Cracking Down On Piracy

I just read this interesting article on the future of the gaming industry. Its all about how companies like Microsoft and Sony are coming out with new consoles that don’t let you buy games but rather “rent them”. They are hoping to combat the used gaming industry by requiring people to only buy new games online. Some of this has already been seen in a few games like the new Call of Duty and Batman games, which give you a code along with the new version of the game. For example, this code for the new batman game unlocks the entire “catwoman” story line and in Call of Duty it unlocks a quarter of the maps. Gamers who choose to buy a used version of the game get screwed because this code only works once. The companies say these efforts are used to try and combat the use of pirated versions of the games.

However, in the next coming years Microsoft and Sony will one-up these efforts by coming out with a counsel that requires gamers to purchase copies online without any sort of disc. The new xbox 720 by Microsoft is reportedly requiring users to have a constant Internet connection going to the counsel to prevent piracy. The reason being, any data or information being uploaded on the counsel will have to be screened by Microsoft to check for validity. If it doesn’t pass the test, it doesn’t get uploaded.

Although I agree that piracy has gotten out of hand I believe these measures are too extreme. Firstly, by completely changing their counsel, games from previous counsels will no longer work. This means that gamers will have to completely re-buy every game, which as game prices increase could mean dropping $100 dollars on a game in the near future. Furthermore, requiring users to have an active Internet connection means that not everyone gets to use these counsels anymore. Finally, the biggest problem I see with these security measures is that if a human created them a human can find a way around them. As we have seen time and time again as the technology gets better so does the piracy. There will always be ways gamers get around these protections and by limiting the market to only those who have an active Internet connection the companies are only hurting themselves. I mean if Anonymous was able to completely crash Sony’s online system for months I think hackers will easily find a way around these restrictions. As for me, I think I am just going to rock out my xbox 360 until they finally create the matrix.


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