Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Sony May Try To Stop PS3 Game Resales 423

Posted by Zonk
from the because-we-can't-hate-them-enough dept.
Next Generation reports on Sony's hopes that it will be able to prevent the resale of PS3 games. The article argues that it is unlikely they'll succeed in this goal. From the article: "One expert in retail law told Next-Gen.Biz, 'Sony can theoretically sell a license to play the game, but the user would have to acknowledge acceptance of the license. You've seen this when you install software on a PC. I'm not sure that the license agreement is enforceable if the licensee doesn't agree to it. Also, even if the agreement is enforceable, it's hard to preclude subsequent sale of the disc. The consumer could theoretically agree that he doesn't own the right to transfer his license, but why couldn't he sell the medium that held the license (the disc)? Sony can't enforce the agreement against a third party, as it lacks privity with the third party.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sony May Try To Stop PS3 Game Resales

Comments Filter:
  • I lost count (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Roody Blashes (975889) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:11PM (#15396472) Homepage Journal
    How many reasons do I now have to not buy a PS3?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      make people FAT, stupid, violent, anit-social, and ...and.....Anti American!!
    • Re:I lost count (Score:5, Insightful)

      by narrowhouse (1949) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:34PM (#15396709) Homepage
      I am not even a big gamer, but back when it looked like Sony planned on shipping the PS3 with Linux installed, at $399 a pop, I thought I might get one just to have a blu-ray player and a linux machine running on a cell processor. Since then Sony:

      1- installed a root kit on my In-laws machine through a Neil Diamond CD
      2- increased the price dramatically
      3- announced that they would like to uni-laterally revoke my right to resell items I purchase.
      4- generally bone headed their way through every press conference they have had without apologizing directly for any of their bad behavior.

      so I don't have an exact count of reasons, but I know the sum == enough.
    • I've lost count too and certainly won't be the first in line to buy a PS3. Sony does seem to be going out of their way to sink the PS3 launch and by extension the rest of their business. There's still time to make it all work, but if even some of these stories are true, they're going to need some major internal shake up to get back on track. It's too bad that this sort of thing nearly always happens to market leaders who become overconfident and arrogant. At this rate, the sound that Sony makes when it fall
    • by Cheapy (809643) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:36PM (#15396726)
      Subtract the cost of the Wii from the cost of the PS3, and that's the number of reasons you have to not buy the PS3.
    • by Metroid72 (654017)
      That only the people who follow the industry (hardcore gamers or not) are the only people aware of all the reasons not to buy the PS3. However, Sony will still these overpriced piece of hardware like hotcakes. Having a PS3 will be more like a status symbol, and we're in a society where "keeping up with the Jones" is a major driver.

      Long live great games (regardless of the console) and competition (because it benefits us).
      • I'm not too sure that "keeping up with the Jones" applies in this case:

        Even if the PS3 turns out to greatly overpower the XBox 360 (which I doubt), the graphics of either system are limited by the time and artistic resources of the companies that develop the games. Most developers are going to make the most money be releasing a game on both systems. Given the already massive cost of developing 3D artwork, they will most likely design the game for the weaker one, and just up the poly and particle count o
    • Why can't you just sell your license to someone else? You license windows and if you sell someone your computer you effectively sell them your license to windows with it...

      This probably isn't going to stop anything...
    • by krotkruton (967718) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @04:18PM (#15397081)
      Wow do I agree. I got over the high price and have been trying to look past the rootkit fiasco since Sony-BMG is *technically* a different part of Sony, but this move is just taking things too far. All that's left is to station Sony employee's in every store that sells a PS3 so they can kick you in the ass after you purchase one.
  • How to fail (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jonnythan (79727) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:13PM (#15396484) Homepage
    I'm seeing a future, a few years from now, where columnists looks back at what Sony did in 2006 and create laundry lists of "how to implement the largest-scale failure in the history of video games."
    • Indeed... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Svartalf (2997)
      It's looking like they're trying to out-do Atari's spectacular flameout back in the last downturn in the games industry.
    • Wow a company that will make Atari look good! I never thought I would live to see the day.
      Of course Atari made money off the hardware.
    • how to implement the largest-scale failure in the history of Betamax^W ... Mini-Disc^W ... video games.

