Sony To Introduce Online Serial Code Checks?

A precursor: there’s nothing to suggest this might happen outside of a news story on a Dutch website that surfaced a day or two back.  They’re blasting it as an ‘exclusive’ and the rumour has been bubbling around the web since, so it’s worthy of discussion.

Here’s the rub: according to the report, all future PS3 game disks are to carry a special, unique one-time code and players will need to activate that code into the PlayStation 3 itself, or via a dedicated form on the PlayStation Network.


This, as you’d expect, would lock the game to that console, or to that user.  And, therefore, disable copies of that game from working elsewhere as the PS3 will be doing little checks to ensure that the disk matches the profile, and will (in theory at least) prevent the game from booting.

Of course, this could massively affect the secondhand market, and would perhaps block out legitimate buyers who don’t have access to Sony’s online services.  DRM’s always a bone of contention, but this perhaps is the strictest we’ve ever heard of for a console.

The source suggests that each game (or, rather, each code) can be used up to five times, a little like Apple’s App Store, although it’s worth stressing that this has had no official word from Sony since the news first appeared, so treat everything with a healthy (or not) pinch of salt.

What do you think?



  1. I can’t see this happening, just scaremongering. it would be far more disruptive to sales than a bit of piracy.

  2. Sony are dead to me.

    Not really but this is quite heavy handed and I find it highly unlikely that this is the way forward for Sony themselves. Nothing but a clever scaremongering story I feel.

  3. Brilliant idea, give the hackers something else to have a go at, not that they will as the story is obviously balls. Can I just say Geohotz as if I knew anything about him/her before this all started? Thanks. Geohotz.

  4. This is what they already do with PSN accounts and downloaded games. Sony could just add in an option to deactivate each disc from whatever Playstation it’s activated on and it wouldn’t affect gamer’s ability to trade games or play games on other people’s PS3s.
    The only group who should be concerned as those PS3s which are not connected to the internet, but I’m sure a workaround can be reached for them.

  5. Hopefully not, this would probably mean the end of my Playstation custom.

  6. If I have to be online to activate the code/play the game, and I’m at Uni with no PSN – what am I supposed to do?
    Bad idea.

  7. When are the hotshot executives going to learn that you don’t stop piracy/used-game sales by punishing legitimate customers. You stop it by rewarding them, a la Bad Company 2’s VIP system.

  8. But what if you get YLOD.Won’t that mean that you will lose all of your games? I really hope this is an empty threat. I am really starting to hate pirates. RIP gaming if this is true.

  9. This won’t happen, Sony would be slaughtered by 360 owners and it could even persuade people to jump ship on principle. This rumour was floating round before the PS3 released way back in 2006, it’s probably just a rehashing of that.

  10. Bonkers. Can you imagine the reaction if this was suggested for Audio CDs, or DVDs and Blurays ?

    Not gonna happen, unless Sony want to hand over their entire market share to Microsoft.

Comments are now closed for this post.