A rumor has popped up saying that Sony is scared enough of a recent PS3 security leak that it is planning to require serial code inputs for all future PS3 titles. Apparently it's 1991 again.
The hack in question is the recent publishing of the PS3's root keys, which can be used to get access to the inner workings of the PS3. While undoubtedly a setback in Sony's ongoing struggle against piracy, the PS3 had hardly proven unhackable previous to the root key discovery.
The rumored scheme would require gamers to input a serial number like PC CD-keys of old and verify them with Sony's authentication servers. The codes would allow five activations, sharply limiting each game's resale value.
While Sony certainly has the right to do what it can to limit piracy and protect its intellectual property, saddling legitimate consumers with a pain-in-the-ass code input that also restricts the end-user's ability to give away or resell their games is pretty *** unfriendly to gamers.
Anyone who follows the industry knows of the piracy-related struggles that PC developers have suffered through since the medium's inception. Digital rights management schemes have come and gone, rarely un-cracked for more than a few months at a time, and piracy has continued. Pissing off consumers, on the other hand, has never to my knowledge been a winning business strategy for anyone.
I'm hoping that this rumor ends up being just that. Introducing new annoyances for legitimate consumers without adding any value is not the way to combat piracy – it's a way to drive gamers to other platforms that don't irritate them. And I'm pretty sure there's another console out there directly competing (and clearly outselling) the PlayStation 3 that Sony would be wise not to give away any advantages to.
On second thought, if Sony wants to print code wheels that you have to use to decipher hidden messages in game manuals in order to play the game, I'm cool with that. Those were sweet.
We've reached out to Sony for comment.
While a few sites have reported it, they are all coming from the same source, which is being translated through Google. So if it wasn't obvious enough, take it with a huge grain of salt.
I for one do not see this happening. However, if it somehow did, it would effectively kill my purchases for the system.
I work game retail and I see how the weird EA/THQ CD keys for online has confused and annoyed the masses, this would just make them froth.
Don't really care. It takes like an additional 15 seconds to input it.
I just don't like the install limitations.
This isn't the very worst anti-piracy idea out there, but it doesn't seem the least bit practical with consoles.
Yeah that's kind of annoying. If it was just a serial key I'd have less of a problem. I don't like this shitty trend of requiring online verification.
It will become as non-existent as buying used pc games.
And a large portion of consoles AREN'T hooked up to the internet. Many of those CANNOT either. This. Won't. Happen.
Considering I use Gamefly a lot to play games, I would never rent a PS3 game again...because I couldn't. And I don't even rent that many PS3 games to begin with. Imagine what would happen to a guy who only rents PS3 games. He would either quit the service, or do the worst thing imaginable for Sony...switch to the Xbox 360.
Then imagine the same thing happening to PS3 players who buy used.
If Sony did do something like this, they'd have to think of a less restricting way that won't alarmingly decrease their marketshare.
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Also, DRM measures such as these are very often less about actually solving the piracy problem, and more about convincing your shareholders/investors/publishers that you've solved the problem.
"Requires internet connection to validate" would be the "we're restoring a feature that was stripped from our PS3s" for the people who inevitably come up with a workaround for it.
The cost of doing something like this in the console's twilight years would be ridiculous, and the potential benefits aren't substantial or likely.
Being a console is the best protection against piracy one can ever achieve, and it still isn't infallible. They should be learning their lessons from this generation to make the next console as secure as possible. If they have their heads on straight, that's what their doing and this rumour is without substance.
If anything, some sort of key for playing online is likely to happen. With the amount of hacks that are surfacing on PSN, they're going to have to do something otherwise publishers may hesitate to release their online multiplayer games on the platform in the future. Activision has already snidely threatened such action. Whether this is just pandering or not is up in the air at this point.
Yeah good idea Sony.
I work for an ISP and I've noticed an increase of calls complaining about issues on PSN since these hacks started surfacing. Anecdotal, but there it is.
Where buying the game gets you the singleplayer content, with multi on the disc but you need to use a code to activate it. This would allow them to prevent online play for anyone who didn't get it new, or have this code, thus killing off any hacking in future games.
It also wouldn't affect those who's consoles aren't online since they wouldn't touch multi anyway.
Now, Sony could certainly do that with the games they publish themselves, there's a precedence for it now, but maybe they would also enforce, or encourage the same of all developers who release games on the PS3.
Yeah, there have been posts in the Black Ops thread of people who have gone back to play MW2. One post in particular mentioned getting shot by pistols through 15 walls and giant "LOL" kill cams.