I personally think that games will not be sold anymore at stores. Sorry to say it, Sony can easily just make every single new release a PSN release, even though we might be able to crack the signing mechanism, sony will still be able to see that it wasn't legitimatly downloaded under this PSN account. This is very similar to STEAM except every game will belong to the same company and wont go to any other company for that platform.
Gameflys and Gamestops will die... who the hell cares anyway, they are way overpriced and rip off customers big time when they buyback equipment. People will just have to go to walmarts and bestbuy to get the console.
I expected this... it's already been tested with the recent Madden games.
You can play single player/offline with the backup but to be able to access any online functionality you need to put a serial number in.
Whoever says that the serial is going to be disc specific is full of it. Those rumors used to go around about PC games every few years and it was always BS. We'll see a movement to 100% DLC before we see disc specific serial numbers.
In order for the system to work, they would need to do this for all the PS3 games, otherwise we could just use the old keys that the old games use.
So new and old games alike would have this requirement to connect to Sony for BD key authorization. There is no other way to do this without applying the new key system to every single game the PS3 has. otherwise there would be gaps and vulnerability's within the new system.
This is why the hackers said this is the final blow to Sony and that they would need to release new hardware to fix this. Because Sony can't just up and create a new key system without forcing people to have a internet connection just to play games. And since the older PS3's and older games don't mention anything about being forced to have a net connection to play, Sony would get owned in court if they tried this.
As for the PC game you mentioned, that is slightly irrelevant. Each game on the PC is a separate entity in the universe of PC gaming. And it doesn't matter what PC is used to play them. With PS3 games, we are limited to only playing these games on the PS3. The PS3 is a propitiatory piece of hardware owned and controlled by a single company, the PC is not.
It's Ok for each individual PC game to have different rules and requirements. Because if somebody doesn't want to abide by those rules, then they don't have to buy the game. What Sony would be doing is forcing every single PS3 owner to follow these new rules for every game they play, even though they didn't agree to it or were warned about these rules when they bought their games or hardware.
Note: I mentioned future games, not current. There's nothing stopping them putting an internet connection requirement on a future title - although the hackers will just circumvent it anyway and it'll only hurt the non internet capable or those who aren't reading through forums such as these.
There would be no legal recourse if it were outline on future titles only, if previous games were modified to this condition it could cause havoc but otherwise, Sony would have nothing to worry about. Even as your mention it's propitiatory hardware, if there wasn't the ability to change anything about the consoles, we'd still be on the first firmware with nothing else removed.
Remember: they have removed (as some people see it) vital parts of the inner workings of the console. Tacking on a new requirement on a system that fully supports it wouldn't cause headaches for anyone but the users mentioned above.
If it was limited to future titles, then they might be able to get away with it. But that would still make it so people who don't have a net connected PS3 would be forced to have a net connection to play them. And as I said before, those people didn't have this documentation/agreement when they bought their PS3. When they bought their PS3, it is supposed to play ALL PS3 games. And there is no mention of future titles requiring a internet connection to work.
Also I will repeat, they CANNOT do this without applying to it every PS3 game, old and new. Otherwise we could still keep using the old key system to hack the PS3 with any FW. Because if the old games with the old keys still work, then so will the homebrew with those old keys.
No matter what they do, the system will be hacked, whether a new protection was added to all games, or just new ones. By Sony's EULA they would only have to suggest it was a service to fit in with their current EULA and they CAN amend that in future updates to cover this.
This is along the lines of a forced update to play games, the average user will apply the forced update from the disc which will change the EULA that they must agree to suggesting the software may or may not require internet access.
I think it would be a dick move if Sony were to go that way about things and it would likely lead to more people on CFW's because even the average user will be able to see the benefits once they google about the PS3 changes.