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DRM Patents Sony Games Your Rights Online

New Sony Patent Blocks Second-hand Games 344

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-console-to-play-them-all dept.
silentbrad writes in with a story about a Sony patent that would block the playing of second-hand games. "... the patent application was filed on 9 December 2012 by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, and will work by linking individual game discs to a user's account without requiring a network connection meaning any future attempt to use this disc on another user's console won't work. The patent explains that games will come with contactless tags that will be read by your console in much the same way as modern bank cards. When a disc is first used, the disc ID and player ID will be stored on the tag. Every time the disc is used in future, the tag will check if the two ID's match up and, if not, then the disc won't work. The document goes on to explain that such a device is part of Sony's ongoing efforts to deter second-hand games sales, and is a far simpler solution than always-on DRM or passwords. It's worth noting that Sony has not confirmed the existence of the device, and the patent doesn't state what machine it will be used in, with later paragraphs also mentioning accessories and peripherals. ... There's also the issue of what happens should your console break and need replacing, or if you have more than one console. Will the games be linked to your PSN account, meaning they can still be used, or the console, meaning an entire new library of titles would need to be purchased?"
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New Sony Patent Blocks Second-hand Games

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:12AM (#42474137)

    ...customers do not (want to) know it and continue buying from these assholes.

    Well, have a very nice fuck you year Sony.

    • by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:20AM (#42474191)

      Indeed. Sony is one of currently three companies I would not buy any digital equipment or software from (the other two are Apple and Activision Blizzard).

      The rootkit on audio CDs and the deletion of Linux support from the PS3 are not forgotten. The patent in the article is only proof the thinking at Sony hasn't changed, it is not a new trend.

      • by Cryacin (657549) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:27AM (#42474243)
        So the competition will be less tempted to steal their IP, and I as well as surely many others can take their business to them!

        Officially, screw you Sony. I will never, ever, over my dead body buy another product from you, or an affiliated company.

        And to their patent lawyers, please, I beg you - Make the patent watertight.
        • I have been avoiding Sony products for at least the last ten years. They are just to prone to putting some poison pill into their stuff that benefits them and screws their customers. Filing patents like this just convinces me that I have been correct in doing so.
        • by jd2112 (1535857)
          Knowing Sony they will probably license this technology to any interested game company under extremely reasonable terms.
      • by Pieroxy (222434) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:48AM (#42474405) Homepage

        The worst of all is that once you've blown your console to bits and you buy another one, you have to buy all your games all over again. As always, this will hurt regular users and encourage piracy for people in this situation will feel entitled (rightly so IMO) to crack their console in order to play their already purchased games. And from that point on they will download torrentz instead of buying because they will hold a (legitimate IMO) grudge against SONY and their console is already cracked.

        Apparently, shooting themselves in the foot feels good for them since they do it over and over again.

        • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday January 04, 2013 @10:00AM (#42474511)

          While I hate this concept, I don't think it has that failing. Since it uses a user account instead of a console id adding the user account to the new console should allow replacing units.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @10:14AM (#42474667)

            While I hate this concept, I don't think it has that failing. Since it uses a user account instead of a console id adding the user account to the new console should allow replacing units.

            So when Sony decides to ban your account for <something they deem ban worthy (whether it is or not)> you also lose all your games. I bet their EULA will also contain "... by reading this line of text you forfeit your right to sue us as well as grant us the right to use your account in any manner which we see fit, including (but not limited to) claiming (on your behalf) that you did violate our terms and are very remorsefulness ...".

            They will also need to pass the cost of this "feature" on to the consumer via the game console as well as a charge per game.

            • by Spaseboy (185521) on Friday January 04, 2013 @04:28PM (#42479567)

              Believe me, I had this problem. My PS+ sub renewed with an out-of-date credit card and 3 months later I am told I don't have access to PSN. No email, no reason, just call Sony. They want me to send a cashier's check, by postage mail, to them for the amount then they will "consider" unbanning my account. I can't pay it electronically where I can be sure they receive the amount and there is no guarantee they will unban my account after they receive payment.

              I sold my PS3 the next day and I'm trying to sell my PSV.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @10:38AM (#42474931)

            Since it uses a user account instead of a console id adding the user account to the new console should allow replacing units.

            And if your household has more than one account? You know, if kids and parents each have their own accounts? Only one of the accounts can play the game even if it's played on the same console.

