Sony Patents Technology Capable of Rejecting Used Games


In the gaming community, used games are crucial for retailers like Gamestop and consumers looking to save a buck.  But for the first time ever in gaming history, the next generation consoles may have the power to make them obsolete.  More specifically, the Playstation 4.

Rumors surfaced in March of 2012 that Sony’s still-secret next-gen console (codenamed “Orbis”) might be able to prevent used games from being played.  Now, a new patent from Sony has hinted that is still their intent – detailing an “electronic content processing system” capable of detecting previous played discs… prohibiting them from use.

The patent was filed by Sony Computer Entertainement Japan and revolves around a reproduction device within the console that uses NFC technology to scan every disc.  It English, this is equivalent to a barcode reader at your local Target.  The device, or console, will transmit a unique user-ID data to the disc, which would consequently be coded with the terms-of-use data.  Once paired together, the device will decide whether a user’s ID satisfies the disc’s terms.  Again in English, are you the original owner and if not, is it cool if you aren’t?

 “When the game is to be played, the reproduction device conveys the disc 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 disc ID and the player ID conveyed from the reproduction device fulfills the terms of use or not.”

Below is a blueprint of the patent and how the technology might function.  Note the salient step “S26” of the start-up tree.


About Author

Shaun Hilton is a passionate and life-long gamer, to say the least. He spent many years as the raid leader and main tank for a World of Warcraft guild, is an active Overwatch and Hearthstone player, and enjoys a game or two of Heroes of the Storm.

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