      As they say "practice makes perfect". Sony really seems to have their own foot squarly in their sights.
  • Sony:

    Do you really hate your customers *that* much?

    Truth be told, I am really, really hoping that they try to do this. The consumer backlash and probably subsequent lawsuits over everything from eBay sales to EB Games/Gamestop sales will provide lots of ripe discussion material on /. for months.
    • Re:Wow, just wow. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NewWorldDan (899800)
      And do the people who write these articles (citing unnamed sources) ever study economics?

      If true, such a move would be a massive boost for publishers and developers which do not profit from the lucrative and damaging retail trade in used games. In fact, many publishers are furious that they have to spend support money on consumers who have not actually contributed a dime to the company's coffers.

      The secondary market adds value for the consumer. The average consumer will be more likely to buy a new re
      • many publishers are furious that they have to spend support money on consumers who have not actually contributed a dime to the company's coffers.

        Maybe they should go with the strategy that IBM figured out like 50 years ago, and stop tying software support to sales.

        If the $60 price tag for a shrinkwrapped game includes customer support for a fixed period of X years, it doesn't matter whether that game is owned by one person or 100 people over the course of those X years--as long as only one owner seeks suppo
        • Don't forget we're talking about CONSOLE games here. How much "support" do you think actually GOES towards a copy of Grand Theft Auto? Pop it in- it works. If it doesn't, it goes back to the store.
    • Truth be told, I am really, really hoping that they try to do this. The consumer backlash and probably subsequent lawsuits over everything from eBay sales to EB Games/Gamestop sales will provide lots of ripe discussion material on /. for months.

      Assuming anyone even buys one!! Can you imagine much of a second hand market if there isnt even much of a first-hand one?

      (duck and cover!!)
  • by WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) * <sexwithanimals@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:16PM (#15396536) Homepage
    Sony seems to think that we're LUCKY to get games for their overpriced console. With their statements about how people would buy it even with no games, and now this garbage?

    Sony thinks they're too good for us.
  • by blanktek (177640) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:17PM (#15396538)
    "According to a UK news source" the article claims. This is fit for the tabloids. I guess thats why its posted by Zonk.
  • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:18PM (#15396559) Homepage
    ...the socalled first sale doctrine [wikipedia.org]. I think this sums it up: "US copyright case law supports that consumers cannot make copies of computer programs contrary to a license, but may resell what they own. This however is conflicting with both section 117 and 109, and the case law itself is conflicting depending on which circuit the case was heard in."
    • Where's the first sale doctrine when it comes to Windows XP? It seems like all it takes is some wording in the EULA to do away with first-sale requirements. Therefore, the only thing weighing on game producer's minds is whether the market will bear it or not. With XP, the answer is yes. With games... who knows, it's not inconceivable that it will be standard practice years from now.
      • The law is quite murky on the point with cases in some juristictions going one way, and others the opposite way. It is going to take a high level court to resolve the mess.

        If Sony really wants to kill the resale market what they need to do is to offer to buy back the games.

  • Analogy (Score:3, Funny)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:19PM (#15396564)

    The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers ...

    • These aren't the games you're looking for. Move along... Move along...

      I felt a great disturbance in the store, as if millions of customers cried out and were suddenly silent.
  • by creepynut (933825) * <teddy(slashdot).teddybrown@ca> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:20PM (#15396570) Homepage

    Ka-BLAM. - The sound of Sony falling to dust.

    Really, truly, why would Sony do this?

    I mean, I heard rumours of something similar a while back. They were going to try and make a disc you buy to only be able to play on a single system. No more copying, no more renting, no more lending.

