Rumor: Sony to implement PC-style serial key system for PS3

Friday, 21st January 2011 16:30 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


A source close to PS3-sense is claiming Sony will introduce a serial key system for PS3 games, like the one already in place with PC games.

According to the site’s source, this is Sony’s way of closing the backdoor to its system, which was blown wide open by hacker GeoHot earlier this month.

The source said that new games released for PS3 will include a unique serial key related to the specific disc, which then must be entered for verification before the game can be played. The key can be entered up to five times before it becomes useless.

If true, this has at least two implications for genuine consumers: it will restrict how many time a game can be authenticated, not to mention the impact it will have on used PS3 game sales.

Sony has supposedly already updated PS3′s firmware with the new protection system, and is working on implementing it with new games coming out.

Older games without serial keys will, of course, still work the same.

We’ve sent a mail to Sony asking for confirmation.

Via TechEye.

Thanks, Robo_1.



  1. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    Hmmmm. I don’t like that I’d be limited to five times.

    What if my hard drive breaks, or I upgrade, more than 5 times? I’ve already upgraded twice. 3 more installs for my entire lifetime?!

    Also, what about rentals?

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Erthazus

    There is no point in that system AT all.

    When system was fully broken, they can hack that serial key.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Stephany Nunneley

    Okay. Edited. Links put in, and updated.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Psychotext

    I posted it in another news item, but this seems very similar to the patent that showed up before the PS3 was released:

    #4 4 years ago
  5. varsas

    This will only really work with games requiring online play; games can still be hacked to not require authentication.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Crysis

    Maybe, if you have to enter a key, it could be smart to lock the key with the disk so that the individual disk can be used unlimited times but you have to reenter the key every time you put it into new console.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Uncontested

    Can someone please kill this geohot faggot already so Sony stops making shit more difficult for everyone?

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    I don’t care about hacking, this is a major annoyance for genuine consumers!

    #8 4 years ago
  9. JonFE

    They could kill more than two birds with this stone: copied games, second-hand games and rentals.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. albo88

    that’s a real good idea as psn is free online like pc

    #10 4 years ago
  11. theevilaires

    SONY you’re stupid. Enough said.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. AHA-Lambda

    oh jesus christ draconian drm is here on consoles the end i nigh!!! D=

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Psychotext

    “Can someone please kill this geohot faggot already so Sony stops making shit more difficult for everyone?”

    It’s well past Geohot now. He hasn’t really done anything since the initial key leaks and the “scene” has moved on in leaps and bounds.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. DuckOfDestiny

    Sony, you’re now good buddies with Valve.

    Ask them nicely if you can just scrap your current system and use Steam.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. OlderGamer

    tbh I was wondering why they didn’t do this a long long time ago, across all systems.

    You put your number in, it syncs with your profile, and won’t work ONLINE w/o it syncing.

    Nothing you can do for offline sp games. They shouldn’t need a code to work. But this could drasticly cut down on second hand game sales for online MP games. Might get rid of or replace EA online pass and such.

    What does this do for rentals?

    I know ea games have limited online passes for renting. I think it allows you to play for a short period, then requires you purchase the game/use the code in booklet.

    I don’t see why the samething couldn’t work for renting.

    Thing is, and maybe I am missing something – how does this directly help sony or the PS3?

    #15 4 years ago

    They should just use cartridges in combination with a USB hardware dongle…

    #16 4 years ago
  17. MrBambinoDent

    This is what we get from hackers and pirates.
    May them all burn in hell

    #17 4 years ago
  18. pukem0n

    well, want to have a good online system without all that crap?

    get an xbox :D

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Dark

    No,sorry i’m a HARDCORE gamer.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. OlderGamer


    No your not, if you were the name and logo on the piece of plastic encasing the hardware wouldn’t matter to you.

    Your not hardcore, your a loyalist, pretty big difference really.

    #20 4 years ago

    @ 19:

    Then why aren’t you playing games right now, instead of writing on the internet?

    #21 4 years ago
  22. varsas

    @8: I don’t think it’s that annoying; most people will not need to enter the code more than once. In fact if the serial number is linked to a PSN account then there isn’t even the need to enter the code for multiple reinstalls.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    I don’t mind entering the code, I just don’t like the 5 time max limitation mentioned in the article.

    “The key can be entered up to five times before it becomes useless.”

    There’s a good chance with hardware failure and upgrades, this will be used up and this scares me that I won’t be able to play what I payed $60+ for in the distant future.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. NeoSquall

    Now console players will know what it feels like for PC gamers.

    Also, this system could be good if the key was also bound to my PSN account, thus not requiring other authentications

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Blerk

    This is officially ‘not very good’.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. OlderGamer

    Ya know what springs to my mind Doc?