            This is their dream of limiting content to a specific individual. Want that song to play in your car and your home? You'll need to buy more than one copy. Both of you like having it on your MP3 player? We don't care if it is a household or if you're married, you each need to buy a copy (even if the government sees all purchases made by you to belong to both).

            • And if your household has more than one account? You know, if kids and parents each have their own accounts? Only one of the accounts can play the game even if it's played on the same console.

              Not necessarily. Multiple accounts can be logged into the PS3 simultaneously -- it would be trivial, once a game disc is associated with an account, to check not whether that's the currently active account, but whether it's an account defined on the particular PS3 at all.

              (Not that this isn't a terribly obnoxious idea, of course)

    • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:37AM (#42474327)

      Sony shiting on its customers

      Film at eleven?

  • As usual... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Puls4r (724907) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:14AM (#42474149)
    All these DRM schemes are future-failures. More specifically, at some point in the future, you will be denied the game you purchased because of the DRM. Get a new console? Now you have to (somehow) reset your card so you can run it on the new console. Want to take it to a friends house? Pack up your console! Company goes out of business, or stops supporting it because it's obsolete? Say goodbye. In the future, old games won't be worth more because of rarity. They'll be worth more if you still have some way to make them work after their DRM scheme fails. Of course, it will be cracked. Quickly. Which is a GOOD thing.
    • Re:As usual... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:53AM (#42474441)

      Or you wind up like this guy:
      http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/11/how-nintendo-drm-trapped-400-of-downloaded-games-on-my-failing-wii/

    • Re:As usual... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by firex726 (1188453) <firex726@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Friday January 04, 2013 @10:07AM (#42474571)

      A shame since I often find myself going back and playing older games from 10+ years ago.
      Many times the companies who made them are long since gone.

      I guess "Retro Gaming" is going to be redefined as playing last years Madden or CoD.

    • IANAL (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Friday January 04, 2013 @10:19AM (#42474729)

      IANAL, but I wonder if such a patent, assuming valid, would be legal to use in the US and other jurisdicitons. There is a lot of case law describing consumer sales and what one is allowed to do with what one purchases, including resale of said goods. While Sony might have a legal patent, it might not be legal to impliment it.

      As I said, IANAL, but maybe somebody who is could chime in.

      • by AlecC (512609)

        I certainly ANAL, but I can see plenty of weasels round it. You are buying the DVD, but only licensing the software. You have all your consumer rights over the DVD, but just because you can physically transfer the thing you bought, it doesn't mean it has to execute in another machine. The data, as oppose to the physical media, is licensed rather than sold, so you do not have the same rights.

        • Re:IANAL (Score:5, Funny)

          by tattood (855883) on Friday January 04, 2013 @01:19PM (#42476937)

          I certainly ANAL

          TMI, dude. TMI.

        • Re:IANAL (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Friday January 04, 2013 @03:53PM (#42479101)

          I certainly ANAL, but I can see plenty of weasels round it. You are buying the DVD, but only licensing the software. You have all your consumer rights over the DVD, but just because you can physically transfer the thing you bought, it doesn't mean it has to execute in another machine. The data, as oppose to the physical media, is licensed rather than sold, so you do not have the same rights.

          That has already been tried in numerous jurisdictions and failed. It is also why you pay sales tax on the full retail price of the DVD and not the $1.00 portion attributable to the plastic media. Sony can't have it both ways. Nor do they want that, because, that would mean that if you buy the DVD and licensing the software, you have additional contractual rights besides those from a sale, one of which would be that unless they specify otherwise, they have to maintain it until the license expires. That's not a good business model for most software companies selling consumer products as the terms are indefinite.

  • Obvious Solution (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:15AM (#42474155)

    Just don't buy anything by Sony.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AlabamaCajun (2710177)
      We did it before with their DRM DVDs and it stung them. Is Sony prepared to get kicked in the pecans again? Because of the DRM scandle, I still don't own any blue ray have gotten rid of Apple products and am dumping Microsoft this year. I also already dumped Verizon and paid out 15 months of contract just to get away from that fray (but I'll save more in that time). Humankind is in a state of rot with all the corporate takeover of people. Corporations now hold higher priority over life itself. Once lawyers
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:19AM (#42474177)

    because then I just need to continue to avoid SONY and it won't affect me.

    • Patents can be licensed you know.

      I don't see the point in this technology though. I avoid discs where I can.

      • by firex726 (1188453)

        And I'll then just avoid companies who license and make use of this technology.

