150w ago - 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."
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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.
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.
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.
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.