Unofficial agreements have been made between Hollywood and major hardware manufacturers -- including both Sony and Microsoft -- to delay the use of ICT anti-piracy standards until either 2010 or 2012, according to an Ars Technica report citing German news source Spiegel Online.
Image Constraint Token (ICT) is a copy protection scheme standardized by the Advance Access Content System that will force high definition video content to downgrade from its native 1920 by 1080 pixel resolution to 960 by 540 pixels, unless output through a copy-proof HDMI connection.
If true, these reports could spell good news for both Sony and Microsoft, who both plan to support high definition movie playback, via PlayStation 3's standard Blu-Ray drive and Xbox 360's upcoming HD-DVD add-on, respectively.
Were the ICT scheme used, consumers would be unable to view movies in true high definition without using an HDMI port, which will be available only in the "Premium" release of the PlayStation 3, and is completely lacking on the Xbox 360.
Both Sony and Universal have formally dropped ICT from their upcoming movie releases, and the major remaining studios are expected to follow suit.