Entertainment retailers are expected to start using a new radio-activated lock on games, DVDs and other disc-based merchandise by Q4 2010 to help curb the three-figured discount some patrons give themselves.
The device is expected to save the retail industry $6 billion annually, according to a report from the Entertainment Merchants Association titled “Project Lazarus: Study of Benefit Denial.”
Sean Bersell, EMA’s VP of public affairs, told Gamespot that this has nothing to do with DRM or anything like it. Instead, the new device makes the disc unusable until it is unlocked by the cashier at the register.
“This is not about DRM or other coding of the discs,” he said. “The technology to which we are referring would be a physical lock that is opened via radio frequency at the point of sale. (Think of a key card that unlocks a door.) And this is not about fighting piracy (illegal reproductions), but rather fighting shrink (theft of legitimate goods).
“The purpose is to make it easier for the consumer to purchase the product and enabling additional retail channels that have significant shrink issues to carry the product.”
Publishers are a bit wary of the technology at the moment, but the EMA says that training store clerks to use it and manage stock better is where it’s at.
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