Are PS3 Games Getting Serial Numbers? We Sincerely Hope Not

Sony is currently embroiled in a lawsuit against hackers who have managed to completely circumvent the PS3's security system. While that could be bad news for them, there could also be bad news in store for all of us.

According to sources speaking with Dutch site PS3-Sense, Sony is preparing to implement a "serial code" security system for future PS3 game releases. This would operate much in the same way serial codes do for PC titles: each PS3 game would include a long code in the box that would have to be entered in order to play or install a game, and in this case that code could be entered on up to five consoles.

While this may slow pirates down temporarily (as they'll surely find a way around it), it will definitely annoy consumers, not to mention retailers. What would happen to pre-owned game sales? What would happen when games can't be loaned out amongst friends?

Those are two important hurdles lying in the path of any such plan. Contacted for comment, Sony tells Kotaku, "We are looking at a few options" but are "not ready to confirm our next steps yet".

[PS3-Sense, via Edge]


    Oh look at that, when a game is on both xBox and PS3, the xBox version will sell and the serial coded PS3 version won't... and Sony will turn around and blame their poor sales on piracy.

    I used to be a Sony fan, but they are making themselves hard to like.

      Doubt it I could see the 360 jumping on it as well after a while to avoid piracy as well(if it could prevent said piracy that Is

      Also see developers wanting to push this kind of idea because it would kill the second hand games market

        having recently seen some of US gamestop's (iirc) new vs used sale figures, dev's would love this.

        imho the only true 'losers' in this situation are those that like to trade/sell their old games or those that make money from that side of the industry.

        CD keys are 'accepted' on the PC because of the piracy aspect, im pretty much assuming they will be on consoles soon enough.

        like the l4d2 'boycott', i can see a few people making a lot of noise, and then they'll buy the games anyway because being left out sucks....

      It's a freaking rumour. Until Sony actually announce it, condemning them for it is ridiculous.

    Why would they? It would only be annoying for consumers, at a time when there are many options this is really going to kill off their system. It might work with exclusive games as consumers will have no other choice, but any multi-platform game will get shunned.

    Way to kill off the second-hand game market.

      Why would Sony care about that? They'd actually regard that as a massive benefit of this, not a problem.

        Sony don't make games do they? They make hardware, so their drive is to sell as much hardware as possible. There are people put there who would not go out and buy the most expensive console on the market if they knew they were not going to be able to make savings on game purchases via second hand games.

    Having both xbox and ps3, I usually buy ps3 games as my version (as the ps3 is in a position to be more easily accessible in the house) but this would definitely sway me to buy more xbox360 games than ps3...

    And I doubt I'm the only one in this boat.

      Your not the only one.

      I have both and I predominantly purchase on PS3 too. That would change overnight if this happens.

    This is completely and utterly stupid. My understanding is that because the keys are out there already it means that anybody can sign anything they want and run it. So theoretically it would be possible for hackers to rip out the checks for the serial numbers, re-sign the altered version and carry on without the serial number?

    The end result being that the pirated version is not only cheaper, it's actually objectively BETTER than the legitimate version, so the only people being punished here are legitimate consumers who actually bought the game instead of pirating it.

    Does anybody have any idea just how prevalent piracy has become since the hack came out? If it isn't absolutely rampant then this is just massive overkill.

    And what are they going to do for all those people who don't have their PS3 connected to the internet?

      That internet comment is important.
      I went a long time unable to have internet once and if it happened again...

    somehow I see this encouraging hackers rather than deterring them

    As a long time PC owner, I don't see the issue. I don't see a solution either. I only buy games new, and only have one ps3 (I know, I know, I'm poor) and there'll inevitably be keygens which will lead to DRM, and then the circle will be complete.

    Sucks when it's on the other foot doesn't it.

    Article about someone doing piracy on Kotaku > A lot of comments about that person being an idiot. Piracy is illegal blah blah blah.

    Article about a company trying to prevent loss by introducing a way of slowing or stopping piracy > A lot of comments hating the idea and whinging because it may affect them.

    Don't believe this will come to fruition but if it does, Sony will be pretty much universally reviled. Pirates would find a way around it pretty easily and legitimate consumers would have to be momentarily inconvenienced.

    Yep, momentarily inconvenienced. Doesn't sound like much (and it isn't, all told) but a hell of a lot of console users won't like it in the least. Yes, it takes a minute or two to sort but it separates the PS3 from the competition in a bad way.

    Unless the others do it too. Unfortunately if it's successful enough at stopping used sales it could happen.

    I highly doubt this is anywhere close to being true. What happens in the future when the ps4 is on the market and the ps3 is becoming obsolete, does that make it impossible to play games if the network is shutdown?

    Or what happens if you cant get online, how does the ps3 validate the code is working and hasnt gone over the 5 console limit? Not to mention you'll need a firmware update to actually implement the new system.

    There's too many problems with it for it to make any effect at all.

    I purchased a brand new copy of Borderlands game of the Year Edition (with all DLC included) from EB (it's on sale) Got it home and all my DLC codes where pre-used. Took it back to EB, while getting the exchange the manager started telling the staff to take the codes out as they get stolen.

    I piped up that I couldn't agree more, he looked at me and I explained I purchased a game and all the codes where pre-used. Now EB can mark that off as Defective, but it sure as hell annoys the legitimate end consumer, that I need to make two trips for a single game.

    What's this?!

    You mean I'm going to have to waste 30 seconds of my precious gaming time to insert a code? Surely you must not be serious!??

    I suppose we all have GeoHotz and associates to thank for all this. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

      It'd take me alot longer then 30 seconds to enter a serial key on a gamepad.

      Also, I seem to remember readind somewhere that lending games/movies to friends is actually an infringment of coppyright as when you but it they licence it for your personal use only or something like that. It's just they have never found a practical way of enforcing such a stipd law.
      Anyone know if this is right?

    See I know you guys think its a dick move from Sony. I feel the same. But you can't say you didnt see it coming.

    I said before that tighter security and DRM WILL be implemented due to the modding community. Sure people keep saying that modding should be allowed because its their PS3 and they can do whatever they want with it blah blah blah...

    but at the end of the day, just because someone you don't even know wants to mod their ps3...ALL OF US will inevitably be affected negatively...

    Its of course easy to support the little guy who takes on a big corporation, but its better to see things logically and choose who we support based on rational thinking

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