A new Sony patent has been discovered, dating back to 2011, which covers the detection of pirated games based on its loading times. The patent describes methods that can be used to detect if a game is pirated by measuring it’s average load time and comparing it to a central database. If the load times fall outside of the acceptable range, the game is blocked.
“For example, if an authentic game title is distributed exclusively on BDs having a total benchmark load time of 45 seconds on a game console BD drive, the acceptable range of load times could be from 40 to 50 seconds,” it says. “Thus, a total measured title load time of 4 seconds would be outside of the acceptable range of total load times for a legitimate media type.”
The patent will measure a number of metrics in addition to load time, including seek times and data throughput, so a variety of media can be detected. The method can also be used to determine if downloaded games have been pirated too.
It’s unclear if this patent refers to technology that will be included on the PS4, but it’s safe to assume Sony will use this as a safety net if other piracy methods used on the system are by-passed.