    Hell, what happens to me when my PS3 goes the same way as my PS2 and I need to get a new one? Better yet, what happens when they release a new slimmer version and suddenly I'm not able to play anymore?

    Mind you, this may not be the case with this new system of theirs, but why kill the second hand market like this? I can't remember the last time I bought a game brand new. Game Boy Advance and Game Cube both, nearly all my games are second hand copies. Why? Because not only are they cheaper, but because it's sometimes harder to find games new after they're released. Especially the rare gems.

    On top of the fact that used games would be near impossible, what will they do for rentals? I'm certainly not going to go fork out $80 (CDN) for a new game that I've never tried. I want to go out and rent it, and if it is worth it, sure I'll pick up copy. "Greatest Hits" games hardly count, because they are simply cheaper because they've been out longer, and a few people liked them.

    If they do this, they'll be shooting themselves in the foot. There won't be a PS3 in my place (mind you, the PS2 belongs to the finacee), and I guarantee there won't be one in many of the living rooms I know of.

    • I mean, I heard rumours of something similar a while back. They were going to try and make a disc you buy to only be able to play on a single system. No more copying, no more renting, no more lending.

      Yes, rumors which Sony denied, and they disappeared. The same exact rumors are back around, in time for your weekly dose of FUD, and this time, you fell for it. Seriously, how would they do this? Between First Sale and the inability of minors to enter legally binding contracts, they couldn't make a game un-r

  • Unlikely? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Goostoff (930045)
    I doubt this is likely and is just old news resurfacing. Not only if Sony implemented this strategy would resale businesses have problems, but renting games would cease to exist (for the PS3, at least). This would definately cause troubles for Sony as customers could not try before they buy or even enjoy a weekend of a party game. Blockbuster, Gamestop, et all, would pull out all stakes to prevent this if this were real.

    http://www.joystiq.com/2005/11/08/playstation-3-wo nt-play-used-games/ [joystiq.com]
  • could it be true? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by L-Train8 (70991) <Matthew_HawkNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:20PM (#15396576) Homepage Journal
    The evidence for this is an unamed "UK news source, citing retail contacts." And a Sony patent on "technology which would tie a piece of software to an individual piece of hardware." Also, Sony isn't commenting on this story.

    But the article also points out how technological enforcement would be difficult, and how such a move would completely piss off both retailers and consumers.

    I can't see Sony actually doing this, I really don't think it makes a lot of business sense. But then, I never thought they would charge $600 for a PS3.

  • by WuphonsReach (684551) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:21PM (#15396582)
    What will this do to the game rental market? (Does Blockbuster still rent games?)
  • EULA (Score:2, Insightful)

    How will they enforce a contract with a nine year old?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:22PM (#15396592)
    Exec 1: This foot shotgun isn't letting us shoot ourselves in the feet thoroughly enough!
    Exec 2: Prepare...the foot cannon!
  • When I go to blockbuster, and I pay the man $5 for my PS2 game, I can't re-sell it.

    What exactly is preventing sony from adopting the same business model? As long as they're up front about the fact it's not a sale, I don't see where this is legally questionable. Better not try to charge $50 per 'rental' though. I'm pretty sure people wouldn't be so happy about that.
    • You could sell it for $5 if you want. You would still be on the hook with blockbuster for the rest of the money you owed for the game
    • Simple, Sony don't rent games - Blockbuster do. In other words, the rental transaction happens at the lowest level of the chain - between the consumer and the rental location. For Sony to allow rentals ONLY they'd have to either (a) handle all the consumer relationship themselves - in other words shut out all retail outlets from getting stock or (b) persuade the retail stores to handle their rentals. I'm not sure either is very likely.
    • As long as they're up front about the fact it's not a sale, I don't see where this is legally questionable.