        Considering the current state of gaming, and the rise of the Indie Dev, I now have more options then ever for gaming.

  • Remember Steam (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dot.Com.CEO (624226) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:19AM (#42474179)
    So basically Sony want to do pretty much what Steam already does on the PC and people are saying "it doesn't work". Well guess what. It *does* work and chances are you're already using a service where you simply cannot resell games. As for the rest of the arguments, I heard them before. In 2003, when Steam went online. The world, amazingly did not end.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shinmera (2514940)
      Except that Steam games are also available hacked, so it does not work. The reason why Steam works is because it makes actually buying the games attractive and it often has extremely good deals with sales months and so on.
      • Re:Remember Steam (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:30AM (#42474281)
        Also with Steam, I'm not locked to a specific machine. I can load my steam account on my Wife's PC or my Brothers laptop or one of my three other computers. Sony wants to lock the disk to a specific machine, which are normally not very portable.

        Of course I already avoid all Sony products including any subsidiaries I know about.
        • by crazyjj (2598719) *

          Can you resell your Steam game?

          • My point was under the proposed system Sony would be selling physical media, but handicapping it. Typically one of the advantages of physical media is I can loan it out or trade it, which would not longer be possible. I wouldn't even be able to play the game on a new console if my old one broke down. While on Steam, I CAN load my steam account on any machine and play a game from my account.

            If I was paying $60 a pop for games on steam then I would expect to resell, but I'm not so that doesn't matter to me.
          • by alen (225700)

            long ago i sold my used games on ebay. the price you get for them is not worth the time you spend listing it, packing it and sending it.

            digital with no resale rights is a lot better and convenient and a lot of times cheaper than physical copy

        • by ClaraBow (212734)
          Also, I am able to play my Steam games on my Mac or PC, and I suspect that when Steam for Linux comes out, I will also be able to play my current games on my Linux box too! So Steam is very generous and the prices great compared to console games.
    • Some of us are aware of that and adjust our purchasing habits accordingly.
      In the case of Steam, I simply won't pay full price anymore for Steam games. I will pay maybe a quarter of the original retail price though. At that point, I'm willing to take the risk that Valve kills my account at some point.

    • by lorenlal (164133)

      There is an expectation when you have physical media. If you pay full retail for something, and you can hold the installation (or game media), you should be able to sell it. There may or may not be any laws that reinforce that expectation, I have no idea... But this is why activation schemes, media encryption, and all other sorts of DRM are heavily frowned upon.

      It's not a matter of typing it to you, it's a matter of tying it to you and then giving you no way to protect that. You still need the disc to pl

      • by crazyjj (2598719) *

        There is an expectation when you have physical media. If you pay full retail for something, and you can hold the installation (or game media), you should be able to sell it.

        That hasn't been the case with PC games for years now (and PC gamers stood by and let it happen with barely a whimper). They're just bringing it over to consoles now.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Huh?

          Assuming the CD key is with the materials where is the problem with it?

          I have several PC games I got that way and they work fine. I guess if you have to register with steam or something that might break it.

          • If it's a steam game, you cannot resell it. You can sell your physical disk all you want but whoever buys it won't be able to install it.
          • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

            Huh?

            Assuming the CD key is with the materials where is the problem with it?

            I have several PC games I got that way and they work fine. I guess if you have to register with steam or something that might break it.

            Because Sony's patent isn't about the user having to enter a key, but the console somehow modifying the disk so that the disk and console are linked and the game will only play on that specific console. Basically, once the game has been installed, it can never be installed on another console again, thereby killing off the second hand game market.

            Assuming the patent is valid, it will be interesting to see what the courts have to say about the legality of using it.

        • by lorenlal (164133)

          I disagree, we all complained (and still complain) about that too. "I still need a disc, and a key, and I can only install it once?"

          How many times do you see that protection cracked, and subsequently cheered around here? Hint: Often.

      • Steam gives you no physical media

        That is true if you buy from them directly online.

        OTOH if someone goes into a store and buys a copy of one of valve's recent (since HL2) games or a game from another publisher that has bought deeply into steam then they have a physical copy and yet the only way they can use it is to permanently tie it to my steam account.

        IIRC initially if you installed from the disc it insisted that you both have the disc in the drive and were connected to steam (though if you installed from the internet they didn't even if

        • permanently tie it to my steam account.

