Sony Deploys New PSP Anti-Piracy Strategy

February 20, 2010Written by Steven Garcia

It’s no secret that Sony’s first foray into portable gaming has unfortunately been plagued by an aggressive barrage of piracy. We know this. Developers know this. Sony knows this. However, the one thing that seems to elude everyone affected is how to stop it. With the recent release of SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 3, Sony hopes to deliver a solid solution that will succeed where countless firmware and hardware revisions have failed.

Anyone wanting to shoot it up online with the latest installment of the PSP franchise will first have to register the game through the PlayStation Network. While digital copies will do this automagically, UMD versions of the game are packaged with an activation code. “But what if I buy it used,” you ask? Well, Sony’s gotcha covered and is ready and willing to serve you up another activation code–for a small $20 fee, of course.

Now before you go grab your pitchfork and set out to round up a posse, we should tell you John Koller, director of hardware marketing at SCEA, stopped by IGN to set the story straight, saying:

Today’s consumers are more tech savvy and better connected to the internet than ever before. Piracy continues to be an issue of concern for the PSP platform. SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 is a trial run for a new initiative we are exploring for the platform. We will continue to explore this as an opportunity for the platform going forward, but we have no announcements to make on future iterations at this time.

Despite this being merely a “trial run” –wink, wink, nudge, nudge–, we wouldn’t totally dismiss the notion of every forthcoming online title implementing this feature, unless, of course, reception from the gaming community is extremely negative; a completely possible scenario. Still, it’s interesting to see how Sony has managed to not only find a viable way to combat piracy, but also capture a portion of the revenue from used game sales.

How this will ultimately affect the used game market gives birth to many unanswered questions. Will a used copy of such a game don a lower price tag to reflect the added burden of having to purchase a new activation code? Surely Sony doesn’t expect Gamestop and co. to eat the costs themselves, do they? Also, will consumers be less likely to purchase UMDs knowing they’ve been somewhat inherently devalued? Go ahead and sound off in the comments below, or hit up the source link for the full interview while we all patiently wait for this story to develop.

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