Watch out, Gamestop! It looks like Sony has taken the first step towards putting an end to used game sales.
Word recently broke out that a patent has been filed by Sony on technology which will prevent secondhand games from playing on consoles. This hasn’t been officially confirmed to exist yet nor is there word on which console this will be first implemented. We can only assume that it’s likely for the successor of the PlayStation 3. Is this the right move to make though? Who is this ultimately benefiting in the end?
Original reports state that this technology is a step up from DRM tactics done in the past which required the user to have an Internet connection to confirm proper ownership of a game. Supposedly, there will be a player ID and disc ID which locks in together when first starting up a game. This information is then stored on a “tag” that works in much the same way as a bank card. The result? A game disc won’t play if not used in the original console.
I can understand where Sony is coming from as a business. When someone like Gamestop or some guy you buy from on Amazon sells you a used game, they don’t see any of that money. Heck, game developers have even made an outcry over this practice. This move, however, is going about it the wrong way. As a matter of fact, you can say that used games are essential for the gaming market.
In this current economy, people are starting to realize how much video games are a luxury purchase. If you take away the means for folks who may not have the cash to buy new games, that could eventually drive them towards dropping it entirely. Keep in mind that a lot of people out there play games on a casual basis. With millions of people currently unemployed, you have to imagine that financial sacrifices will be made in entertainment when there’s only so much for food and rent.
For the sake of playing devil’s advocate, let’s say that Sony is gung-ho towards ending used game sales and we have to think of a reason how. If you ask me, EA seemed to have a good idea by moving into an all digital model. More games than ever before are now available with a simple search and click as opposed to leaving the house. This can even result in a lower price for the consumer since there’s no cost for packaging. Everyone wins… well…. everyone but Gamestop.
Let us know what you think on this issue and the best way to handle it in the comments below!