Publishers and console manufactures have been battling with the second hand games market for a while now, but a recent patent filing by Sony could soon change the fight in favor of publishers. The patent, filed by Sony on December 9th 2012, uses NFC technology to recognise if the inserted game has been played by another user, using a different account.
If the console detects the game as second-hand, it will prevent you from playing the game. The patent states that the technology may require the use of a Internet connection to validate the disc.
“As a technique to suppress the second-hand sales and purchase, a user may be first required to send a password or the like to a remote authentication server from a reproduction device (game player) via the Internet and the reproduction of content may be permitted only for the device that has succeeded in authentication. However, where the reproduction device is not connected to the Internet, use of the content cannot be controlled. Also, where the connection to the Internet is an absolute requirement, user’s convenience may be significantly reduced. Besides, users may communicate to share the password between them and therefore the second-hand sales and purchase cannot be eliminated reliably.”
The patent doesn’t mention a game console in particular, but we can’t help but speculate that this patent may be related to the PlayStation 4, especially since the console is rumoured to contain such techonology.