Yesterday’s discovery of Sony’s anti-second hand games patent appears to have reached a wider audience, with shares in Gamestop dropping 6.5% yesterday as the news started to spread around the internet.
Gamestop do a huge amount of business with pre-owned games, and whilst nobody really expects Sony to actually make use of the patent (which is only filed, not granted, as far as we can tell) it’s telling just how quickly these things can have an effect.
Shares fell by $1.57 to $24.09.
The patent, which suggested an alternative way to lock down a copy of game to a single user account via RF tags, would have serious repercussions in the rental and second hand game markets. However, like region locking and countless years of discussion on the topic, these things may never really happen across the board with Sony.
Indeed, SCEA’s own Jack Tretton said he was against the blocking of used games, although hinted that Sony Japan may well feel differently. The patent was filed by SCEJ.
It’s likely that, if this does appear in the PS4, it’ll be on an individual basis, with some publishers able to opt-in with certain games, rather than being a widespread platform-level thing. You can also assume that Sony won’t do much unless Microsoft do the same.
“Sony would be materially hurt if its console blocked used games and competitor consoles from Microsoft and Nintendo did not,” said Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities, who says the reaction to the patent was “overblown”.
What do you think?