Sony has recently filed a patent, named 20130007892, that could spell the end for used games, at least for the PS4. The patent, filed back in 2010, and more recently, in 2012, states that an RFID ID stamp on a game could restrict the game to one console, much like how you can download a Nintendo game on the Wii U, but it is limited to only the Wii U itself or an external hard drive used to store the game.
How would this RFID ID stamp work? Well, everything will essentially be performed offline, therefore not being limited to people who have connected their consoles online. Once the game disk is inserted, the console will check to see if the RFID ID stamp has been associated with any other account/console, and if so, the game will be rendered unplayable.
Of course, this is the most extreme use of an RFID ID stamp; a less major function may be to simply limit some features of the games, such as online play. If this is the case, a sort of “pass” code can be given at a price in order to unlock some of the locked features of the game due to an incompatible RFID ID stamp.
This is, of course, not the first time that Sony has been rumored to fire back at used game sales. As some of you may know, used game sales hurt the game developers/publishers quite a bit, as a small percentage, if any, of used game sales revenue goes towards them, the rest going into the pockets of retailers. With this said, the PS3 was rumored at one point to refuse used games, but there have yet to be any action for the console as of yet. With the next generation Playstation set to release sometime late 2013, however, Sony may be utilizing this new method with the PS4.
You can read the patent here.