    Xbox One. I bought a fair amount of the arcade games that came out here in the US. I also invested in games like Mechassult and a stable of other online games. But now those games and services are gone. MS pulled em when they felt it was time to focus on their newer system and its games. They restrutured LIVE and the arcade offerings, leaving me to rebuy the same games in order to even play em(because inorder to use xbox one arcade games they had to verify with the online servers to even launch).

    What I learned, really, was that I don’t own anything. None of us do. We simply buy the rights to use the games via the liscensing argreements. The rights to pull the plug or alter the service and or that contract always stays with the holder(Sony/Nintendo/MS/EA/Acti/etc).

    Its their show, we just buy tickets.

    I think Sony will refine their system if they go forward with something like this. Like Crysis said, prolly will be linked to your PSN/profile/account. Prolly only enter the number once and prolly will have unlimited acsess to it so long as Sony wants to keep the service going.

    I used to collect games. I have a wall long book case with shelf after shelf of old games. Now I see how foolish that is. Not only does old hardware wear out with even normal use(I am replacing my Dreamcast this weekend), but in the case of modern day gaming, they are very much dependant on online services being provided.

    Really it makes me feel as if there is little left to collect.

    I say bring on the cloud subscription based stuff, let me play and be done with it. Less hassle, more games, less price – no book case needed.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    Good insight. I too have a very much valued (personal value) of video games going all the way back to Atari 2600. It’s the non-online, mainly the cartridge ones, that I feel safe in knowing as long as the materials hold up, I can play these games with my someday grandchildren if I so desire.

    I think it really sucks that with the integration of online and digital distribution in gaming, we seem to be losing such rights in the long term.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. Rhythm

    Heh, I called this the day of the hack. Won’t make a slight bit of difference to piracy (in fact it might even encourage it) but it’ll kill pre-owned stone dead.

    In a move that will piss off 360 owners too, Acti and EA will make sure this requirement is carried across to 360 too

    #28 4 years ago
  29. blackdreamhunk

    ps3 was hacked a long time a ago

    #29 4 years ago
  30. DSB

    DRM is a declaration of failure. You’ve failed to preserve an attractive market for your products, and it’s supposedly being devastated by free copies, which are ultimately more reasonably priced according to your former marketshare.

    Pirates might be vicious and arrogantly selfrighteous in copying IPs as systematically at they do, but I genuinely think the problem is with the publishers themselves.

    I caved and bought two Games for Windows Live titles during the Steam sale – One HAD to be restarted no less than 4 times in order to complete updates to the DRM before it would play, the other had to be restarted 2 times. I left it at that and played something else, out of sheer spite.

    That’s such a completely ridiculous failure, and a gift to pirates everywhere, because they sure as fuck don’t harass their users anywhere near what these systems do.

    I have no sympathy for pirates and I won’t validate them by using torrents, but they’ve never had a stronger or more obvious justification for doing what they do. As an honest consumer you’re just being inconvenienced more than I can remember in almost two decades of gaming (except for very few shortlived, draconic measures) and you’re paying the exact same price for it.

    Not that the same thing applies to consoles, that are usually pretty convenient DRM machines for all involved.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Hunam

    If this is true it will tank all the progress sony has made in the last year and a half. Utter catastrophe awaits them.

    #31 4 years ago

    “I have no sympathy for pirates and I won’t validate them by using torrents, but they’ve never had a stronger or more obvious justification for doing what they do.”

    Being inconvenienced is no justification to steal anything.

    Theft is theft.

    Theft of a luxury good that you wouldn’t miss one bit if you lived your whole life without even hearing about it, is inexcusable and unjustifiable.

    #32 4 years ago
  33. topdoog1

    Rumors are still rumors.

    #33 4 years ago

    Actually, if you think games are bad.

    Have a look at this.

    Apple doesn’t even want you to see inside the product you’re supposed to own.

    #34 4 years ago
  35. sebbie16

    Gamefly will be screwed with this then. No point in renting a game if it can only be used 5 times.

    #35 4 years ago
  36. Filofax

    @34 Wonder how long it will be before we start seeing Pentalobular screwdrivers.

    #36 4 years ago

    Days, probably.

    #37 4 years ago
  38. Bond James Bond

    Sony lol.

    #38 4 years ago
  39. Anders


    #39 4 years ago
  40. Cee

    One of the reasons I jumped ship from PC gaming, when I decided to purchase a PS3 …was to escape all the PC bullshit copy protection methods.

    #40 4 years ago
  41. NeoSquall

    @40 Thank the pirate faggots who decided to jump ship to PS3… to escape all the PC bullshit copy protection methods.


    #41 4 years ago
  42. Cee


    #42 4 years ago
  43. Psychotext

    “Days, probably”

    The security bit set I have already has those. They’re not actually new, they’re just very rarely used.

    #43 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.