How Sony Just Patented its Own Downfall

How this could be the first step downhill for the Playstation 4.

Sony has always held a grudge against used games, even back before the launch of the Playstation 3 but it never went through. This time though, they're actually doing it. A patent that would inevitably bring the Playstation 4 down to its knees was filed back in September 2012.

what if my Playstation 4 broke and I had to replace it with another console, what then? Would that RFID chip be able to tell that? I doubt it.

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GribbleGrunger3557d ago (Edited 3557d ago )

When has Sony expressed their 'grudge' against the second hand market? That's quite the emotive word. This is just fanciful thinking to lay the foundations for this premature and questionable assumption. I DO recall developers talking about it extensively in the past and I do recall both MS and Sony offering them an olive branch by allowing online passes.

This approach gives it away:

'what if my Playstation 4 broke and I had to replace it with another console, what then? Would that RFID chip be able to tell that? I doubt it.'

First the writer puts a proposition forward as a question, but the only reason is so that he can then end it with 'I doubt it.' Thus placing a falsehood into the readers head in order to maximise the effect.

It's something a schoolboy would do:

'Are you saying my mother is ugly? Wait til I tell my father.'

A reaction created from a false proposition in order to trap the reader into thinking exactly how the writer wants them to.

RamsesNum13557d ago (Edited 3557d ago )

They tried to do the same thing before the PS3 was launched. They attempted to license all their games. Meaning when your purchase a ps3 game, you would be purchasing the license only to play the game. The disc and the software still belongs to Sony and are not yours to sell.


The author is expressing his opinion. You are free to interpret it as you see fit. It's still an interesting thought though. However, you seem pretty convinced that this is not the case. He was simply asking what would happen if the console broke. There was no ulterior motive there.

GribbleGrunger3557d ago (Edited 3557d ago )

Am I convinced it's not the case or have you assumed I meant that? False proposition = wrong response.

If they do this (and I'm doubtful, but not entirely) then they would certainly have a way of allowing you to change your PS4 ... that's the point I'm making. The author has deliberately but forward a scenario as if it's the truth in order to inflame the debate.

As the sensible amongst us have pointed out in numerous articles on this very subject, patents are not always used. Sony could be just covering their bases for any big changes to the market later on, when other companies want to do the same thing.

And the article you posted up actually proves that Sony doesn't always implement what they patent. Don't be drawn in by this debate. Think clearly; think rationally and above all else, WAIT and see.

edit: But, RamsesNum1, the proposition is pure fiction:

'what if my Playstation 4 broke and I had to replace it with another console, what then? Would that RFID chip be able to tell that? I doubt it.'

We know nothing about how it would work, if indeed it WAS used, but the author has made that damned scenario up for sensationalism. I'm all for debating the pros and cons of such a patent, but I can't engage in something that is pure fantasy. If he'd have not written that last sentence: 'I doubt it' then perhaps, and only perhaps, I would have been more forgiving.

RamsesNum13557d ago (Edited 3557d ago )

Its just what he thinks could happen. Plus, you can never be too sure. For all we know, this is all could be false. Thats the point here, raising unsure questions about unsure topics. It's an opinion piece.

That could be the case as well, who knows? It does seem like a pretty good way to stack up that extra cash. This is a corporation after all.

This patent scenario could go in a variety of different ways, this is just the direction he thinks it could go in.

InMyOpinion3557d ago

"This is a corporation after all."

To some of us it's more like family.

creatchee3557d ago


To you, you're family.

To Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, we're numbers.

Anon19743557d ago

That's been my point the past few days as well as media outlets seem to be losing their mind over this. We've seen this exact scenario before with the PS3.

Sony has had patents for this type of tech since back in 2000, and from time to time they've patented variations of this system but despite owning patents on this for over a decade we've never seen these patents implemented into a game system. Why would we see it now?

MikeMyers3557d ago

"When has Sony expressed their 'grudge' against the second hand market? That's quite the emotive word. This is just fanciful thinking to lay the foundations for this premature and questionable assumption. I DO recall developers talking about it extensively in the past and I do recall both MS and Sony offering them an olive branch by allowing online passes. "

Isn't it just Sony who now has online passes for their own games? Not sure if any games published by Nintendo or Microsoft do.

"He was simply asking what would happen if the console broke. There was no ulterior motive there."

Apparently Wii U owners face difficulties in this area. Transferring content and history has been an issue in the past for many who own various systems that have either upgraded or had their system break.

People are right to question the header topics. Many are created for the sake of getting hits, we all know that. However one must take their emotions in check and actually be open to the discussion and not immediately react and say "here we go again, the media hates Sony." I don't see Sony going solo on this but then again they have done some pretty interesting things in the past.

