The new Playstation 4 was announced last week and the timing of this patent suggests it may be included in the hardware.
Sony has patented a method of testing for pirated media by measuring loading times.
The 'Benchmark Measurement for Legitimate Duplication Validation' technology patent, found by Neogaf user Disorientator, details a system that checks how long software has taken to load and subsequently blocks it if it falls outside of a range that Sony feels is appropriate for the hardware it is running on.
'There is a continuous and ongoing need for novel and improved digital rights management schemes that provide additional layers of protection against piracy,'
says Sony in the patent.
The patent was originally filed in August 2011 and was published last week. Although the timing of this suggests that it may be intended for use in the Playstation 4, there has been no confirmation of this.
Prior to the announcement of the Playstation 4
last week, rumours were circulated that Sony would be attempting to block used games from working on the new console, a tactic that has since been ruled out by the company.
The software benchmarking method would also likely be another roadblock to would-be Playstation 4 hackers. The Playstation 3 was successfully hacked into in 2010 with the PSJailbreak, allowing for pirated games to run from the hard drive.
The Playstation 4 release date is scheduled for December 2013, a time period which is looking likely to see Microsoft's next generation console, the so-called Xbox 720, released too.