Rumor: Sony to Combat PS3 Piracy with Blu-ray Disc Serial Keys
Previously we reported on a PSN ban rumor which was followed by speculation on preventing bans, and today Dutch site PS3-Sense (linked above) claims that according to SKFU Sony plans to combat PS3 piracy with Blu-ray disc serial keys.
Similar to what's been done with PC games in the past, when you buy a PS3 or PSN game you'll get a serial key with it which you can use up to 5 times.
This gives Sony a signal that you are authorized to play the game and that you have a legal copy of the game, and the serial key only works with the same Blu-ray disc with the same serial number.
To quote, roughly translated: "From a very reliable source (SKFU) we have heard a striking new feature of the PS3. The feature would be present even at the PlayStation Network but is currently still hidden.
It is a serial system which Sony will soon start working on. Since the root keys are on the street you can see every homebrew tool (including backup management) make it sound like it was made by Sony. This makes it so hard for Sony to detect and block gamers with backup managers.
The idea is that soon every Blu-ray disc, with a unique number, comes with a serial key. These serial keys then work only with the Blu-ray disc with a matching number.
Therefore, if you have bought a game and put it into your PS3 you will enable it using your serial key, and thus a signal to Sony indicates that you are authorized to play the game on your PlayStation 3.
Reportedly, any serial key may be used only five times, as many PlayStation Store downloads. Given the implementation, according to our source has already been done in the PlayStation Network, and three unknown input fields on the PlayStation Network indicates the probability that this system will be introduced is enormous."
A unique serial number for each BluRay game, eeh? Won't be hard to "crack" if a copied game is in the Internet + serial key and we can start it from XMB. If they put the unique key on the BD, and the BD get dumped the "unique" key is already in the dump, so everyone who want to play this game (offline) use the same key - should solve the problem.
BS. Game BDs (like movie BDs) are stamped, not burnt: this means every single disc is identical. In order for a UID to be added to each disc, either every disc would need to be burnt rather than stamped (read: not going to happen), or a new BD disk technology would need to be developed that adds a laser writeable region to each stamped disc. Due to the manufacturing process of stamped discs, this would be incredibly expensive. Not only would all stamping equipment in use need to be replaced, the process would take much longer and have many additional QC steps.
I call bogus. If not bogus, then at least useless. That would mean that EVERY ps3 needs a high speed Internet connection just to play a game. What about those ps3 owners without Internet access? And let's not forget that with the custom firmware abilities, it would be quite possible for devs to examine the contents of the disc and extract the key. Or patch so any key is accepted. that solution would be inevitable for any offline ps3 backups.
As for connecting to psn, how about random software keygen? Or spoofing a registered ps3's system ID? Some of this may be difficult but not impossible. The ps3 is more wide open and capable than the original xbox was, and look at all that was possible there! All that could be done was a ban from xbox live. I'm sure disc serial keys will pose no threat.