Sony's "Degradable" Video Game Demo Patent

Sony has patented a new form of trial or demo for video games that, rather than presenting us with a small piece of a title, gives us the whole thing, then takes bits away as time goes on.

After playing a demo for a certain amount of time, or having completed a set number of turns or actions, the product would begin to gradually remove content, eventually compelling the consumer to buy the game in order to keep playing. The above picture, in which a player's weapons are downgraded, does a pretty good job of displaying this.

Another scenario is the one below, in which a driving game's tracks are removed one by one.

It's... well, it's a great idea. Provided the means to bypass the degradation routines aren't easily or commonly broken, it's a much better way for developers and publishers to let people experience their product than current demo limitations allow.

Of course, it would also mean 10-40GB downloads instead of 1GB ones, but included is the possibility of returning the demo to physical media, so that's one feasible option.

Sony Patents Degradable Video Game Demos [Siliconera]


    I think these big companies just hire a team to throw random patents around, so if someone in the future, somehow, uses something like theirs, they can sue.

      thats how patents work mate and then someone else tries to make there product as close as possible without infringing so they dont have to pay loyaltys

      although i can tell you many a story of the reverse where a little guy patents something and the big companies wanted it so the basically copy it minus one or 2 features and say nah yours was to do this ours is to do that even tho any moron can tell they do the same thing

    Also, potentially, if the demo is the entire game (10-40GB) all that would be required after purchase is an unlock patch. So you would just be downloading it before buying it, rather than after.

    Maybe then the PSM magazine will have demos on the disc, instead of just video!'s basically a high tech return to the old days of shareware?

    That's a really bad idea. Give the fence sitters an ever worsening example of gameplay and content. Brlnt!

    I would hate to see this in Australia, where our Internet quotas, speed and pricing doesn't keep pace with the rest of the world. Up until a couple of months ago that would mean asking my Download limit or more for one Demo I could potentially turn into a full game. Also, how do we store these things with the standard HDD being 60 GB? It's an interesting idea and I like it as a concept, but the execution will be deeply, deeply flawed.

      standard HDD is 60 atm which is partly MS stupid fault anyways

      as for downloading them one would assume that sony would install content servers in differnet countries charge users for a small access fee and then get the internet companies in australia to make it unmetered content(which so long as it come of an australian based server wouldnt be very costly and if the access fee covered blanket access youd be right)

      Or just go with internode they love unmetered contebt

    This a very interesting development as one of the exsisting forms of copy protection is to degrade the game over time. This has been the case since the year 2000.

    The whole idea of the approach being that cracked versions degraded over time. Ie someone released a crack for the game solving the first instance of checking in code and thus was released but the the rest of the game took note of this and reduce features.

    The original form of this copy protection was discontinued because of word of mouth. Gamers were reported as bugged amongst the online community who assumed the crack was successful. Nevermind that people who had legitimately bought the game and therefore had no problems, this turned out to be amongst the vocal minority.

    The whole point behind this degradation form of copy protection is the crackers only focus on the immediately breakable. If a copy protection only occurs at a single point in a released title the easier it is to crack.

    This is a common theme amongst copy protection. If a copy protection is interwoven with the game play code it is much harder to detect.

    Copy protection really is a two edged sword. The companies that get it right following the above method for copy protection get blasted in the forums for having a buggy game, when in reality the only reason its buggy is because it is is an incomplete crack for a pirated game. The last half of the previous sentance is ignored and its spread through out the community the game is buggy.

    I guess the moral of this rant is that deliberately degrading the game over time is more often taken as a bug then a legimate copy protection scheme.

      and damn no chance to edit after submimtting with bad grammer and spelling. That will teach me for submitting half asleep

    The fact that they need a patent to do this is just crap. Just do it... who cares!

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