Is Sony Planning to Thwart PS3 Pirates with Blu-ray Serial Keys?

What if Sony took a page from Microsoft and required you activate games on your PlayStation 3 before playing? Or not just games, how about Blu-ray discs--movies, games, software, whatever--in general?

It's just a rumor, but Dutch site PS3-Sense writes Sony may be planning just that, possibly in response to a recent root-key hack that reportedly lays the PS3's security routines bare.

Citing "a very reliable source," the site outlines a new serial-key authentication process whereby Blu-ray disc games would be paired to PlayStation 3 units, authenticating against Sony's servers. The site adds that each serial key would only be usable up to five times.

Kind of like Sony's PlayStation Store, then. As I understand it, you can download something from the PlayStation Store as many times as you like, but only activate it on up to five discrete PS3s.

The Blu-ray serial would function similarly, claims PS3-Sense: Pop the disc in up to five different PS3s, then you're done. In the unlikely event you'd ever burn through five systems and have to purchase a sixth, you'd have to buy a new copy of the max-activated Blu-ray game as well.

Think about the implications if any of that's accurate. Not just for pirates, who deserve to be shut out, but legitimate owners (and, some might claim, legitimate hackers).

Used games? Those days are over. Players who don't (or can't) connect their systems to the Internet to authenticate? Locked out, too.

Would you buy a PS3 if games had use-limited security tags? What about games in general? Are we glimpsing the future of media, sold as a service (instead of a good) you don't really own? Media that you can only use in specific circumstances and that's non-resalable?

Note that I'm basing my read on Google's translation of the site. Don't jump off a cliff yet, or you know, mistake any of this for fact. For all I know, it's a ploy to make Sony look bad by putting bad info on the wire, or fudge the details to make the process sound more despotic than it is.

Source: PS3-Sense

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