Basically this has been rumored to be featured on both the neXtBox and the PS4 but this patent pretty much confirms it on Sonys end. I rarely buy games used so this doesn't effect me much but many people are reliant on used games. If I don't have the itch to play it at release I wait 6 months or so and by then the game usually falls to around $30 if not lower. However I always did enjoy picking up used games in the bargain basket for $2, $3 5 years after release and playing them for a bit just for fun.
The bigger impact of this will most likely be that it will pretty much kill all brick and mortar gaming businesses. The retailers for video games and systems have very small margins on the new systems, with a majority of their profits coming on the used items. (Buy used game from person for $3, sell for $19.99). This will now be obsolete. Gamestop directly employs 17,000 full time employees and I can only imagine the part time figure being well in the six figures.