Latest SOCOM PSP Release Features Piracy Fighting Tech

With the release of SOCOM: U.S. Nave SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 for the PSP this week, Sony has implemented a new way to fight piracy on its handheld.

As detailed on IGN, those who purchase a physical copy of the SOCOM title will need to register the game on the PlayStation Network using a supplied voucher code in order to play SOCOM online. Those who download the game digitally will have their copy automatically registered in a background operation.

Anyone who purchases a used physical copy of the game will need to pay Sony $20 for a PSN entitlement voucher to play it online. A note on the back of the game box states: “Includes voucher for online play. The voucher can be redeemed by only one PSN account and cannot be transferred or sold.”

Sony’s Director of Hardware Marketing John Koller answered a few questions from IGN about the new scheme.

On whether this technology might also make its way to the PlayStation 3 in the future:

As with many programs, we’re investigating future opportunities, but we have no announcements to make on it at this time.

How does Koller think PSP users will react to the new tech?

From our research, this will be received quite positively. Remember, piracy affects more than just the creators of the game. It also affects the consumers who purchase titles expecting a high-quality gaming experience.

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  1. sharpshooterbabe says:

    I love the SOCOM game series. But in order to stop piracy, Sony says that if anyone is wanting to play this game online, they will have a voucher on the back of the game to register this game w/an PlayStation account & only one. Then pay $20 to them to play it online. But if I get this game, I won’t have to do that, since I don’t have wifi on my PSP slim 3000. So wouldn’t the game still be considered piracy by hooking it up to something & getting the data off of it somehow? I know there are ways to do it, but then I don’t know how that would work.



    "It’s better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." – Montgomery Gentry

  2. Flamespeak says:

    I thought Deus Ex was pretty good, so did the bulk of people who played it. The sequel was pretty much garbage in a box though.

    I was actually trying to say we have a retarded amount of review sites (both user and editor point of views) that can help people decide on whether or not to purchase a game.

  3. Flamespeak says:

    Been having that mentality for games for over 20 years before Gamestop and the like surfaced. In the day and age of instantly finding out the merits of a video game by doing some research on it, there really is no excuse for you to be totally suprised by the content of a video game at this point.

    Not saying, ‘Gamestop and second hand sales should be stopped’ or anything, but I am saying that your logic of buying a game and it suprising you with poor content is kind of a weak point.

  4. FlakAttack says:

    Well, if you mean "hey, pirate the game and find out what it’s like" then yeah, I’ve done that a few times. If you mean "check out this manufactured demo that doesn’t really play like the game at all while watching these god awful gameplay videos" then no, your argument is weak.

    Example: I downloaded Spore. It sucked, I deleted it. I downloaded Mass Effect. I liked it but didn’t want to buy it because of DRM so I just didn’t play it… but then they got rid of the DRM and I purchased it soon after. This is how I make a lot of purchasing decisions actually.

    But you’re saying it’s impossible to be surprised with poor content? What about the fantastically reviewed Deus Ex, that turned out to be a piece of shit? If I had bought that I would have been pissed… or the aforementioned Spore, which had shown gameplay vastly different from the actual contents, and had no demo? I could go on and on with examples but it’s past 11pm and I really don’t care that much. Point is, being surprised by poor gameplay does happen.

  5. FlakAttack says:

    But if you had actually paid attention to the DRM issue, it has nothing to do with piracy at all. This is meant to stop used game sales, just like the Ubisoft system, just like Steam and Direct 2 Drive, just like the PSP Go. These things are all ineffective at stopping piracy, but they seriously put a dent in used games.

    AKA buy a game and you don’t like it? LOL TOO BAD

  6. jedidethfreak says:

    Yes, but if you read the news post, you’d know that the scarecrow is a pirate.  I thought it was hilarious, as the scarecrow mimics – almost word for word – stuff that’s been said here on GP by pirates and piracy apologists.

    You KILL Vampires. You don’t DATE them.

  7. hellfire7885 says:

    This isn’t about piracy or copyright protection, this is about attempting to destroy used game sales. That’s all DRM is about and all DRM will ever be about.

  8. Flamespeak says:

    PSP has a few really solid titles and the Monster Hunter series is phenomenal (personal opinion), it is also a solid MP3 player, has internet radio that is decent, is a good multimedia device, Skype compatible, in some countries it also operates as a GPS device.

    It is quite the capable machine for its price. The PSP Go on the other hand….

  9. Flamespeak says:

    I know of a few companies that refuse to touch the system because of how high the piracy rate of it is. For example, Pandemic (who made God of War and Starwars Battlefront, the two most popular games, for the handheld) have pretty much abandonded the system for this very reason.

    Sad thing is, the PSP is still quite the beast of a handheld, but good games for it are sparse. Of course, I can’t blame developers for wanting to avoid, back when I played Resistance online with it, I ran into more people that openly admitted to pirating it than buying it.

  10. Father Time says:

    I thought it caused scurvy.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  11. aIM hERE says:

    It’s not about inserting your own ‘editorial opinion’ – you’re reprinting Sony’s obviously ludicrous spin straight up as if it was fact – not just reporting on what was said.

    There aren’t even quotes around ‘piracy fighting tech’ in the headline, for instance, and the very first sentence states boldly that "Sony has implemented a new way to fight piracy on its handheld.", without even qualifying it by saying that this is just what Sony is saying.

    You might as well just have reprinted Sony’s very own press release.

