A listing on the United States Trademark and Patent Office website has confirmed that Sony is working to develop a system which would allow the company to block the use of used/second-hand games on the Playstation 4 rumored to be in development at this time.
It's no secret that game developers and publishers aren't particularly big fans of the second-hand game market, and some have even compared it to theft or software piracy in the past. So it's not particularly surprising that companies would want to take steps to cut down on the practice, like Capcom did with their single-playthrough release of "Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D" for the Nintendo 3DS; however, locking software to consoles is unlikely to be popular with the gaming community.
Click HERE to see Sony's official patent application on the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office website
In fact, the idea seems rather counter-intuitive to decades of gaming tradition. Do console manufacturers really plan to force gamers to lug their consoles to/from a friend's house anytime they want to enjoy some local co-op or competitive action?
Of course, as Kotaku's Owen Good points out, the patent also clears the way for Sony to continue regulating the increasingly common "season pass" or "online pass" functionality found in games with loads of DLC and/or a heavy focus on multiplayer gaming. For example, the patented system would allow Sony to restrict access to Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 multiplayer servers or the recently announced "Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt" DLC for Borderlands 2.
The patent application was initially unearthed on the NeoGAF forums, and you can imagine how well the news was received on the popular gaming forum. If the NeoGAF users are any indication, the folks at Sony will certainly have a hard time marketing their new console to gamers. Parents aren't likely to be big fans of the change either, because many prefer to purchase the cheaper second-hand copies both for themselves and for their children.
Will you buy a Playstation 4 if Sony moves to block the use of second-hang games on the console?
Let us know in the comments section!