A new patent from Sony could allow the company to prevent previously owned games from being played on new consoles.
With the rumored impending arrival of next generation consoles coming from Sony and Microsoft, reports of both companies testing out methods to curb used game sales have been making the rounds. Though neither company has committed to a side in the argument for or against used games, there's a very real possibility the next PlayStation and next Xbox could include a used game deterrent of some sort. That chance became a bit more real when NeoGAF uncovered a new patent from Sony which could potentially change the way games are bought and sold.
In short, the patent allows for a chip to be embedded in a new game. That chip is then read and recognized by the console. If the game has been played on another console before, the information will be relayed, and then the device will decide whether or not the user is allowed to play the game. "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," the patent reads. "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."
While it's entirely possible Sony may never use this patent (technology is patented all the time and never actually used), there's just as much of a chance the company will use this type of tech for its new console. Of course, until Sony actually announces that there is officially a new PlayStation coming, everything about the future of the brand can be considered speculation.