A month before the PlayStation 3's November 17, 2006, launch, Sony put a limitation on digitally distributed games for the system, allowing customers to purchase titles once, but download them to as many as five different systems. Given that most downloadable PS3 games were playable regardless of whether the purchasing profile was logged in, the system was open to groups of gamers sharing one purchase of a game instead of each buying their own.
Later this month--five years and a day after the PS3 launch--Sony will change that policy. In a post on the official PlayStation blog today, Sony Network Entertainment vice president Eric Lempel announced new limitations to such game sharing. After November 18, PS3 owners will be able to download and play their PSN games on a maximum of only two activated systems. Downloaded PSP games will also have the same restrictions for PSP owners.
However, the policy will not be applied retroactively, Lempel said. As a result, all content purchased before November 18 will only be subject to the previous five-system limit. Additionally, Sony plans to establish a website where customers can manage their PSN accounts and deactivate specific devices attached to their account. Currently, systems need to be deactivated through the device itself, or by calling Sony's consumer services department.
The aforementioned restrictions apply only to game content. Video content purchased through PSN can currently be moved to a single PS3 and up to three PSPs, and those limits will remain in place after November 18.