A patent filed by Sony could mean the next version of the PlayStation would be able to block pre-owned games without the need for an internet connection. The patent was unearthed by folks at NeoGAF, who discovered that a patent Sony Computer Entertainment Japan filed for in September 2012 could conceivably stop a person from using a pre-owned game on the next PlayStation (codenamed Orbis) by using the game disc’s RFID tag. Basically, the game disc would be able to remember if it had been used on another system first, and therefore would be locked, even if the previous owner had never played it while connected online.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Sony will outright ban used games; there are other uses for the feature, including just locking multiplayer or other features off, and Sony Computer Entertainment America‘s President Jack Tretton has specifically denied that they’d ban people who bought used games from playing.
This is an issue that we’ll continue to hear about: Microsoft’s Xbox 360 successor (codenamed Durango) could apparently also be capable of blocking used games, as developers look to alternatives to “Online Passes” to make money off used game sales — usually the profits from those sales go straight to the seller, whether it’s an individual or GameStop.