          That should be "thier" steam account. I initially wrote the sentance in the first person but then changed it to the third person since i've personally never bought a retail copy of a steam game.

        • by lorenlal (164133)

          Even in that case, you no longer need the disc after it's installed. You will always be able to play the game through Steam.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Though it was a recent legal battle, in at least in one European country Steam has to allow resale of purchases. Don't know when it is coming into effect or if it will proliferate to other regions, but it is a battle fought and lost by them.

    • by DaveGod (703167)

      This is not doing "pretty much what Steam already does on the PC". The only thing they have in common is that games bought with it cannot be sold second-hand.

      • Which is pretty much what the article is about, right?
    • PS3 games cost about 50-80 USD (twice that were I live).
      Steam games cost 7-15USD.

      AFAIK, Steam also allows you to resell/gift games.

      Also, you need a Sony console to play their games. Steam works on any windows-based desktop (and soon, GNU/Linux)
      I hate Steam, and avoid it like the plague. But Sony is worse by far!

    • by ultranova (717540)

      So basically Sony want to do pretty much what Steam already does on the PC and people are saying "it doesn't work". Well guess what. It *does* work and chances are you're already using a service where you simply cannot resell games.

      And consequently, Steam is constantly running discounts. Also, Steam is exactly what you said: a service. It allows games to be downloaded and installed to hard disk without the hassle of going to a store or using physical disks. The Sonyscheme doesn't offer anything, so the onl

  • This is Sony we are talking about here. Why would it even be a question? Of course you will need to buy a whole new catalog of games if your console breaks and needs to be replaced. Sony does not consider their customers to be individuals with whom they enter into agreements to reach mutually satisfying exchanges of goods and services. Sony views their customers as sheep to be fleeced. If you are not a sheep, don't do business with Sony! (I know a few people who are not sheep who do business with Sony, but
  • by TractorBarry (788340) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:27AM (#42474245) Homepage

    It's Sony. It's stupid. Why does anybody still buy their crap ? Why does anybody buy any sort of crap like this ?

    • by Scutter (18425)

      I stopped buying Sony several years ago for this and other reasons. I just laugh when I see them pull more of this crap now.

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      Some (most) people don't read this kind of news and don't know what they're getting into when they buy a console. If anything, it legitimize piracy because piracy becomes the only way to play your games. After the thing is cracked, who cares what DRM was there originally?

      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        Some (most) people don't read this kind of news and don't know what they're getting into when they buy a console. If anything, it legitimize piracy because piracy becomes the only way to play your games. After the thing is cracked, who cares what DRM was there originally?

        It doesn't legitimize piracy. However, it does help explain why piracy exists.

    • by DMoylan (65079)

      in the same way the tobacco industry needed to recruit new young smokers to replace those killed by their products sony needs to replace those that are driven away by restricted hardware.

      the kids and parents that buy the ps3 are those that haven't experienced the lockouts and restrictions enough to realise there are better companies to support.

      on the plus side sony stores around dublin seem to be closing and their sales are slumping so maybe the message is filtering down.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      They are the least terrible option. People who like to play with custom arcade joysticks, for example, have no choice but to buy a PS3 or do some ugly pad hack for XBOX 360. Sony allows 3rd parties to make controllers for the PS3 without license, Microsoft does not.

  • by Terry95 (2690775) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:28AM (#42474249)
    There is a really simple solution to this. DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM SONY. Complain to magazines and web sites that review their stuff. If they ignore you then boycott that site / mag too. DONE. Don't bitch and whine about it. Don't wave your arms and scream it's unconstitutional while you stand in line to fork over $75.00 for the latest repackage of the same game you've already played 50 times. Just Freaking walk away! People really fail to grasp this. Don't bother to pirate their stuff. Sure this can be broken - but why? Treat them like they don't exist. Honest you WILL live without Sony. But Sony will NOT live without customers. Then if this actually matters to enough people Sony will become a responsible corporation and behave in polite society. If not then you will have taken the moral high ground anyway, and probably given your money to a responsible studio that doesn't treat its paying customers as mortal enemies. Had you rather be on the side of good - or play Killzone 15? Free choice. It cuts both ways.
    • by Cryacin (657549)
      I bought Sins of a Solar Empire purely because it didn't have any DRM. It was cheap, and turned out to be one of the more innovative games I had ever played. Well said, and good advice from the Parent Poster.
  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:35AM (#42474309)

    Always behind on technology, but on the cutting edge of evil.

