In anticipation of the PlayStation 4, Sony has patented technology that would allow their systems to “associate individual game discs with matched user accounts,” according to CNet. If Sony follows through with this, the development would make it impossible to play another person’s game on your system, eliminating the market for used PlayStation 4 games.
Every party at play in the used games debate has their eyes on your cash, so we can’t call one side good or one side bad. GameStop in particular has its own set of ethical issues that warent discussion (buying games used and selling them for ridiculous profit), but is Sony really doing the industry a service here? Let’s be real: the only thing that they care about is money and, if chain retailers are cutting into their profits by re-circulating games, believe that Sony is going to do everything in its power to stop that. They definitely aren’t alone: many big-name developers like EA are entrenched in Sony’s corner, tired of losing profits to stores.
It just sucks that stopping that trend means shutting down the entire used game market. As much as we complain about GameStop’s unfair prices, you know what would be worse than wrapping your mind around a used copy of Madden ’13 running for $54.99 in January? Having to buy every game brand-new, under whatever price Sony decides is fair.