Not convinced about PS4? At least its camera won't spy on you
- Posted March 7th, 2013 at 01:30 EDT by Kyle Prahl
- 19 Comments
We are PlayStation Universe. We make a point to be the #1 independent site for PlayStation news, reviews, previews, and features on the Web. And yet, sometimes, other console camps make moves so egregious, so head-scratchingly crazy, that we simply must report on it. After all, the success and failure of Sony's competition affects PlayStation (and PlayStation gamers) a great deal. So, here goes.
Microsoft has filed a patent to allow Xbox Kinect to spy on you in your home, record the number of human users consuming content like games and movies, and charge additional license fees for exceeding the appropriate number of users.
If that sounds like some scary, Big Brother-type s**t, it's because it most definitely is. As ExtremeTech describes, "The patent’s various claims can endow a device with a limited number of performances in a given period of time, a limited number of users allowed to view such performances, and the continuous monitoring of viewers during those performances."
Effectively, your family and friends could become slaves to a system already in place for things like pay-per-view events at bars and restaurants. In many cases, your favorite pub pays for this coverage by the seat. It's the same idea here--to protect the interests of the MPAA, RIAA, and possibly even Microsoft itself, you could be charged for having too many people watching that movie you downloaded or your new favorite Xbox game.
Meanwhile, no such intent seems to exist for the PlayStation Camera, which will debut with PlayStation 4 later this year. We know that the PS Camera will feature dual 1080p stereoscopic lenses for better depth tracking and facial recognition, but no mention has been made of any application to copyright protection. Sony isn't stingy in this area, either. PS3 gamers have long been able to download content on multiple systems (though PS Vita's closed nature represents a move in the other direction).
Your voice matters, so sound off with your thoughts on Microsoft's sneaky patent--and how Sony should respond--in the comments below.
Alright, back to the news (and console) you care about.
- 2:06am EST - March 7th, 2013
LOL, I can already read the crap that little kid who always says that PSU should also report on xbox news, it's gonna be great to read his little boy rants. Anyway, I do not think any company should have the right to spy on it's customers, for whatever reason it may be, even if it is to protect themselves against pirates, there can simply be no spying by anybody into your home, if microsoft is allowed to do this it would only be a matter of time before all devices came with some sort of spying tech to guard against anyone doing "what they should not be doing" with there own property. My console, my rules, fnck you.
- 2:19am EST - March 7th, 2013
How pathetic. There is literally no limit to how low they'll stoop huh? Sadly this is something you have to expect when the technology gets better. Just look at all the stuff Google has its hands in today and how much access they have to our lives as an example. So Im guessing if you use the kinnect while you're hooked up to the internet, you're fair game. I just find it funny that people dont believe me when i say some of these companies dont see us as any more than walking sacks of meat with wallets. You people really think they do half the things they do because they love us? Lol think long and hard about how many decisions were made based on the amount of fan love they'd get rather than the money. Not too astonishing.
- 2:52am EST - March 7th, 2013
Gameoholic007 | Demented007
- 2:53am EST - March 7th, 2013
M$ would get a nice big 1080p view of my hairy buttcrack before they would find out how many people are watching my tv under my roof! All this is sounding like the rest of the US when it comes to monitoring. This article reminds me of something else I read a while back when some people were complaining about playing a game on the 360, and being recorded by the 360's Kinect camera during it, and not knowing about. My wife knows someone that this has happend to. The only way he found out about it, is that he got a message that he was almost out of HDD space on his 360.
Do a google search on this. (360 kinect spying reports) It gets very interesting. ;)
Syphon_Filter | Syphon_Filter2
- 3:08am EST - March 7th, 2013
I have loved so much my PS1. I have had some great memories and etc. I loved a lot and enjoyed my PS2. I have enjoyed my PS3 more and more with my friends and have had a different gaming experience. I will love my PS4 as well as it has something different. I loved PS systems and I will as long as I live and they come out after PC. Fck Micorosft and its garb11ge console. I will never buy it even its made from gold. PS4 4 LIFE DOGS!!!!!
- 3:52am EST - March 7th, 2013
I have a strong dislike of Microsoft as a company, and have done for a long time... they make it easy as they have had some very dubious practices over the years.