      Nothing prevents Sony from making you sign a contract before leaving the store with their product. However, anything short of that is a sale. Put another way, I don't care if I pick up a widget from the "Widget Rental" bin sitting under the "Rent Your Widgets Here!" sign at the "Rent-A-Widget Center". If I hand you cash and you hand me a receipt and a smile without me signing something, I just mad

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:24PM (#15396614)
    This is just another stupid baseless rumor. The story is printed with no source and no evidence. The story is just another variation on a year-old rumor that Sony has already directly denied. [ps3focus.com] The "Sony has a patent on such a technology" in the story fails to mention the patent in question was originally filed in the Playstation 1 era. Go and look up the original patent-- it talks about CD-ROMs.

    But, hey, the new rules of gaming media are
    1. Is it about Sony?
    2. Does it make Sony look bad?
    If so, then there is no step 3. The rumor must be right, and it's getting printed on Slashdot.
    • As far as facts go, you are absolutely correct.

      But why let facts get in the way of some good entertainment? We have a good old-fashioned hate-fest going on here. Can't you just feel the waves of scorn?

      Seriously, though. I doubt the article's accuracy too. But I can hope.
  • Easy workaround? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bastian (66383) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:25PM (#15396626)
    So all I have to do to get around this is let the neighbor kid (who is too young to enter into any sort of legally binding contract) play all of my games first, right?
    • One wonders if Sony could actually get in trouble over trying to press minors into contracts that they do not have legal authority to enter into... Or will every game come with a quiz to prove you're over 18, like an old leisure suit larry game?
  • but in the past whenever people would talk about Sony wanting to tie games to individual consoles they'd always get modded troll.

    the warnings were there. just like with this blu-ray downsampling BS.
  • They talk a lot about license transfers in the article but don't go into detail about how Sony wants to tie particular pieces of software to a particular PS3 unit. This seems like it would only be enforceable if both the new and used purchasers' PS3s are connected to the Internet. If so, it would mean that anyone wanting to use their PS3 for online gaming would be restricted to buying only brand new games. It would also probably result in people buying only single player/local multiplayer games and ignor
  • Well first of the story is based on rumor.

    Offcourse Sony doesn't like the second hand trade. I own a PSP and recently bought two games for it. Both second hand from the dutch FreeRecordShop store. 12.50 was about all I was willing to spend for Midnight Club 3.

    For that money it is a nice game. For full price (wich it still retails for) it is a piece of crap. The other Fired Up is a piece of crap at 12.50 but if I bought it at full price I would have been really upset. Now I can deal with it.

    But offcourse

  • FUD against Sony (Score:3, Informative)

    by davFr (679391) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:27PM (#15396651)
    Since a couple of weeks, and especially since E3 show, there are lots of FUD about the PS3 and Sony. I am not a Sony zealot, I don't have any console from them. But honnestly, do you feel like this news is something more than F.U.D. coming Microsoft or Nintendo.
    I don't feel like an anonymous guy repeating stuff heard from a UK retailer is something like a trusted source. Sounds more like Microsoft try to kill the PS3 beast before it's awaken...
    • I don't feel like an anonymous guy repeating stuff heard from a UK retailer is something like a trusted source. Sounds more like Microsoft try to kill the PS3 beast before it's awaken...

      Absolutely correct. With First Sale Doctrine, inability of minors to sign contracts, the highly lucrative accessories market owned by Gamestop and others who sell used games, etc., there's no way this is true.

  • Little Timmy drops the disk in. "You must agree to play the game." Timmy agrees. Timmy is 8. He can't sign a (legally binding) contract. His parents didn't sign the contract. The game lets him play anyhow -- he said yes. Timmy grows up and does not like Pokemon anymore and sells the disk at his family's garage sale.

    Sue a kid over a non-enforcable contract? Right. What is sony going to do, make a parent press "yes" to play the game so it is enforcable? While it might be a nice move to discourage GTA lawsuits
    • But if Little Timmy uses the game without being able to legally agree to the license agreement, doesn't that mean he's using the software illegally? In other words, if the contract is void, isn't it void in both directions?

