Sony Computer Entertainment has applied for a patent that would eliminate the used game market, via a system that includes a physical tag inside game boxes to check who's allowed to play it.

Sony's system would see a "permission tag" provided alongside game releases, with the console then checking the disk ID with this tag to see whether or not the user is allowed to play the game, based around unspecified "terms of use" attached to the sale. It'd work as a self-contained system, with no internet connection required.

So Sony could, for example, only allow a game to be copied to the HD of one machine, or could perhaps create some sort of buddy system where you're allowed to loan it to someone for a period of time. Or, if Sony wants to initiate self destruct and take out the entire games industry with it, it could only let games be played on one single machine, killing the used games market in one shot. [FreePatentsOnline via [CVG]