TheGamerDood3557d ago (Edited 3557d ago )

All Sony has to do is go the digital distribution route and that'll help curb a good portion of used game sales just like it did on PC but they also have to be flexible with pricing similar to what Valve/Steam have done.

blackbeld3557d ago

This patent "update" makes me nervous to buy a PS4.

Why Sony release this patent "update" for show now? Why not show us 2 or 3 years ago?

Sony should give us answers right now! I for sure will not buy PS4 of they really pull this off!

kariyanine3557d ago

@TheGamerDood sure going digital would help curb sales but since most console sales are still coming from the retail space if they go down this road they are asking for trouble. They are going to have to walk a very fine line with all approaches to curbing used sales so as not to offend their users or their sales partners.

Kevin ButIer3557d ago

Stop bashing Sony... the whole industry is looking forward to this change. Don't get surprised if it doesn't even have backward compatibility, they want to maximize digital distribution sales.

TheGamerDood3557d ago


This outrage didn't take place with PC gamers and I suspect it won't with console gamers either. All you have to do is offer up a good service along with a fair price and you'll get that customer loyalty that all corporations pray for.

MikeMyers3557d ago

"All you have to do is offer up a good service along with a fair price and you'll get that customer loyalty that all corporations pray for."

Easier said than done. Microsoft for example does not currently sell games at launch for their games on demand store. The discount games on SEN are closer to what the prices are on Steam but that is if you have a Plus membership. Nintendo? Who knows but they used to be behind the curve ball by quite a bit before. Haven't used the new service yet.

The problem with consoles is they charge extra for royalties. They also have more restrictions than we see on the PC. If you use OnLive the games are already patched and updated and ready to go. Sony has a lot of work ahead of them if they ever want a online store as quick and as friendly as something like Steam.

kariyanine3557d ago

@TheGamerDood but you are talking about two very different cultures. The problem stems from the majority of console sales still coming from retail though. PC was able to go that route because the people that played PC games were better equipped to do so. That’s not wholly the case with console gamers. Unless Sony is willing to take a hit on the amount of units they sell they can’t afford to bypass retail the same way as the PC industry did. Also you have to remember that most retailers make little to no money selling hardware in their stores and they afford shelf space for that hardware because they can make money off of software sales (both new and used), if you take that away or make the retail portion less needed then where is the retail incentive to actually stock your hardware? Its not just an easy fix of, go digital and all the pain goes away. Digital may solve some issues but it opens up other ones that are potentially worse for their business model.

Hicken3557d ago


Nintendo's first party, online offerings were a little too slim to implement such a thing on the Wii. And as for Microsoft, what do you think Live's fee is?

Now, I'm not really defending it, because I hate it, quite honestly. But you almost make it sound like Sony's doing so much worse than the others. Glad that- so far- Nintendo hasn't implemented any such thing.

As for the subject at hand, it won't happen. Hell, how many patents does Apple have that they don't bother to use... except to sue somebody? Not saying Sony filed this patent just so they could sue if somebody else tried to use this technology, but it's not an impossibility.

This isn't the first time, after all. Why didn't they use it before? What else have they patented that they have't used?

Sensationalism at its finest. Not bothering to read any more such articles, or even the comments. Simply gonna vote article and site down.

NotSoSilentBob3557d ago

You already don't own the games. If you read the EULA for each game you pay a 1 time rental fee that can't be transferred. THAT IS FOR EVERY BIT OF SOFTWARE.

pixelsword3557d ago

It's just a patent, so I'm not worried; but be not deceived: if that is the future, then it's a no-buy.

MikeMyers3557d ago

kariyanine, all 3 of them still rely a lot on retailers. Right now they seem to have a mutual understanding about pricing which is likely why the digital price is the same as the retail price. Services like Steam get around that by working directly with the publishers and not charging the same royalties. Companies like Sony are in a rather predicament because they need retailers still to sell games and hardware. They also don't want to neglect all the customers out there who don't have online access. A year ago Steam crossed 40 million users and their model can sustain itself. By cutting out retailers and the middle men they can afford to be more price competitive.

If Sony does decide this is the route to go there will definitely be a backlash from consumers who have chosen to support the console model. I don't expect prices to go down so what exactly is in it for the consumer to support this patent? Steam prices make up for the lack of freedom that physical games provide.

Hicken, I haven't played on the Wii U but I have on the Wii and it was definitely light years behind Sony's. I elaborated more about Sony because that is what this article is about. Sony is not by far the worse but they could improve nonetheless. They are also very supportive of the online pass that I think EA brought to us. I'm not sure if Nintendo or Microsoft have adopted that for their own published games or not. I haven't seen any.

