsTheBest’s avatar

    even from day one stores mean nothing to me


  7. someoncool’s avatar

    Personally, I hate this idea. 1/2 my games I buy used because the budget is not there to buy every game that comes out. Multi-player is tyed to the AAA tiles (black ops, Modern Warfare, etc) and I normaly buy those at full retail.

    I think Sony/Microsoft should go after places like gameripoff (gamestop) to make them pay a fee for selling used games and make them cut there margins down a little. Also put the the online codes for games on all of them like on the vita, they still will make money and when people buy them new, they can play online.

    I should be able to buy the single player game (for achivements/trophies) for a discounted price after someone else has played it, just like you can buy used DVDs/Blu-rays for 1/2 the price for used ones. Or music CDs…

    If they want to stop this totaly, then just drop all new PS4 and 720(xbox ?) games to $30 each. I would not feel the need to shop for a deal on a game.


  8. gunblade’s avatar

    cheaper games would be nice if there like computer games i can see why used games would be issues gamestop dosent let u return pc games once opean most store do the same…


  9. logitek’s avatar

    I hate hearing people say Sony or Microsoft are greedy ( of course they are). If you think they are then stop feeding them. They don’t force you to buy their product. As a consumer we hold all the cards, but we choose not to use it. People are so use to be f**ked in the a** what’s another inch :) The worst is they will come for more. With that said can you really blame Sony :)


  10. fck sony’s avatar

    buy wii , that if xbox also block use game hehehe , bye bye sony , its time for u to go down from gaming industry , after vita fail with umd support , now this sh3t , wow sony realy pissed gamer off lol


  11. shenmue’s avatar

    I have been a fan of Sony since day one. I own every game console Sony makes. But now if Sony makes the decision to block used games, I will have to say no to Mr. Sony.

    Here’s a message for you Mr. Sony:
    Dear fucking Mr. Sony, you can stick your PS4 into your a$$ and your mom’s a$$ and your kid’s a$$. You are not the only one making game console and I don’t have to have a PS4. I will go and buy NVidia Project Shield which is an open source device which I can do anything to it I want because it’s my money.


  12. Potato face’s avatar

    I sense a new wave of piracy coming about.


  13. XPGXatoku’s avatar

    i hope sony understands that there gonna get fucked if they block used games cos alot of poor people buy used games and then theres gonna be all these old hackers coming back like the n64 and snes flashcart teams… not nessasarjly them but legends like dark alex. you think used games are bad think about all the piracy that could resolve from it you selfish greedy cocksucking mofo think of people who will go out of buisness ie pawn shops ebgames gamestop ect. then nobody is making any money… and anyway i have one thing to say… I HOPE YOU AND YOUR WHOLE COMPANY END UP IN A CARDBOARD BOX WITH YOUR COMPANY AND ALL YOU HAVE IS A UGLY WIFE AND A PAPER BAG WITH EYEHOLES AND A BOX BY A STREET CORNER THEN YOULL SEE HOW IT IS FOR SOME POOR PEOPLE HAVE TO LIVE AND SOME OF THEM SPEND MONEY FROM BLOWWING C*CK ON USED GAMES JUST SO THEY CAN FEEL PROUD ABOUT NOT DOWNLOADING GAMES OFF THE NET AND FEEL THEY HELPED THEVECHONOMY JUST A LITTLE BIT NOW I HAVE ONE THING TO SAY TO U SONY FUCK U! THAT IS ALL… thank u for your time


    1. lovinit’s avatar

      man, hackers have not been able to install any hack on consoles beyond cech-3000 firmware 3.56+ …. they are going to block us and sony is NOT going to be fucked… you now what? is UP TO US the ppl buy or not their shit. We have to stop buying.


  14. XPGXatoku’s avatar

    couldnt this be avoided with a dvddrive fw hack anyway?


  15. DAVE’s avatar



  16. lovinit’s avatar

    PEOPLE DONT BUY…you guys seem like robots.


  17. Anders’s avatar

    Sounds good to me I always buy my games used especially since they introduced online pass I mean used game = $55 used $60 new Used 55 + 10 online pass say what you just paid for a new game :O impossible you saved nothing but a dollar or pennies on tax


  18. Jereme’s avatar

    if they allow this patent to go through it’ll effect gamers even more, you would not be able to bring you game over to your buddies house to play. you would need to bring your system over just to play with your friends


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