Sony Obtains Patent for Degradable Demos

When talk of a PSP Phone was recently revived, we were ecstatic. In fact, one of our editors leaped from his chair, stripped, and ran outside in his underwear shouting incoherent sounds of pure joy. His actions were a physical representation of how we feel when plans for a promising future Sony product come to light. However, we can’t help but have mixed feelings about their latest idea to pass through the US Patent Office.

Times are tough. It doesn’t take an econ major to see that the economy hasn’t exactly bounced back up. And to make matters worse, Sony has been making it rain with a magnitude of titles that, if games were allowed to compete, would undoubtedly win a few Olympic golds.

While those with disposible income to spare enjoy the most sought after games in recent history, the rest of us still have some recourse–we download the demos. That’s right–demos. You see, not only do they provide us with a substantial portion of the experience you would find in the retail game, but they do it an unlimited amount of times, and for free. That is why we love demos, and precisely why Sony hates them.

Sony’s latest creation comes in the form of “feature eroding video game demonstration software.” Basically, certain aspects of a demo degrade the more you play it. Say whaa?! Here, let us show you.

Hey, who ate my sword!?

The character in the picture above, who we can’t help but notice bears a striking resemblance to Kratos, has a full blown light saber sword ready to kick ass and take names. However, after four hours have passed, the sword mysteriously shrinks. That, friends, is the future.

The patent goes on to detail numerous possible implementations of this technology, including race tracks, vehicles, characters, and even “play sounds, haptic responses, brightness, intensity or color of visualization of game play” that become inaccessible to the player over time. Nothing is off limits. However, Sony will gladly give you these features back once a license is purchased for the full game, something not unlike a full game unlock we have already seen in action on many of the demos currently available in the PlayStation Store.

While we applaud Sony for this admirable display of innovation, we’re not exactly fond of the idea of being constantly reminded of our frugality every time we fire up a demo…for the 12th time this week.