Patents are filed all the time. Some come to fruition some don't. I just don't see this one happening. Why would the PS4 adopt their own system to block used games? It doesn't make any sense if nobody else is.

rainslacker3556d ago

Given the extreme backlash from the gaming community as a whole over just the thought of it, it's obvious that the market isn't ready for this. This backlash isn't even an N4G thing, but is on Sony's forums, as well as several major gaming sites getting a lot of heat.

Some may argue that us gamers make up a small part of the overall market, but come console release time, we are the ones that they rely on, and they know this. Just look at the Wii U's launch line up...they know where the first buyers are.

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Godchild10203557d ago (Edited 3557d ago )

If they go through with something like this, I think it would be tied to the account and not the system. Similar to the way the disc for PSASBR and R&C works; They require an internet connection to apply the game to your account to download the PSV versions. It's a long shot, but I think this is the route they might go.

I don't like it, because not everyone has a video game console hooked up to the internet. I hope they don't go through with it and stick to online passes.

Joe9133557d ago

You are correct the patent says the RFID chip is tied to your psn account so if you get a new Ps4 as long as you use the same account you should be ok. I don't care if they do this I’m sure they will use this for hackers if you put in an illegal copy of the game the system will know about it. But even if that is not the case still don't matter developers who been begging for this is the ones going to get hurt because if I buy a game and know I can't trade it in or even give it away then I will be very careful what games I buy and the games I buy will be very limited so that means less game sells. Just like downloadable games you will not spend 59.99 on a game to test it out and if you don’t like it all you can do is delete it. Plus I don't like game stop (that is the only place around me that sells used games) they screw gamers over giving 3 to 4 bucks for a game then sell it for 50.

irepbtown3557d ago (Edited 3557d ago )

Then wouldn't there be a problem with using the same account on multiple consoles?

If I'm correct, it use to be 5 or so, now it's only 2 (for the PS3). Assume they use the same for the PS4 (which they most likely will) if the ps4 breaks twice, would it be possible to use the same account on a third console?

I personally think they won't go ahead with this. Maybe in the far future, but as far as the PS4 goes, I think Sony would be wise to allow used games.

Btw: I hate online passes, but if it's that or no used games I'll stick with the online passes.

Christopher3557d ago

***Then wouldn't there be a problem with using the same account on multiple consoles? ***

No. Only digitally downloaded and signed games are limited in this manner to prevent people from downloading multiple copies of the game at once, thereby limiting digital sales.

This would be unlimited and tied directly to the PSN ID (technically now called SEN ID).

This also means that you could sell your games, but you'd also have to sell your Network ID with the games.

CrimsonSquall3556d ago

@irepbtown, there is a system in place where u can deactivate ALL accts. Disclaimer is once every 6 months, but its effective as my 40gb just died and my friend is gamesharing with me so I was basically screwed had there not been that option

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shutUpAndTakeMyMoney3557d ago (Edited 3557d ago )

If sony does this then no buy. But I can't switch to a console that has limited support so I would stay with pc only.

Malice-Flare3557d ago

not with Windows 8 you wont... XD

tachy0n3557d ago


PC gamers are not limited like consoles gamers, we can go back to windows XP, go to Linux or stay in windows 7 if we want.... heck we can even go and try OS X...

kane_13713557d ago (Edited 3557d ago )

Gabe Newell just pulled another PS3 case with Windows 8 (bashing and then reconciling)

I'm using Windows 8 as of November and it is superb, very fast and easy and it is pretty much Windows 7 re-skined and faster.

Christopher3557d ago

***I'm using Windows 8 as of November and it is superb, very fast and easy and it is pretty much Windows 7 re-skined and faster.***

Windows 8 isn't faster. It's just prioritized programming for Metro UI elements. People are being led to believe it's faster when it's just as fast as Windows 7 with a fancy start menu.

Temporary3556d ago

wouldn't prioritizing programming be necessary in order to make an OS more effective? Speedier, more efficient.

Christopher3556d ago

***wouldn't prioritizing programming be necessary in order to make an OS more effective? Speedier, more efficient.***

No, faster would mean that it processes everything faster. Prioritizing means they decide to handle A before B, C, and D. It's the same speed, just they decide who gets handled first and who gets handled last.

Example: If you have Win8 installed, start it up. Metro UI will pop up pretty fast. That's because it's prioritized. Now, hit the window key and watch the desktop bar on the bottom right. Notice that the majority of the same things you waited to load when you had Win7 or before are taking just as long to load now. Your AntiVirus doesn't load immediately like MetroUI, nor do other start-up applications you have.

