Sony has reportedly patented technology that will prevent the use of second hand games on consoles.
According to NeoGAF member gofreak, the patent application was filed on 9 December 2012 by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, and will work by linking individual game discs to a user's account without requiring a network connection meaning any future attempt to use this disc on another user's console won't work.
The patent explains that games will come with contactless tags that will be read by your console in much the same way as modern bank cards. When a disc is first used, the disc ID and player ID will be stored on the tag. Every time the disc is used in future, the tag will check if the two ID’s match up and, if not, then the disc won’t work.
The document goes on to explain that such a device is part of Sony's ongoing efforts to deter second-hand games sales, and is a far simpler solution than always-on DRM or passwords.
It's worth noting that Sony has not confirmed the existence of the device, and the patent doesn't state what machine it will be used in, with later paragraphs also mentioning accessories and peripherals.
It does raise some concerns though. Firstly, the impact on game rental stores would be catastrophic as surely this means they'd no longer be able to do business? Given publishers' usual desire to keep retailers sweet by not undercutting them on prices and the like, this would be an unusual move.
There's also the issue of what happens should your console break and need replacing, or if you have more than one console. Will the games be linked to your PSN account, meaning they can still be used, or the console, meaning an entire new library of titles would need to be purchased?