    • Re:Irrelevant (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DragonWriter (970822)

      Little Timmy drops the disk in. "You must agree to play the game." Timmy agrees. Timmy is 8. He can't sign a (legally binding) contract. His parents didn't sign the contract. The game lets him play anyhow -- he said yes. Timmy grows up and does not like Pokemon anymore and sells the disk at his family's garage sale.

      Sue a kid over a non-enforcable contract?

      The story is about technological tieing of the software to the hardware. So, if this was true at all, the person likely to sue would be the person to who

  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:32PM (#15396688) Homepage Journal
    ..Six weeks ago Sony acquired the videogame license to classic film "E.T.," and have announced today the immediate worldwide release of this surefire success.

    Along with a clause disallowing secondhand sale of the game, the EULA will debut the new "no-landfill" clause.

  • by Robotech_Master (14247) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:32PM (#15396689) Homepage Journal
    A hardware-software locking scheme would also stop the big movie/game rental chains (such as Blockbuster, Hastings, etc.) from renting PS3 games. This could be a big blow to the industry, I think, given how many copies of the games the rental chains end up buying, and also that a lot of people will try renting a game for the short run before they decide to shell out the dough to buy it.

    Ah, just how stupid can Sony be? I'm reminded of that old Einstein quote about how only two things were infinite--the universe, and human stupidity--and he wasn't sure about the first one of those.
  • by Churla (936633)
    I see exactly what this is. Sony sees that when a game is resold they make 0$, that is unacceptable. I mean c'mon...

    Remember, in relation to a $600 console a $60 game is "still pretty cheap".

    Have some sympathy here, they're just trying to eek out a modest living with what technology they can scrap together... right?

    I would try to give an analogy here, but every one that easily comes to mind involves things that I think would get me banned or that only happen to people in prison related stories on Fark.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:33PM (#15396701)
    Very clever hiding the truth behind two layers of news stories - the original story is about how industry experts doubt this claim (which comes from an unnamed UK source) is true! So why the anti-Sony spin when the original story is about how people think there's no way Sony would do this and they've not even said they would?

  • Dear Sony: (Score:5, Funny)

    by msmercenary (837876) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:40PM (#15396763)
    Dear Sony:

    You need to stop pulling the trigger on that gun pointed at your foot. You've burned through the entire magazine, and it's time to reload.
  • Most people only budget a specific amount per year for gaming.

    If they budget $150, that can be 2 x 75$ new games, or 5 x $30 games, etc.

    If the can sell games, they can buy 2 x $75 new, sell both for 2 x $30, and buy another new game for $60. All adds up to $150.

    Not allowing resales will reduce the number of new games sold, and definitely kill any future PS3 to PS4 upgrades as no one will buy old consoles without games. Sony will have to cut prices if it wants to sell more games. It will also erode the PS
  • by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <sherwin@amira n . us> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:47PM (#15396841) Homepage Journal
    . . . to my DRM locked down, $800.00, unable to resell games, every-title-is-a-remake, HDMI-required for HD playback console.

    With all the bloody restrictions they should be paying me to take the damn thing.

    Seriously; wasn't that the "promise" of all these locked down DRM systems? Hardware free, software as a service, copy protection means that companies can easily recoup their investment.

    I couldn't imagine _ever_ buying one of these. It would _really_ have to blow me away.
  • Online games... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OneFix at Work (684397) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:57PM (#15396930)
    That's why companies like the idea of online games. You are pretty much stuck with the game, since they generally aren't easily transferable...not only that, but quite a few games come with free play time (3 months free, etc)...this makes resale of these games less profitable...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Dated November 2005 - The Death of Used Game Sales? [slashdot.org] posted our friend, Zonk. "The Inquirer has an interesting piece about a new Sony Patent on a technology that may possible prevent DVD disc media users from using their purchased disks in other machines after they have used them on a specific reader.

