GameStop Stock Suffers Loss After Sony’s Anti Used Game Patent Filing

Jan 8, 2013 by  

GameStop Stock Loss Sony PatentYesterday we reported that Sony had filed a patent for technology that would allow future devices – most likely the PlayStation 4 – to reject used games. Though many did not know such a technology was available, it did seem like a logical step in publisher’s ongoing battle against used game sales.

And, regardless of if the technology ever ends up making its way into the PS4, it appears that Sony has dealt a sizeable blow to one of the major purveyors of used games, GameStop. After the news broke of this anti-used game tech, GameStop’s stock closed with a 5% loss ($1.30 less than they opened with).

In the grand scheme of things a 5% loss isn’t much, and could be more indicative of the ever-fluctuating nature of the stock market, but the coincidence is hard to overlook. Yes, GameStop still deals in the sale of new games – and manages to snag a healthy selection of pre-order bonuses to incentivize purchases from their selection – but used games are also a very important part of their life stream.

In a similar fashion services like GameFly would be rendered almost useless unless subscribers could be guaranteed their copy was unplayed, which in most cases is unlikely. And then there is the question of whether or not used discs in general are banned, which could impact services like Netflix and RedBox.

The idea of blocking used games isn’t a new idea for Sony either, we reported on it early last year. But in that story we revealed that analyst Michael Pachter felt such a move would prompt GameStop not to sell the PS4, or its games, if Sony would enact such a measure against used games sales. And now that they’ve seen the impact just announcing such a patent has had, such a response seems all the more likely.

However, if Sony were to include such a measure in the PS4′s architecture they would invariably be “shooting themselves in the foot” as far as multiplatform competition goes. For example if Microsoft were to introduce the Xbox 720/Durango without such a measure they would once again have a leg up on Sony.

So, for now look at Sony’s patent as something of a preventative measure – something they are looking into, but may not end up using in a future console. But if they did, rest assured the impacts of such a move would be felt all over the gaming world.

Do you think that GameStop would go out of business if the PS4 featured this anti-used game technology? How would such a feature impact which next-gen console you purchase?

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Source: Yahoo Finance (via Kotaku)

Tags: GameStop, PS4, Sony

8 Comments

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  1. I’m thinking Sony are gonna lose a lot of customers, in this day and age people can’t just dish out the cash for games that are £40-£50, $50-$60. The used game market is huge, take this away from the youngsters and Sony have already lost half of their support. If this happens then they have already lost one potential customer.

  2. this has to be the worst idea Sony has ever thought of. You can guarantee me switching consoles if this takes effect

  3. game sales for sony products will drop like a rock. if ya dont buy the game within a few months of release it becomes harder to find a new copy(excluding really big releases) most of the time they stop production of new copies after a year. without used games i wouldnt own any vita games or about half my ps3 library.

  4. people need to realize that just cause sony has patent this doesnt mean they are going to use it… they patent technology all the time.

  5. Sony would not be the only one who puts this measure into practice. The used games market is a thorn in the side of pretty much every game developer. I can almost guarantee you that should such a move be made it would be simultaneous with Nintendo and Microsoft. Since the Wii U is already out and the new consoles from Sony and Microsoft are probably not too far behind I doubt this is anything that will happen in this generation. Furthermore, considering the market is shifting towards digital distribution the used games market may just end up dying anyways.

    • “Furthermore, considering the market is shifting towards digital distribution the used games market may just end up dying anyways.”

      it doesn’t have to. Stocks shifted towards digital distribution years ago. Is the “used stock” market dying? No way. There are millions of trades per day. The DCE is one way of digitally trading used games, modeled on the stock market. see slide deck if you want more info: http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/frystew-1158142-new-dce-content-owners-explan

  6. i dont see this actually happening….i’ve been hearing about this since ps2 was on its way to come out….they said ps2 wouldnt play used games… diddnt happen….they said ps3 wouldnt play used games…diddnt happen, aaaand im gonna go with the same for ps4 until i actualy see different, or actualy hear confirmation from sony themselfs, the tech itself even sounds scetchy at that, what if they hit a glitch in the early days of the system (like what has usualy happened with he last gen systems) that maby would cause retail discs to not play like there used….just saying is all, if something like that were to happen tha would be like a deathblow to sonys system for this gen….either that or a massive recall to take the tech out of the system…again, just sayin is all

  7. Boooooooooooooooooooooooo.

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