We all know the importance of the used video game market for us. It's not just a way for you to score cheap gifts for your annoying younger siblings without putting much thought into it. It provides a way for us to get the games we want and still being able to eat! It was like that while I was in college at any rate. But I digress; we have to press on to more serious matters.
The article featured here http://biz.gamedaily.com/industry/feature/?id=13200 has revealed something that none of us knew before. Back in 2000 Sony developed and patented technology that would prohibit the owner of a Sony console from playing a game that was bought used, rented from wherever that individual would rent said game, and even games borrowed from friends. The way it works, although enough to make a gamer shiver, is rather interesting despite that.
The copy protection installed would verify that disc once it was inserted into the console and then it would registered to that specific console which would thereby render it unplayable on anyone else's system. It sounds like being married to the game you bought, forever and ever, "till death do you part." Or something like that.
What has everyone nervous, unsurprisingly, is that if Sony began utilizing this technology on the PS3 games that will be released it will bowl everyone over. The used game market is estimated to be worth 1 billion dollars and while Sony's breakthrough may not be enough to actually cripple it such a scheme would certainly injure it severely. In an attempt to soothe nerves Sony has flatly denied any such plan to make such a widespread ban on the trading of used games but there are some sources that are skeptical of this statement of Sony's and believe them to be actively considering putting it into operation.
Despite these pockets of cynicism the widespread opinion seems to be that this technology Sony has developed will be used to assist in the deterring of video game piracy. This would certainly be a more worthwhile application for the company then a possible elimination of the used game market. It might give Sony in particular a relieved feeling but the PR backlash would more then likely not be worth it.
We can only wait and see that Sony still possesses common sense.