    Dated November 2005 - Rumor: PlayStation 3s won't play borrowed, used, or rented games [gamespot.com] - SCEE PR manger Jennie Kong blasted the rumor as " false speculation." "PlayStation 3 software will not be copy protected
  • Wow, is it me or Sony is doing all the wrong moves lately ?

    I'm beginning to think they're relying too much on their reputation now. When the 360 came out, I thought I'd just wait for the PS3 since I loved the PS2/PSOne so much

    but now.... I think I'm gonna jump on the Wii bandwagon or possibly the 360.
  • The original article (Score:3, Informative)

    by sesshomaru (173381) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @04:18PM (#15397078) Journal
    The Next Gen article tearing the Sony game "protection" article to pieces is all very well and good, but here's the original article for those who would like to read it for themselves:

    Sony to make it illegal to sell second hand PS3 games [itvibe.com]

    Here's a quote from the end of the article:

    Will Sony use their patent? Will Sony make it illegal to re-sell PS3 games?

    At the moment no-one really knows, but lets hope not.

    Sony have yet to comment on the rumours that they will make it illegal to re-sell PS3 games.

  • Nintendo has the best idea for game sales in years with the Wii. Different price-points. Smaller games == smaller price. Mega-hits == normal price. Downloads == (?) but most likely reasonable/free/promotions.

    Used games are about the only majorly profitable area for places like EB/Gamestop. So this move will only help push away customers and retailers. This is a sinking ship, and FTR about a year ago at this time when I jumped ship from working with Sony and claimed that they were going downhill quick and ev
  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @04:29PM (#15397157) Journal
    Sony are acting like a company that own the market and can dictate whatever terms they want. Remind me, which Sony products are so awesome that I have to buy them and submit to these terms? It's not the their games consoles (portable or not I prefer Nintendo), or their TVs (Samsung make better) or their stereos (who'd buy a Sony?), or their portable audio players (I love my iPod), or their cameras (Canon for me), or their laptops (Apple again), or their memory sticks (I tend to use SD cards), or their crippl(ed|ing) audio CDs (somehow they don't seem to publish music I like), or even their headphones (I'm happy with my Sennheisers).
  • Rental Market (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MaverickUW (177871) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @04:29PM (#15397161)
    This would also seem to wipe out the rental market for PS3 games as well, unless Sony creates special copies of those. But of course pre-rented games are sold used all the time as well, so that wouldn't work.

    If Sony wants to cut out the rental market, the try before you buy approach wouldn't work. More people would tend to wait for magazine reviews instead of buying the game on impulse. If you can't try it yourself, and you can't resell it if you get bored with it, who's gonna pay $60 for video games unless they're truly AAA titles with exremely high ratings?
  • by faust2097 (137829) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @04:46PM (#15397290)
    This is the same site that falsely announced that the base-model PSP woul have wired controllers and a non-upgradable hard drive:
    http://www.gamesradar.com/gb/ps3/game/news/article .jsp?articleId=20060513133719562032&sectionId=1006 [gamesradar.com]

    I know it's probably totally unreasonable to ask Slashdot to "consider the source" but GamesRadar has a reputation of inaccuray and sensationalism.

    Game specialty stores still account for over 25% of US sales of video games, systems and accessories. They are also successful in large part because of used games. This move would essentially hamstring them and either lead to them dropping Sony product from their stores or just going out of business.
  • CmdrTaco (Score:5, Funny)

    by Trogre (513942) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @08:32PM (#15398423) Homepage
    Why is Zonk allowed to post here again?

    Does every new site need a FUD officer these days?

  • This is a lie (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kaffiene (38781) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @08:50PM (#15398499)
    SCEE PR manger Jennie Kong blasted the rumor as " false speculation." "PlayStation 3 software will not be copy protected to a single machine but will be playable on any PlayStation 3 console,"

    The story is a lie. Clearly Slashdot editors hate Sony enough that any slander they come across is promoted immediately to a top level article.

In 1869 the waffle iron was invented for people who had wrinkled waffles.

Working...