But just as with Sony's various patents for blocking used games etc., let's not forget that just because they've patented this, doesn't mean they're actually going to use it. Even if they did, you could always disconnect, cover or otherwise obscure the camera.
- 4:28am EST - March 7th, 2013
This shouldn't be legal in any way and on either side, if the ps4 have a camera it should have an option to turn it off or the option to not use it with any games
again, this should Not be legal.
Equinoqs | Equinoqs
- 5:42am EST - March 7th, 2013
This is the one thing I've seen so far in my gaming life that, if implemented, could end my days as a console gamer.
Ghost-Rhayne | Ghost-Rhayne
- 5:52am EST - March 7th, 2013
I will speak for Digital, seeing as he is late to the party...
"LOL Writing about m$ AGAIN huh!? So much for being a PlayStation site!! You're all just a bunch of M$ pissdrinkers!"
Haha...This will never happen, unless some demon of suicide has possessed Don and the big wigs with the express goal of killing MS in spectacular glory. :D
- 7:07am EST - March 7th, 2013
Micro$oft is a monopoly, and they routinely flaunt this power over their userbase. Not surprised at this one bit.
- 7:13am EST - March 7th, 2013
Apatent is one thing... acting on it is an entirely different thing. Both sony, Microsoft and Nintendo I believe have over the past few years filed patents for stopping used games working on consoles or computer entertainment systems. So far nobody has acted on those patents. It's quite common for companies to file patents for ideas and tech they've developed just to secure and safeguard any investment made.
We've all read the rumours about Kinnect sending video footage back to MS and their partners, people even claim to have proof of the damn thing taking unothorized pictures of them. I haven't seen conclusive proof either way. The T&C of Xbox Live use though do make for some interesting reading, as do PSN use T&C's. Truth is with some of the anti-terrorism laws that opperate in the west now, if Sony and Microsoft were approched by security agencies to divulge information on users they'd pretty much have to. SO I view these T&C's as them legally covering their behinds!!!
Do I like it? No. Do I think it is potentially an abuse of power? Yes. Could it be abused? Yes. Is it abused? I honestly don't know, but I'd hope not.
- 7:30am EST - March 7th, 2013
@ 3 and 9
Wow you guys are dumb!
PSU is actually making MS look bad here - opposite of supporting them! Too bad you're too dumb to see it... LOL!
To be fair, I think this was a bit much "Effectively, your family and friends could become slaves to a system already in place for things like pay-per-view events at bars and restaurants." Movie theaters do charge per person and per view...MS is just being strict...maybe too strict for home use, mind you.
Going with a PS4, unless something nasty pops up which would affect me. Hoping online play and text messaging will continue to be free. They may charge for the other stuff. PS4 is looking pretty sweet to me so far! :)
jamesobachand | snake2112
- 8:30am EST - March 7th, 2013
I knew nobody could trust Microsoft!
TristanPR77 | Tristan77
- 8:40am EST - March 7th, 2013
Wow, while I was reading I couldn't believe what Microsoft is planning to do. It is so out of place and people should not promote that kind of behavior.
- 11:35am EST - March 7th, 2013
I wish everiday this company ceases to exist, either by self collapse due to their greed and despite for human existence or any other way
I just remember Windows NT, the OS was such a mess that it needed a big update, which was SOLD by Microsoft to users!!! And that was not even the start of "operation greed", I knew guys working in big supermarkets : Microsoft gave them fees (totally illegal as only your company can pay you) when they promoted PCs over other computers ... that's the way the competition disappeared, not because PCs were better
- 3:46pm EST - March 7th, 2013
Great idea. Doing that.
- 1:22am EST - March 9th, 2013
Simple answer, don't buy an Xbox!!!!!
- 11:41pm EST - March 9th, 2013
yeah the PS4 should make this optional i wont be gaming with a camera pointed at me, ever... Maybe some gaffer tape for the SHARE button or maybe there willl be a way to disable that button i wouldn't ever intentionally press...Otherwise if PS4 has graphics that look like the promo videos for F1 or BATTLEFIELD 3 on pc then i will be happy .
- 12:48pm EDT - March 10th, 2013
What's funny, is that there are Xbox fanboys that would probably defend this, saying things like "At least Microsoft has technology clever enough to be able to detect how many people are playing on it, Sony doesn't have anything that advanced". Honestly, I've heard people say stuff like that before...
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