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Sony Patents Game Demos That Rot Over Time

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 40 comments

Perhaps this means that those who do speedruns don't have to buy the full thing.

Game demos have long been a way for gamers to try before they buy. Of course, demos often give us only a very small small, often crippled slice of what the full game is like. Sometimes the demo offers a mid-game look, leaving us disoriented in relation to story. Sony's patented a solution to this: give gamers the full game that will rot over time.

According to Siliconera, Sony's patent covers a concept whereby gamers are given the full or nearly-complete game that will slowly have its features removed or disabled as playing time goes on.

Such 'degrading' features include a decrease in weapon level, or the removal of stages and tracks from a racing game. The patent also covers the amount of feedback the players get, as the system can also soften sound effects, change the color depth and brightness of the display.

The delivery of a near-full version of the game would certainly change means of distribution, making downloads of near-capacity Blu-ray Disc games impractical – but we've all lived through a time when demos came on floppies and CDs. Perhaps a purchasable online code would be able to unlock the full game without requiring the gamer to go through a retailer.

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  • 23 Hide
    eklipz330 , March 5, 2010 10:53 PM
    sounds stupid
  • 19 Hide
    weegee64 , March 5, 2010 11:09 PM
    Yeah, give people the entire game download for free, so then all they have to do is download a crack when the game starts degrading, instead of having to get the entire file. Great idea, Sony.
  • 18 Hide
    scione , March 5, 2010 10:55 PM
    wow this is a bad idea, so many ways this could be abused
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    eklipz330 , March 5, 2010 10:53 PM
    sounds stupid
  • 18 Hide
    scione , March 5, 2010 10:55 PM
    wow this is a bad idea, so many ways this could be abused
  • 8 Hide
    idisarmu , March 5, 2010 11:05 PM
    As long as the games don't come with internet-always-on DRM, I'm impressed.
  • 19 Hide
    weegee64 , March 5, 2010 11:09 PM
    Yeah, give people the entire game download for free, so then all they have to do is download a crack when the game starts degrading, instead of having to get the entire file. Great idea, Sony.
  • 11 Hide
    sigma3d , March 5, 2010 11:10 PM
    more rooms for hackers
  • 5 Hide
    TheDuke , March 5, 2010 11:38 PM
    seems unnecessary
  • 5 Hide
    Honis , March 5, 2010 11:41 PM
    You guys are thinking in terms of PCs. In terms of consoles (PS3 especially) this is genius since you can get into the game, then grow generally weaker and then popup! "Do you want to buy the game through PSN?" It will also let you use the character data and saves from the demo, which is nice. It's genius for the PS3 because that console is notoriously hard to crack. Besides, if the consoles hardware DRM is cracked, they can download the game and play it anyway.

    Any demo that lets me play the actual game, even if it's for a shortened time, is fine by me.
  • -2 Hide
    qwoz , March 5, 2010 11:46 PM
    As soon as these come out they are going to be cracked. Once that happens people will have no reason to buy the game, they will already have it =). at least the dishonest ones
  • -6 Hide
    qwoz , March 5, 2010 11:48 PM
    Hey sony, how about just give out all your games for free and if people like it, you will get donations.
  • 6 Hide
    nforce4max , March 5, 2010 11:54 PM
    This is already amounting to the "retarded" year in gaming.
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , March 6, 2010 1:09 AM
    Dang, this is a fun game... let me play a few levels...

    wow... this is fun... I'll play for a few hours now, and again when I get up in the morning...

    Morning comes...

    I know I drank a little last night, these graphics aren't so good... the sound stinks... I thought I had better gear yesterday... Whatever, I'm not buying this game.
  • 1 Hide
    tpi2007 , March 6, 2010 1:28 AM
    They were granted a patent for this ?

    How briliant is this idea anyway ? So when another developer tries to do the same thing, they can't unless they pay Sony ? There is absolutely nothing new in this idea, nothing clever, no miracle programming here, it's just a simple time quality implementation.

    What kind of stupid patent system allows for such a patent ?
  • 0 Hide
    allengorden , March 6, 2010 1:42 AM
    You would do it too, if Sony belonged to You.
  • 4 Hide
    maigo , March 6, 2010 2:21 AM
    *facepalm* They KNOW they can't give out the full game, it'll just be cracked
  • 2 Hide
    aletoil , March 6, 2010 3:40 AM
    And this will take speed runs to another level. Stupid idea.
  • 3 Hide
    demonhorde665 , March 6, 2010 5:33 AM
    i think it is stupid sony was allowed to patent this idea , time based demos are nothing new ther have been quite a few pc gmae demos that were time based (( suually 2d flash based game))
  • 0 Hide
    lee3821 , March 6, 2010 5:42 AM
    I think if it works properly, this will be nice. I personally don't purchase a game without a demo, even if it means pirating and then going back and paying for it. TBH, the people who pirate will always pirate. This won't make it much harder to do that...
  • 2 Hide
    rags_20 , March 6, 2010 8:42 AM
    Bad idea. It could be easily cracked. Makes a little sense if they exclude multiplayer components.
  • 2 Hide
    aethm , March 6, 2010 10:37 AM
    I don't know how this is a "new" idea. It's just a time based demo with a twist. Time based demos have been around for 20 years.
  • 2 Hide
    Ridik876 , March 6, 2010 3:41 PM
    Why do people keep saying it will be cracked? Of course it will. But how is that ANY different from what the current state is. People are going to crack the full games anyway...how is this any more accessible? It's not. I think it's a great idea for the honest consumer. This dishonest one is getting the game free anyway, demo or not.
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