Rumor: PlayStation 3s won't play borrowed, used, or rented games [UPDATED]

Source: A series of sources conveniently amalgamated by Joystiq. The official story: "We have made no official statement regarding coding for PS3 games."--Sony spokesperson. What we heard: Given the billions of dollars it sinks into its movie, music, and games divisions, it's little wonder Sony is...

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Source: A series of sources conveniently amalgamated by Joystiq.

The official story: "We have made no official statement regarding coding for PS3 games."--Sony spokesperson.

What we heard: Given the billions of dollars it sinks into its movie, music, and games divisions, it's little wonder Sony is big on digital rights management. The company has implemented anti-copying measures for years and has admitted it has been installing cloaking rootkits to hide DRM programs. (It has since issued a patch to remove the rootkit.)

Those familiar with Sony's CD DRM practices were unsurprised when Joystiq reported that the company has patented DRM software that could prevent PlayStation 3s from playing used or borrowed games. The site cites US Patent #6,816,972, which is for "a device and method for protection of legitimate software against used software and counterfeit software in recording media." Specifically, the patented technology would verify that when software was inserted into a "machine" (read: console), it was registered to that machine. If it couldn't, the technology would prompt the machine to shut down, preventing the software from being accessed.

Such measures would be fine and dandy, were they targeted at pirated software. But the patented tech--which bears the name of Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi--is specifically designed to prevent used software from being sold. "Since only titles for which legitimate software has actually been purchased and which have been initially registered in the machine table can be used, resale (so-called used software purchase) after purchase by an end-user becomes practically impossible," it reads. Such measures would also prevent lent or rented software from being played.

But would Sony incorporate technology from Patent #6,816,972 into the PS3? On one hand, doing so would guarantee that each gamer would buy a new copy of each PS3 game, theoretically meaning bigger sales to help defray the steep cost of next-gen development. It would also remove the PS3 from the used-game trade, a market from which Sony gets no revenue.

However, there would be some major drawbacks to implementing Patent # 6,816,972 technology into the PS3. It would mean forfeiting the rental market to Microsoft's Xbox 360. Though there are signs that the game-rental stories are in decline--Blockbuster Video is reportedly shopping around its GameRush subsidiary--Netflix-esque services like GameFly are gaining in popularity. Then there's the fact that many people can't afford to buy a whole lot of games. When presented with a choice between a console that does play rented games and one that doesn't, which way do you think they'll go? There's also the risk of sparking a blacklash like the one currently raging over the BMG DRM rootkit.

[UPDATE] While US Sony reps think the best way to deal with gossip is silence, Sony Europe spokespersons have apparently decided to put this particular rumor to rest. According to the London Guardian's
tech blog, SCEE PR manger Jennie Kong blasted the rumor as " false speculation." "PlayStation 3 software will not be copy protected to a single machine but will be playable on any PlayStation 3 console," she told the Guardian. [Thanks Lefein and stoner02]


Bogus or not bogus?: Now bogus, apparently.

Discussion

385 comments
-L-U-I-S-
-L-U-I-S-

Personally, I dont mind if you cant play used games. I rarely buy used games or borrow them from friends. But it would affect many many others so its not a good thing

gunboyx
gunboyx

If I am going to pay $600 for a ps3 then this better be false and I think it is. was over at a friend and herd this crap agin being descused(get this) over an xbox 360 chat(my friend owns a 360) and they knew all about it then I think back the first rumor I herd it from was another firend who preordered 360. curious (looked around a few xbox mags and lookie) found a page telling all about it. never see it on a ps mag hmmmm. for some reason it keeps pointing to me that xbox made the rumor . if you think about it doing this would ruin the renting part and all the renting places buy a huge stock from them to rent them out. and they know doing this would piss people off. japan mosty cause they seem to pay a lot more then we do. come to think of it you dont here any thing about this in japan do you? microsoft afects more in us,uk then japan so it makes you wonder more if thay made the rumor. thats just my thoughts but hey i dont care realy I will get ps3 if they did as I usely dont lend or ever have a broken something. oh and you 360 lovers go away realy dishing games for sony is anoying cause I just got an box after haveing a ps2 since the second year it came out and I have to say most of the games dont interest me. goot tooo much sports

utahnos
utahnos

yup, I knew it wasn't true come on think you retarted people if you need to replace the PS3 you would need to buy all the games you had AGAIN and thats not going to happen.

harry2727
harry2727

This is ridiculous, Sony would lose many fans including me. I think Sony will wise up and drop this rumor. I am not paying $60 for a game i may not like.

asiandrifter
asiandrifter

Sony would lose alot of buyers if this ever would happen. Almost everybody that owns a ps2 has a used a used game or rented a game before. Not much people are will to go out and buy a brand new game all the time. I like buying new games also, but I can't afford new games all the time. Plus, what if the game sucks. You can't return it!

ccxxmike2
ccxxmike2

This is **** this is also gonna scroe blockbuster pretty bad.....

