Sony patent DRM using RF tags to bypass online connectivity. No PS4 trade ins?

PS4 sony e3 conference

A Sony patent has been filled suggesting the company is aiming to limit the sale of second hand games in the future. Or as they put it, “prevent electronic content from being used unlimitedly”. It also uses RF tags so that even if you’re offline the content is still protected.

PS4 DRM to end second hand games

The patent proposes that, “A technology of digital rights management (DRM) is introduced to prevent the electronic content from being used unlimitedly”. It involves a combination of disk and player IDs to limit access to one user. Effectively playing the game would lock the IDs together and subsequent attempts from other users would see unmatching ID’s rejected.

It’s not the first time a limit on PS4/Orbis second hand games has been mentioned. However this method uses a “recording medium and a radiofrequency (RF) tag storing the terms of use included in the same packet of electronic content”. RF tags are tiny chips that store information and mean the system doesn’t need an online connection to restrict or control material. Although it does raise the question of what happens if you lose the box or bit the RF chip’s on.

Here’s the patent’s title and opening abstract:


Document Type and Number: United States Patent Application 20130007892
Kind Code: A1

A game playing system includes a use permission tag provided for use in a game disk for a user of a game, a disk drive, and a reproduction device for reproducing the game. The disk drive reads out a disk ID from the game disk. When the game is to be played, the reproduction device conveys the disk ID and a player ID to the use permission tag. The use permission tag stores the terms of use of the game and determines whether a combination of the disk ID and the player ID conveyed from the reproduction device fulfills the terms of use or not.

Thanks MCV, VG247, original patent.