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Saturday, July 15, 2006

PS3 Games Might Be 1 Size Fits 1

The days of buying a game and bringing it over to a friend house to play might be numbered as speculation mounts that Sony will employ its patented technology that locks a games play to a single console with the PlayStation 3 launch.

The technology, patented in 2000, locks disks to play on a single console. If used, for example, it would prevent gamers from playing their own games on another persons console or even a replacement one.

Fear is growing that the technology, if employed, would not only limit where gamers can play their own titles, but also put a big kibosh on the used game industry, one that estimated to be worth more than a billion dollars a year.

Sony has never said what it intends to use the technology for, but it seems folks are beginning to think it will be brought live for use in the PS3, which releases Nov. 17. This comes despite a denial from Sony.

However, its being pointed out that Sony would be well within its rights to use the technology if it so chose, but it would not do Sony much good public relation-wise to do so. "What does Sony get from that?" said John Taylor of Arcadia Investment Corp. "Sony gets a black eye. It doesn't make sense to me."

While its very likely Taylor is more than right, it does seem as if Sony game-play-limiting technology looms over the industry like a nuclear warhead that never intended to be used. We all know its there and we fear its eventual use.

If Sony put the technology to use, it would be biting off its nose to spite its face, ensuring it would lose the next-gen race. The move would likely put gamers off so much, theyd run screaming for the first Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii they saw sitting on the shelf. Not only would it put a whammy on the used game market, it would block gamers from playing their own games if their console broke and they had to replace it. Not smart.

The organization estimates that the game console segment, supported by sales of the PlayStation 3, will have the most important influence on the blue laser disc technology market, with more than half of the $2 billion in revenue for 2006. Content, including movies and games, will represent half of this market's revenues in 2010.


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