    • Really? PC game vendors have been implementing anti-resale measures for years. Console vendors are just starting to implement them.

    • Where have you been? C'mon... the walkman, trinitron ... minidisc!

      Okay, sure minidisc wasn't popular in the US ... and they tried keeping CRTs around for too long due to trinitron ... but back in the 80s and 90s, Sony was way ahead in technology.

      Even their laptops were considered years ahead in design 'til Apple put out the TiBook.

      So, if you said 'behind on technology for the last 15 years', sure, I could agree ... but *always* behind? no. I mean, they had some of the most advanced rootkits for their tim

  • Should be:

    New Sony Patent on Blocking Second-hand Games

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      Should be:

      New Sony Patent on Blocking Second-hand Games

      At least this one is not a big giant and blatant lie.

  • by Swampash (1131503) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:37AM (#42474325)

    you to buy Sony toys? No? then STFU AND STOP BUYING THEM.

  • I just don't understand why people put up with this crap and don't just boycott Sony?

    Personally I avoid all DRM and walled gardens like the plague for this very reason.

    • I just don't understand why people put up with this crap and don't just boycott Sony?

      One reason is that Sony doesn't actually block sales of games, but they have a patent on blocking sales of used games. Which means Sony can or can not use that technology, as they choose, but everyone else can _not_ use this technology anymore without permission from Sony and without paying license fees to Sony. The second part is surely a good thing. The first part is fine as long as Sony doesn't use this technology.

  • by Kergan (780543) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:44AM (#42474379)

    This patent seems a bit pointless. The future lies in digital app stores.

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:53AM (#42474449)
    A seller (store) is responsible that goods work for a reasonable time. Typically two years for electronic goods. A snag is that after six months, the buyer has to prove that the fault was present at time of purchase (within the first six months, the seller would have to prove that the fault was not present at the time of purchase).

    I'd consider it a very clear fault if a game that I purchased doesn't work after I had to buy a replacement console for a broken one. And since the fault was intentionally built into the game, having to prove the fault was present is no problem. So stores in the UK and elsewhere in Europe will be very, very, very unhappy with this. I'd also consider it a serious fault if I can't sell a game because it doesn't work on the console of a prospective buyer.
  • The Wii U is not interesting to me, if the PS4 uses this I will not buy it and I flat out will not have Microsoft products in my house.

    Maybe I should look into that OUYA thing slashdot keeps advertising.

  • by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Friday January 04, 2013 @10:08AM (#42474577)

    So, I have seen the light and realize that Sony is a company that will do more harm to itself then good and therefore deserves to be losing the billions it does.

    Sony's gaming division is the only thing Sony has left. They lost in the consumer electronics race for TV's, home audio, mobile audio, eBook readers. I mean the last 20 years of Sony's history has been about failure more then success. However I don't think Sony will create a decent product in the PS4 if this is the direction they are taking by creating consoles that will reject used games and require some kind of network registration to play a new game for the first time.

    Sony should do one of two things, either sell off the hardware to Samsung, or sell off their entertainment divisions to Hollywood. By trying to be both a hardware manufacturer and content provider, Sony has always been at odds between trying to protect their content and creating innovative devices, they are failing to do both now.

    Sony stopped trying to make the best products and instead are only succeeding in becoming the world's best asshole company, which is amazing given that Apple exists,

    • by andydread (758754)
      +5 insightful. They need to get out of the content business. They have become pure arseholes since they got into that business.
  • thanks for the compliment and fu-2.

  • by Nyder (754090) on Friday January 04, 2013 @11:02AM (#42475211) Journal

    This would not only kill the 2nt hand market, it would kill the rental market. I think Sony will find less people will buy a PS4 (if this as implemented in it) since they can't sell old games, buy used games, or rent games. Sure, the Hardcore PS fans will still buy the PS4 and new games, but only they will.

    Plus if Sony thinks they will go 4 years before they new machine is hacked to play backups, they are in for a rude awakening. My guess is Sony will have a huge target on their back this round.

    And this attitude that Sony has towards it's customers helped me quit playing EQ2 after 6 years. There was NO way I was going to pay them any more money for anything.

