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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

LA Times Repeats "PlayStation Rental" Meme

So this was that woman spouting nonsense on Attack Of The Show:

Sony Corp. has patented technology that would prevent its PlayStation consoles from playing used, rented or borrowed video games — raising questions about whether the electronics and entertainment giant may attempt to redefine what it means to own something in the digital age.
-- Furor Over Sony Patent

Actually, as I've said repeatedly - I've read the patent and it doesn't say anything about the PlayStation. It's related to recordable media.

Sony has said little about the technology, patented in Japan in 2000, or how it might be deployed. But speculation over Sony's plans has sparked a furor online as game fans and consumer advocates fret that the company may incorporate it into the upcoming PlayStation 3 console, due to hit stores this fall.

Actually, they've come right out and said it's not true. Sadly, no "journalist" seems to care (since it would deep six this juicy rumor). You can read it here if you can't be bothered to take the two seconds to google it. Which you shouldn't feel bad about, since a professional journalist can't either.

Documents filed in April 2000 with the U.S. Patent Office describe a method of copy protection by which the game system would verify a disc as legitimate, register the disc to that particular game console, then wipe out verification data so the disc would be rendered unreadable in other PlayStations.

Where does this verification reside? On the disc? Once again, that would require a recordable Blu-Ray drive and a rewritable game medium ... neither of which the PlayStation 3 will have nor will it likely ever have. Maybe if the PS3 was using carts, I could buy into this. As it is, it doesn't take much logic to realize it doesn't fit. The original link to the patent is now long gone, so it's possibly even been withdrawn at this point.

My original post from almost a year ago outlines how something like this goes from rumor to news report ... and now the L.A. Times has kicked in as well.

Every time I read this ... I hear that screeching sound of game journalism scratching the bottom yet again. If a professional can't be bothered with ten minutes of actual fact checking, I don't know why I should expect anything more from anyone else on the subject.

Addendum: Let me be clear on this, just in case anyone gets it confused with any previous posts about Sony, etc. This isn't about Sony. Sony doesn't even factor into this. This is about the entire world of game news - from blogs to newspapers to television - getting facts so wrong that they can't adhere to the laws of physics. Unless someone else can explain how a non-recordable disc-based medium could possibly be so altered short of the console being armed with a straight edge razor to cut out the verification data ... because that's about what it would take. I would love to be wrong on this ... because much of the game "journalism" is trying to say that water is actually dry ... and most everyone is just nodding without much of an afterthought on it.

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Unknown said...

Stop with the Sony hatred already.


Just kiddin' ya.

Josh said...

nark nark :)

I wish I could forget about this one ... but people keep reporting it...

Greg Tannahill said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Greg Tannahill said...

The above deleted comment (which you will have read!) was a speculation about Sony changing its plans, and an offer to call Sony Australia and get the position from the (Australian) horse's mouth.

I have called Sony Australia.
Result: The technology is not implemented in the PS3.
Sony has not been warning retailers that PS3 games will not be able to be resold.

Rumour killed. (More than before.)


Josh said...

Yeah, I think Sony's actual statement was that they had no futher comment on the topic, official or otherwise. IOW, we're not and we never were doing this.

Congrats, Greg, you now officially have more journalistic integrity than several news-orientated blogs, several game news sites, Attack of the Show and the L.A. Times.

Greg Tannahill said...

Aw, dagnabbit. Journalistic integrity? And I just had these clothes cleaned.