Sony patent hunts game pirates through load times

Captain Scarlett - Borderlands 2
Should game pirates be concerned?

Game pirates, consider this your shot across the bow. Sony is looking for ways to figure out who you are, and is looking at game loading times as one way to pinpoint your mischievous activities.

According to a patent filed by Sony, and discoverd by NeoGaf, gaming hardware could benchmark the loading times for media (both digital and physical) and block users who's times fall outside what is considered to be within "an acceptable threshhold".

"For example, if an authentic game title is distributed exclusively on BDs having a total benchmark load time of 45 seconds on a game console BD drive, the acceptable range of load times could be from 40 to 50 seconds. Thus, a total measured title load time of 4 seconds would be outside of the acceptable range of total load times for a legitimate media type."

Keep your receipts

There's no indication in the patent filing to what "block user" refers to, whether Sony plans to excommunicate these naughty boys and girls from the PSN all together, or just block the execution of the game files for that particular pirated title.

Whether Sony could manage to make this system fool-proof is anyone's guess, though it is easy to imagine the unending forum posts complaining about Sony blocking users who were attempting to play legitimately acquired games.

There's also no firm indication Sony will forge ahead with this anti-piracy measure with the PS4, though it wouldn't be the only controversial decision Sony will make if it does. There is still loads of questions needing answers about software on the next-gen console, including whether Sony intends to let gamers play second hand games, or not.