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Sony patents method of blocking used games from working

8:00 AM on 01.03.2013 // Jim Sterling

Company of awful ideas has awful idea

We're only a few days into 2013, but Sony's already vying for the Asshole of the Year award in a competitive fashion. It's been discovered that the company has patented a method of "tagging" games played on multiple systems, with the purpose of trying to control secondhand sales.

"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," reads the patent. "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."

The next PlayStation was rumored to be looking into ways of blocking used sales, though boss-man Jack Tretton has said he'd be against the idea. A patent, of course, is no proof that anything like this would actually happen -- it's just Sony sitting on an idea in case it or anybody else does want to do it eventually. 

Even so, the very idea of this, along with the thought that people want to implement it, disgusts me entirely. It speaks of the cowardice that dominates this industry -- the desperation to control consumers at every level, rather than face the scary prospect of actually having to work to gain their loyalty and money.

I don't think even Sony is suicidal enough to use this idea at the moment, but I'm no less disgusted with it for dreaming it up in the first place. 

[Via NeoGAF]

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
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