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January 20, 2011 // 2:03 am - 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."

Rumor: Sony to Combat PS3 Piracy with Blu-ray Disc Serial Keys

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#89 - petey006 - January 21, 2011 // 12:39 am
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Similar to PC, can't crack files be created?

#88 - rdurbin - January 21, 2011 // 12:18 am
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if this is true, for people that don't have internet they would prob do some kind of thing where you can call a number to activate your game, similar to what they do for some PC programs.

#87 - leukotic - January 21, 2011 // 12:14 am
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I seriously doubt Sony will do this. Not only would it be forcing people without internet to connect to Sony's servers to authenticate these keys for when they buy a new game, but it will also make renting PS3 games no longer possible. Since they keys will be like PSN games, they can only work on 5 different PS3's.

I doubt they can do this legally. Since not everybody has a internet connection. Which it seems like if you got a new game under this rumored possibility, you would be required to connect to Sony's servers to 'activate' your game with the license. And if you cannot activate it, you cannot play it. Also lets not forget used games.

Yeah, not gonna happen people.

#86 - cdubb9800 - January 20, 2011 // 11:39 pm
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so say i brought a game used that has been used 5 times? i don't get how this will work but i don't want to see the ps3 end up like the psp.

#85 - TheDevil - January 20, 2011 // 11:20 pm
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No doubt that Sony really needs a hug right now.

Sure it could happen but who is gonna pay the bill? Its a Sony system all right but the games are from other companies. Signed contracts. Accessability degrated? Additional restrictions bill? How much? No way!

It isnt that Sony dont have the cash. No doubt there. They could pay it all themselves but even then .. the question is what does the game companies think?

#84 - PSPSwampy - January 20, 2011 // 10:58 pm
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I don't see how can they implement the 5 times rule... unless this requires you to be connected to the internet. With the PS3 communicating with Sony servers - i.e. "Hey, i've been asked to play xxx game, here's the serial number, is it ok to continue?"

Quite a few people don't have internet connected PS3's - hows this going to affect them? A lot more people have blocked their PS3's from calling home - so they're screwed too (albeit, semi legitimately in sony eyes )

Still, it'll get released and about 5 mins later one of the supremely talented devs will break it!

Good times!

#83 - Rzeractor - January 20, 2011 // 9:51 pm
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Quote Originally Posted by fantasypower999 View Post
if this is true, i wonder what will happen to game rentals.

Haha that's a good point. First five hires only

#82 - hunterrr - January 20, 2011 // 9:49 pm
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So i'm guessing if you where to use a FTP server and transfer a file over, it would be a encrypted file from the disk? rofl

#81 - geurge - January 20, 2011 // 9:06 pm
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I didn't see anything on SKFU about this, is it a post, or did they email you personally?

#80 - LupintheThird - January 20, 2011 // 8:39 pm
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Quote Originally Posted by heartagram62 View Post
How will this system work if you don't have an internet connection?

It won't. And since only a percentage of PS3's in people's homes are internet-connected, there is no way Sony would do this.

Imagine the following: a consumer buys a regular, single-player PS3 game to play on their PS3 and they stick it in and it tells them they CAN'T play the game until it is connected to the Internet and/or requires the input of a verification code while online. The consumer, surprised and fuming, takes it back to the retail store, where he is told that he cannot return it because it's an opened new game, which is not eligible for refund.

The consumer (along with thousands, maybe millions of other offline PS3 users) use their computers to go on he Internet (just because they have their PCs online doesn't mean they want their systems to be) and bash Sony, boycott games, sell their PS3s, etc. etc. It would be an enormous shooting-self-in-foot affair for Sony to pull something like this, *especially* this late in the system's life. Huge mistake.

In short, this will never happen on the PS3. PS4? PS5? We'll see. (They could even add an always-on 3G/4G connection or something just for certification.) But definitely not PS3. This chick is toast. Sony will press on trying to fight the piracy through firmware updates, but games will continue to release as normal, much like they have on the Wii, where piracy is enormous.