Metro UI is taking the start menu and giving it its own custom overlay page and prioritizing the display of that ahead of all third-party start-up applications. It doesn't mean the OS is faster, it just means they give it the appearance of being faster by creating the start page, much how you used to access the start menu while other start-up programs were loading.

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Pocketaces1113557d ago (Edited 3557d ago )

repeat by mistake

Pocketaces1113557d ago (Edited 3557d ago )

repeat by mistake

Pocketaces1113557d ago (Edited 3557d ago )

It's an F'in patent people they have not implemented it. Do you boneheads not know how many patents Sony Microsoft, Google, blackberry etc have. If they didn't patent it someone else would who cares they will not put it into their systems as it would kill them. Stop with all the BS

sorry fot the multiple something happened on my system

calis3556d ago

Bubbles for being one of the few rational people.
It's a patent. It's an idea.

They would have thousands of these. As would Microsoft, Nintendo, Google, Apple, Samsung etc.

The overreaction to this is simply amazing. Typical pathetic gaming "journalism".

DOMination-3556d ago

You are right but the fact they are patenting this and its not the first time btw means they must be thinking about implementing it on ps4.

I'm not saying it will happen but this is clearly a sign that sony are toying with the idea

calis3556d ago

They'll all be toying with the idea.

That's why it's an idea.

IAmLee3557d ago

These articles are shit.

Everyday the front page is littered with one of these things. It's not news, its an opinion based thing.

freezola753557d ago

Par Excellence Grunger!!!

PopRocks3593557d ago

"When has Sony expressed their 'grudge' against the second hand market?"

Well, they haven't. But they did put online passes into Twisted Metal, so it seems they're not entirely against the idea of combating the used game market.

Honestly, I doubt Sony would do something like this. But who knows? The industry changes all the time. I've been told that Sony makes patents like these all the time and until they actually implement them, I don't see myself passing any sort of judgement.

As for the author of this article? Eh. Sounds like fear mongering and more "doom/gloom" to me. A lot of that goes around on this site it seems.

Gamer19823557d ago

How its going to work is its going to license it with your PSN. So changing your console wouldnt change a damn thing. It wont link to your console. They already use this technology with a couple of games like PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. You can see the technology and how it works with that game. You get a free Vita version that's locked to YOUR PSN. You can trade the game in but when somebody buys that disc they cannot get the free Vita game if you have already registered it.

So we have already seen it work and Sony have got no negative feedback from this "test". I personally have no issues with it as I buy all my games these days digitally off STEAM on my PC and will probably pick up a PS4 on launch if it has a good lineup. Trade-in market is pretty dead anyway with the crappy amounts you get for your games..

rainslacker3556d ago

They aren't using the technology specifically stated in this patent. The Blu-Ray spec allows for an individual identifiers on each disc (kind of like a serial number), which can then be used similar to an online pass. It requires an online connection, and that code is uploaded to the server to unlock your game.

This particular patent uses an RF chip, and the system signs that chip with your account details, or any other information it may need to do whatever they want with it. It also means that it can be used without a internet connection.

I don't believe the PS3 has the built in technology to sign the RF chip being talked about, as it requires a special transceiver to actually do that.

WharenPeace3557d ago

The one thing I'm not looking forward to is every Sarah Wannabe Gaming Journalist and Tim Blogs ranting and raving about features that we probably won't even see at release. For the last time, filing a patent does not mean that it will become a feature. Nintendo has been toying with the idea of console-locked games since the 80s and 90s. Microsoft was also rumoured to be interested in locking purchased games to consoles.

I'm really not looking forward to another year of Sony Doom and Gloom as two bit websites like the one above tries desperately to get people to visit their stinking blogs. This last gen was particularly bad, but to see a rinse and repeat going into another gaming gen is just too much. I'm getting fed up.

Mounce3557d ago

What I find funny is how the article claims that because Sony made a patent, that it means they're going to use it without question.

Do these fucktards who make idiotic articles like this realize that Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, ANY fucking gaming company and electronics company, make patents to a LOT of fucking things for future-use or just for the sake of 'claiming' things relating to it.....

This article is clearly aiming for hits, but I always want to point out the flaws and retardation about them.

Sony patented their downfall? That's not clever, it's just begging to be ripped apart by the authors ignorance and stupidity. Sony has thousands of patents, of those patents, it's not like each and everyone of them are what people would 100% agree with, and not all of them are even used.