Achilles438
Achilles438

well, if this does happen, the remaining die hard sony fans out there better show intelligence when they buy their games and get the very best ones that they know will keep them busy for months. This will definitly cause me to gain some money now knowing that I cant just waste money on lots of games just to have them now. And as far as the piracy, well lets hope that stops, but its unlikely it will.

tmacyao111
tmacyao111

Atleast now we know that it is bogus for sure because that would be a stupid decision on Sony's part.

mai_thinh
mai_thinh

With the cost of an arm and a legs, and now another barricage on the games disc? This is so horrible, doom to poor gamer :(.

bobreturns
bobreturns

they are doing this so ppl have to buy new games so they will make up for the huge losses they will be making when they sell the consoles

harleyoz
harleyoz

ive always had playstations but I have just got a xbox360 and ghost 3 i am more than happy with the xbox360 and live is way better than the ps2 was sony you lose you way and as for when we will see the ps3 well here in nz around end of 2007 go bill rofl

Merl57
Merl57

also what if your ps3 breaks and you need a new one all your games become worthless

Merl57
Merl57

another us against them. The litte guy vs the company. And the rich company with all the lawers and paying off politions usually win :(

hitman187x
hitman187x

This is all propaganda to keep us stirred up with negative preconceptions about the PS3, so when it does come out, and is totally different, we'll be like, "Wo, this ain't so bad. In fact it's kinda cool. I'm just glad all those bad things aren't true. Sure I'll pay $xxx.xx because it's so cool. It doesn't suck like they said, so it has to be worth it.....right?

rainpoursaway
rainpoursaway

The PS3 is just sounding worse and worse as more information comes out. But who really cares, we all love xbox way better, or at least we will learn to love it.

iammai
iammai

after reading the update,this is RUMOR thats all,i guess.

timmy0001
timmy0001

HAHA...Sony sucks. I hope this is true...maybe consumers would stop being blinded by the brand name and realize that sony products are SUB-STANDARD! The only reason people play PS2 is because the media/celebs make it seem cooler than the other consoles. HAHA...bye bye sony!

JamaicanBadBoy
JamaicanBadBoy

How can lent games cannot be played I mean the person or store etc.... Already payed for it!

JamaicanBadBoy
JamaicanBadBoy

now,why would you think that sony will do that.They will be out of thier minds!Plus eveyone in Japan loves sony.Why do you think that the Xbox360 is only found in Japan right now they worship sony.I have been there.

exclusiveburner
exclusiveburner

i dont know how they're gonna make it possible, are u going to have to register every game u buy or sumthing? this is stupid because alotta people like renting games and its rare that i buy a game before i try it so if this is true i think it would cause me not to buy this system because im not going to buy every game out there before trying it....this is rediculous and Sony better not be stupid

Briantb_2008
Briantb_2008

There will also be rumors of this nature but it will usaly be False

CorinneQ
CorinneQ

I wouldn't doubt this. The competition is so ridiculously out of control with Xbox and Playstation, making stupid mistakes from this can eventually make you crash and burn in the end. You can always try to redeem yourself...

KiLLer_ba
KiLLer_ba

Its defintely a joke, I dont think any company even sony would do this

D25R
D25R

d25r if i understand that mean i by a PS3 and its broke all the games that i have wont run on another PS3 even if i buy a new one HOPE ITS A JOKE

HairyDweeb
HairyDweeb

I won't buy a PS3 if this rumor is true.

regulesblade
regulesblade

I guess that just elliminated many business chances for certain groups, but it still sounds pretty interesting

fierro316
fierro316

This is probably a rumor started by Microsoft to boost their X-Crap 360 sales. Calm down.

Bluestorm-Kalas
Bluestorm-Kalas

boolow its bogus but i like the idea because some of my friends just "borrow my games without permission" and return it if i ask i they have it, and as for my ps3 crashing, not going to happen im buying one at least 6 months after launch so the bugs are worked out and i buy older games (cheaper price and its not used). i wish it wasn's bogus

mune3b
mune3b

Yup they are going waste their on success over market.It will not only ruin their overwhelm mighty strength on consle gaming, it will b terrible for all of us.

tomagreen
tomagreen

just make the games too complex to burn on a normal computer, unlike the ps2 and xbox games today. (SEE GAMECUBE FOR GOOD ANTI PIRACY)

dillon_o4
dillon_o4

Even though this rumor is bogus, if somehow it would turn out 2 be true, although highly unlikely, i would NOT buy a PS3 i gurantee that. I'm am a huge PS fan and may be concidered a fanboy, i don't really like the xbox and haven't ever really but i am re-assureing sony if somehow they lost their minds and did this.... i would be switching to 360 and prolly 4 good, i stick by my console and ps2 has kept me very happy in the last however many years but this idea is ludacris there are lots of ways to stop the dups and cracks of games and this should not even be considered as one of the ways.

cyprus646
cyprus646

I really dont care if it dose or dosent play rented or borrowed games cuz i stop renting games form blockbuster like 4 years ago and i usually buy brnad new games.