  12. DarkSaber says:

    See my response below for the likely reason why they chose not to here compared to the 99% of articles they DO put some opinion into.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  13. FlakAttack says:

    Typically I want to smash your face in with a hammer, but you are so spot on with this it’s unbelievable. The ECA is bullshit, and I am still glad that to this day, I have provided them no funding whatsoever.

    When they decide to stand up for consumer rights, I’ll take another look at it. But DRM, marked or not, is never acceptable.

  14. DarkSaber says:

    Well for a start, saying what DRM is in the box really isn’t going to help with, say, what Ubisoft are doing with Screed 2. It’s STILL in the game. The ECA aren’t fighting overly restrictive or downright abusive DRM in any way shape or form. Nor are they doing anything to protect consumers rights to re-sell games.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  15. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Interesting, do you mind sharing your source. Because I can’t find anything.

    The only recent thing I can find is from the FTC Townhall that Hal attended and his statements there:

    There he says that if a game is going to include DRM it should be disclosed on the box, not just its presence but also what it actually does.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  16. FlakAttack says:

    Yep, this has absolutely nothing to do with battling piracy.

    Look at all the big online distributions for PC? Steam, Direct 2 Drive, Impulse… these have not stopped piracy, even of games available exclusively on that platform. But they have stopped used game sales.

    Seems the copyright guys don’t want us to own our software.

  17. Ratros says:

    Exactly, Sonys trying to battle the second hand market.

    I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

  18. jedidethfreak says:

    They said that downloaded versions – I’m assuming they refer to the PSP Go – would activate automatically.

    You KILL Vampires. You don’t DATE them.

  19. Adamas Draconis says:

    Question. What about the version for PSP Go? Will it also require a voucher? Wouldn’t put it past some companies.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  20. jedidethfreak says:

    I never understood why ANYONE wanted them.

    However, I say ditch the cost of a new key, and I don’t see a problem.

    You KILL Vampires. You don’t DATE them.

  21. DubiousKing says:

    I don’t remember a single game I’ve traded in that gave me more than $15, and that was because the game had just been released that month. I have a feeling that, if this is implemented regularly with $20 as the rate, used game sales will plummit and the trade will almost cease to exist. Which would be bad news for me as more than three-quarters of the games I buy are previously-owned copies because of the cheaper price.


    Breathing Sucks: Not evil, not misunderstood, just angry

  22. DarkSaber says:

    Do used game retailers even give $10 on trade in?


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  23. DarkSaber says:

    Also funny to note that this is pretty much word-for-word what Ubisoft are saying about their bullshit for Assassins Creed 2 on PC.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  24. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    From our research, this will be received quite positively.

    Keep dreaming. Your house made of gold bricks will really take a little longer to be made for this crap.

    ———————————————————— My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship):

  25. DarkSaber says:

    Part of the ECAs agenda is to try and get consumers to bend over and take the DRM dildo the corporations are wielding. Hal Halpin said as much (but not in those words) last year sometime.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  26. E. Zachary Knight says:

    When the ECA makes a public statement on their thoughts of this new tech, I am sure it will be reported. AS of now, it looks like GamePolitics is only reporting on what has been said. Yes, Game Politics inserts editorial opinion from time to time, they just chose not to in this case.

    Yes it can easily be seen as a way to make money off used sales and it will most likely only achieve that. I don’t doubt for a minute that this will not stop piracy in any form.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  27. aIM hERE says:

    Oh come off it, ECA. Get it right.

    This isn’t about piracy. This is actually a way of evading copyright law, but because it’s by copyright holders taking away rights granted to their customers (and not the other way round) the term ‘piracy’ doesn’t apply.

    This is obviously aimed squarely at preventing/taxing used game sales. The games industry has had a bee in its bonnet for a couple of years now about used games (this site actually reported on the likes of Mark Rein from Epic saying as much). By using DRM coupled with a tax on passing on your used physical copies of the game, this is a technological method of preventing, or deterring people from exercising their ‘first sale’ right – the right to give away/lend/resell any legit copy of a copyrighted work you own, without paying a tithe to the copyright holder – which is guaranteed by copyright law in many countries.

    I’d have thought that the website of lobby group for gamers would at least be able to write the proper story (‘Games industry uses technology to effectively rob consumers of their rights’) instead of using the totally bogus propaganda terms used by the industry itself.

  28. kagirinai says:

    This becomes a buyer beware issue.

    Now, if you don’t like the game, you probably can’t return it without the voucher, since it’s effectively worth $20 less without. And forget about reselling it; it’ll be worth less to stores and trade in centers too. Less-protected games have a bit of a safety — at least if it’s mediocre, you can sell it back for an ok price; now? Not likely.

  29. aIM hERE says:

    Not quite. With a CD key, you can pass on the CD + key combo to another person, or resell it, once you’re done with the game. Here, you can’t.

  30. DarkSaber says:

    This seems functionally identical to what PCs have had for years, the whole "need a VALID (non key-gen’d) CD key or you get booted off servers whenever you try and play online" thing.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  31. DarkSaber says:

    So now pirates are responsible for the falling quality of games as well as the escalating price? Wonder what’s next, piracy causes cancer?


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  32. nightwng2000 says:

    "How does Koller think PSP users will react to the new tech?

    From our research, this will be received quite positively. Remember, piracy affects more than just the creators of the game. It also affects the consumers who purchase titles expecting a high-quality gaming experience.


    Let’s see the details of that research.  I have doubts that the overall scheme will be received as positively as they claim.


    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

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