A new report
by the Los Angeles Times features further speculation by analysts concerning the October 2000-filed patent by Sony that could conceivably prevent rented, pre-owned, or borrowed games from being played on the PlayStation 3.
However, Sony denied such claims
in May, as Sony Computer Entertainment UK spokesperson Jennie Kong claimed to consumer site Eurogamer: “It's false speculation. We don't have any further knowledge about this topic - either officially or unofficially, to be frank.”
Nonetheless, while Sony has not announced any application for the technology since the patent was filed, Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter was quoted by the Times as stating: “I actually think they're toying with this idea." He added that while he does not believe that Sony plans to outright prevent the playing of software that was not bought at retail by the PlayStation 3's owner, he does foresee the technology being used as a way to further protect downloaded games or media from being copied.
This assumption was echoed by other analysts in the report, who feel that if applied, the parent will be used as a way to deter software piracy. Others instead noted that the patent could simply be in place as a warning sign to any potential pirates, and that Sony does not plan on introducing the technology within the PlayStation 3 at all.
However, some analysts, such as Paul-Jon McNealy, of American Technology Research, commented: "While we believe it is unlikely that SNE will ban PS3 pre-owned games from being sold by the same chains that sell new PS3 games, we believe this issue remains under consideration." However, he noted that such a move would be unlikely, especially considering the amount of money that consumers spend at retail for used games.
"A used-car market creates currency to buy new cars. Same with games. Everybody acknowledges that," added Wedbush's Pachter. "The problem is if the used game is available a week after the new game is out for a $5 discount."