Wulfei
Wulfei

I was thinking of getting a PS3, but most of my PS gaming is done through borrowing, renting, and especially used games. If they decide to go with it, this decision will damage their sales. Plus, those who do buy it, may find away around the patent.

boolow407
boolow407

Bluestorm-Its a great idea? Games are gonna run in the 70-80 dollar range. You are willing to spend that much without trying a game out? What happens when your PS3 crashes? Are you willing to fork out all that money AGAIN for the same games you already purchased? Dumb idea. What the company MIGHT save from their games being pirated, they will lose in sales of games and consoles, including my sale if this were true. For those that say this is rumor-Why the hell would sony spend all that cash on patenting this loony idea? VERY dumb.

GoddBless
GoddBless

I think SONY will do this and they will still make a profit. Like it states in the article they don't profit from used games or rentals. Especially if they implement this like the DRM's and don't tell anyone it will work. If they sell as many as they are expecting at launch enough people will have them and will have no choice but to buy games for it. Plus all the diehard fans will get the PS3 no matter what because of the game exclusives. I myself will have to pass on it and I'll stick to Microsoft and Nintendo's offerings. It's amazing how being on top can change a company, and it's really starting to show with SONY.

SnuffDaddyNZ
SnuffDaddyNZ

You don't need the official word to know how rubbish this rumor is. When your PS3 breaks down, which it probably will, eventually, if you were to buy a new PS3 wouldn't you need to buy new copies of all the games? My first PS2 started have trouble reading DVD's about 3 months after purchase, and within a year it could no longer play any DVD's, nor could it play PS1 games or even PS2 games that were on CD-ROM (the blue discs). So I bought a new one, many years later, and that worked fine for 2-3 years. However, in the past 6 months I've noticed some strange things. The little white timer that comes up while GT4 is loading will sometimes turn red, which means the PS2 is having trouble reading the disc. I've had San Andreas cease up on me a couple of times, when travelling in remote regions on the train tracks. The machine is still performing very well, but it might need service. I've owned about 5 CD-ROM/DVD drives for my PC's. Only ONE drive has ever failed, and it only really had trouble reading one game disc (F1 2000, EA SPORTS). Could have been a copy protection issue. All I am saying, is I think that Sony goes cheap on the drives it puts in it's consoles, although the one in my current PS2 seems to be a bit better, from the point of view it lasted 2 years instead of 3 months. So if they are going to put the apparently expensive BLURAY drives in the PS3 I imagine that they are going to be cheap quality ones to both lower the cost of the PS3 and reduce the losses Sony will take by selling the machine below cost. Certainly, I think this will be true for the initial batch of consoles, and eventually when the price of these high capacity drives comes down they'll put a higher quality version in a newly modelled slimline version of the PS3.

090078601
090078601

this was the best part that i could go to my friends with my games and play and even exchange games .what's the use of even thinking of buying a ps3.

DeuxHero
DeuxHero

and what happens when you need to replace your ps3 (witch happens alot witht the first 2) boom it kills your libary

thornpaw
thornpaw

Hmm, does not really affect me. I do not buy used games or rent them, but I do not think that Sony will do this anyway.

fogopop
fogopop

That's so stupid. They said at E3 2005 that basically if it's on a disc, the PS3 will be able to play it, even CD-R's and DVD-R's. This has got to be bogus.

sizzlingdviper
sizzlingdviper

Thats the first nail in PS3 Coffin.Many people rent before buying and borrow friends games.

Metron4
Metron4

Officially bogus! Thanks, Sony, for clearing it up. now get back in your hole and FINISH the d**n PS3!

schlarbinator
schlarbinator

Theres no way that Sony would do this. Implementing such technology on the PS3 would effectively kill an otherwise awesome gaming experience for anyone buys a PS3.

mrx28
mrx28

This is got to be the most F***ED up move anyone can think of... but then again if they did do that then it will be cracked eventually

Bluestorm-Kalas
Bluestorm-Kalas

good! I think it is a great idea, even if it is a rumour, that will keep people from stealing their friends games, stealing rent-able games, and I buy my games myself, I sometimes buy used but I do not trust used, if this is a rumour i think Sony ought to act on it, great idea very good