  • I think the 1980s called and Sony responded. The next thing they will patent is a portable tape recorder....
  • So with this in mind, I guess I can no longer take my game with me to my friends house to play??? Instead I have to go through the hassle of unwiring my entire console and bringing the whole console with me? Or worse what happens if my game console needs to be warranty replaced? Now I have to buy all new games? Sounds like a load of crap.
  • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Friday January 04, 2013 @11:48AM (#42475727) Journal

    There's a lot of Sony-hate swirling around the comments on this story. Believe me, I can understand that. This isn't exactly the most pro-consumer technology ever to have been patented (though as yet, Sony haven't said they intend to actually use the technology).

    However, I actually see this as symtomatic of a wider problem for the video games industry; very few people are making money from it. Sony makes some pretty thumping losses these days; their gaming division is one of the better performing parts of the company, but it's still a long way from where it was in the last console generation. Nintendo's making some pretty big losses; it had to overturn a long-held hardware-at-a-profit business model to get any kind of installed base for the 3DS, has had to continue to sell at a loss on the Wii-U and faces an uncertain future of the Wii-U doesn't get traction. MS's situation isn't quite so bad, but its stock price has been flat for a decade and if it had the same currency issues that its Japanese competitors face, then its situation might be just as bad as theirs.

    The situation's hardly any better in the land of games development. Big developers like EA struggle to turn a profit despite trying every trick they can think of (day-one DLC, online passes, season passes etc). Their few guaranteed cash-cows like the annualised sports series and modern military shooters are basically the only reason that the more interesting games they put out can continue to appear. Mid-sized shops like THQ which don't have those cash cows are in very unpleasant places indeed. A couple of companies like Zynga and Rovio manage to get-rich-quick on the basis of low-budget titles that strike it lucky with the zeitgeist, but they increasingly look like one-hit wonders. And for every indie studio that produces a hit, there are 99 that produce forgettable garbage before vanishing into obscurity. It's even worse over in Japan, where all but a few of their developers have given up on true global competition, focussing instead on the same domestic kids-and-otaku market that most anime is produced for. Some people are clutching at free-to-play/pay-to-win as a potential solution, but that bubble's already bursting.

    And retail? Here in the UK, our biggest specialised retailer (Game) went into administration during 2012. Sure, it got rescued, but it doesn't seem to be doing particularly well since then either. Its most direct competitor (HMV) looks like it won't survive the next few months.

    Make no mistake, stuff like this latest Sony patent isn't thought up by plutocrats sipping champagne as they lounge on top of a Scrooge McDuck style lake of gold. These are desperate moves to stay afloat in what's become, over the last 3 years or so, a very unfriendly industry.

    People moan about the price of games, but these are, in real terms, substantially lower than they were a couple of decades ago, when development costs were a fraction of what they are today. What I'd actually welcome is a company which is prepared to say: "We won't do any of this evil stuff like anti-resale measures or day-one DLC - but for those games with high development costs, we will accordingly charge a higher price than you've gotten used to paying". The prices of Wii-U games are noticably higher than those for the older platforms - but unfortunately, most of them are very thin pickings compared to other games, or are already available on other platforms with a much lower price.

    • by jez9999 (618189) on Friday January 04, 2013 @12:28PM (#42476199) Homepage Journal

      How did stuff like SimCity and Civilization get made in the good old days? I'm guessing they didn't need such an enormous budget. RollerCoaster Tycoon was almost completely programmed by Chris Sawyer. I'd put up with less of their shiny 3d graphics for games that are just fun to play.

      • by Algae_94 (2017070)
        This is a fantastic point. Modern games are not so much games as interactive cinema. If they were to focus more on the game play and less on the audio/video production they might be able to make a little more profit.
  • by gelfling (6534) on Friday January 04, 2013 @02:41PM (#42478179) Homepage Journal

    Every day, grab one patent attorney and cut his or her fucking head off and post it on YouTube. Every day. Until their behavior improves.

  • by waspleg (316038) on Friday January 04, 2013 @03:13PM (#42478547) Journal

    Sony was already on my boycott list with Activision, Apple, and Walmart. But here is a list of their subsidiaries from wikipedia. [wikipedia.org]

  • by Holi (250190) on Friday January 04, 2013 @04:32PM (#42479617)

    All this will do is hasten the return of PC gaming. Especially with the surprisingly good F2P out there. Look at World of Tanks, (and the beta World of Warplanes, lotta fun there), Then checkout Hawken and MechWarrior Online for a little giant robot battle action (ok not really robots).

    Granted you can spend money on these games but you don't gain any real advantage (besides faster xp and credit accumulation).

    Screw the Consoles and their ridiculous DRM.

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