And what kind of site is Seriously?

lfclee3557d ago

That's one lousy assumption! All of a sudden your the journo and he's the gamer?

ChronoJoe3556d ago

With a digitally distributed / cloud based future. I can't imagine any restrictions placed on physical media are going to have much significance going forward.

I expect many publishers will opt out of retail / physical releases next gen.

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Rush3557d ago (Edited 3557d ago )


slaton243557d ago

not just sony, at the beginning of last year microsoft was planning the same thing dont believe me look it up... yes if they do this it will hurt some people and by that i mean people who work at gaming stores and gamefly...but prices do drop quicker than they use to and the only bad thing is not being able to borrow a game from a friend or family member to see if you like it....all it is about to people these days is money...greedy dirt bags

Old McGroin3557d ago

"not just sony, at the beginning of last year microsoft was planning the same thing dont believe me look it up"

Post a link to prove it. I know Kotaku had an article back in January last year about it but they called it a rumour from an unnamed source, no proof or patents pending so to say Microsoft were planning the same thing is not true.

slaton243557d ago (Edited 3557d ago )

here you go old mcGroin(dumb name)and you no something microsoft has it on pc with codes it could happen just as easily on the next xbox as well its not just sony....i love all games i love to share with friends and family and i believe it could destroy some of the gaming community and also your link tells us that microsoft will be adding tech which has not been confirmed

Blackdeath_6633557d ago

i think its just to prevent other companies from doing so. if sony does block second hand games then it will be suicide and even though i am fond of sony products i hope the ps4 fails miserably in every respect because if it does succeed then other companies will follow suit and the gaming industry will be shit.

Godchild10203557d ago

I wouldn't want a company to fail, but I understand where you are coming from. This would hurt the sales of new games, because not everyone uses cash or credit cards, they used store credit from the games they have completed and traded in to Gamestop, Best Buy or Amazon, etc...

Blackdeath_6633557d ago

if sony really wanted to prevent second hand games the easiest way to do so without loss is digital downloads like steam on pc but both companies need a massive improvement to their online services

BanBrother3557d ago


Why would Sony patent this so that no-one else could use it?? I find that hard to believe. If Microsoft or Nintendo did this, they would commit suicide and give Sony more sales.

I doubt this will go ahead. Most likely the big boys (MS,Sony and Ninty) will eventually all meet up, and all sign a deal to implement some form of restricting used games. That way, they all benefit.

We have seen oil companies and banks use this method. If all of them do this, there is no other competition (at least yet), and so they can only gain.

I doubt we will be seeing it next gen though.

iamnsuperman3557d ago

" Most likely the big boys (MS,Sony and Ninty) will eventually all meet up, and all sign a deal to implement some form of restricting used games. That way, they all benefit. "

That is the only way this system will ever be introduced. What Sony is doing is holding all the cards for when that day comes. They have the patented technology to do so. People are idiotic to think they would implement this on their own. Sony has been around for a while. They are not dumb.

caseh3557d ago

My best guess is they have patented this idea as it is currently seen as the best way to avoid pre-owned games being used. Whether or not they use it is another matter.

If any other companies decide to go the same route, Sony will suck up the royalties on every single system produced using their patented tech. Its probably as straight forward as that.

Blackdeath_6633557d ago

agreed its called game theory and it worked with cigarette advertisement in which all companies benefited. but nintentdo has already released its console without 2nd hand game block and its will be extremely difficult for all companies to cooperate because both MS and Nintendo will have to pay sony because of this patent and i don't think they would want to pay their opposition. now do you see how it will prevent it?

Daavpuke3557d ago

I don't believe Sony "holds a grudge" against used sales; more than any other console does. If they did, they wouldn't set up exclusive deals with notorious second hand retailers.

That said, I think the patent is more so to pass the buck to other companies. Like they did by providing the freedom to region lock games, but not enforce it on PS3; this will fall back on a company's decency and we all know how decent they feel about used sales (online passes anyone?). So far, only Atlus was scummy enough to apply region locking to a PS3 game, so let's hope the next gen stays mostly classy as well.

modrats3557d ago

At least Sony doesn't charge you to play online. $50 bucks a year on the 360 plus online passes! If you had a business making games and there was a store taking your used game in on trade for $18 and reselling it for $54.99 making a cool $37 bucks on the deal, you would be a little upset. Especially when your cost to make the game is probably in the $35-40 per unit and the store pays you $10 bucks more to shelf it. Simple business man...

SnakeCQC3557d ago

for me this depends on how much their digital games will cost. If they continue their method of jacking up their games by insane amnounts i dont think i will pick up the ps4 for some time after its release.