170w ago - Sony is testing out a new anti-piracy system with the recently released title SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 for the PSP console.
Those seeking to go online with the game have to be validated via registration before doing so, therefore, pirated copies of the game will not be able to go online without the special voucher code.
To quote: "Any hopes today marks the beginning of the end of the rampant piracy seen on its PSP platform. SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3, released today, is Sony's first test at discouraging pirates from downloading PSP software.
Those who purchase SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 3 are now required to register the title through PlayStation Network before given access to online gameplay. UMD copies of the game will come with a voucher code that must be redeemed online, while digital copies will automatically register in the background. Those who buy a used copy of the UMD can purchase a PSN entitlement voucher for $20 to play online.
We spoke recently with John Koller, director of hardware marketing at SCEA, about this new initiative to combat piracy on PSP and when we may see it appear on other titles and platforms.
For SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 3 on PSP, players must now register to play online if they buy a retail copy. Will this security measure be put in place for all online PSP titles going forward? And could we see this being used for online PS3 titles as well?
John Koller: SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 is the first title to introduce the new online entitlement feature. As with many programs, we're investigating future opportunities, but we have no announcements to make on it at this time."
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Part of the problem is that Sony is hellbent on turning the PSP into a success. They're basically gnashing and biting at every person who has ever done anything to slight them as a way of blaming them for the lack of PSP sales. Pirates and people who buy games on eBay, Amazon or GameStop are the enemy as far as they're concerned. But since most pirates are savvy enough to get around these measures, or not care about losing online, it's only the second hand purchasers who get shafted.
This will surely work for stopping online game piracy, but used online games will be as good as dead, as those voucher codes are only going to work once. After that, the game probably won't work on another system.
It has been a successful method of combating piracy on PC games. Most popular online games do have private servers, but the gaming experience on such servers are usually out-dated and have tons of bugs and lag. Even if an official server file leak is ever released for a game server, it would just become out-dated quickly and you wouldn't have the latest, nice features of the real servers.
Private servers are unreliable as they are hosted by small groups of everyday people. Private servers often go offline or disappear at any moment, so if you plan on investing time in ranking up or obtaining valuable skills or items you can kiss them goodbye.
I've played a fair share of private servers on the computer, and they are all like this. Private server gaming experience is just lame compared to the real thing. Quit being cheap and pay for it.
I honestly never buy or rent any game that has been opened, so this doesn't make a huge difference to me. But, if I ever had a thought about renting a game before buying, it surely is gone now.
This method is only useful for online play. If the code was verified locally (meaning unlock codes to play offline-only games) you could just patch it. But with online games it has to be verified by the server so you can't do anything unless you have access to the server.
I don't like this approach. They must be rather desperate to resort to this.