back to article Sony: all new PS3 titles will require PSN Pass for online play

Sony has officially extended its tax on gamers who buy secondhand PlayStation titles, confirming that all future Sony games with network functionality will be mediated through an online pass system. The company told Destructoid that the PSN Pass system will be incorporated into all upcoming Sony Computer Entertainment PS3 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Second hand sales laws?

    Are there any laws prohibiting tampering with a products' advertised and sold features after the sale? Much like a company cannot advertise a feature its product does not have, does that extend to second hand sales?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They could probably work it that opening the package constitutes accepting a non-transferable licence between the original purchaser and Sony. The second-hand purchaser will have no such contract and will have to buy a new one.

      But it's one hell of a Sony tax for the privilege of buying one of their 'hmmm this console really isn't anything as good as they promised all those years ago' games. Like a lot of peoples' PS3s, mine has been relegated to the role of an okay Blu-Ray player.

    2. auburnman

      They're not tampering with features of the product sold, they are restricting access to the separate online service to their customers. People who buy second hand are not their customers (unless they buy an online pass.)

      I used to be fine with second hand sales, but the aggressive way high street stores are pushing them nowadays is taking the piss. You can't compete with someone selling your own product at a lower price unless you give the brand new version something unique.

      Sony obviously do have to tread carefully though, with their recent PR fiascos the last thing they need is passes not working or being 40 character alphanumerics that are an arse to type in. But if it's not too much of a hassle for *their* paying customers (well, them and the games developers) I can't see this being an issue. I buy my games new unless I kind of want it but I suspect it's going to be crap (e.g. anything by Treyarch) in which case I pick it up bargain bin some months down the line.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ auburnman

        "they are restricting access to the separate online service to their customers."

        You'd have a point if you could seperate out and buy just the on-line or off-line parts of the "service" as you call it.

    3. sisk

      I don't think that would apply here. They're letting us know up front that the games in question are going to have this 'online play tax'. If they tried to apply it retroactively to older game they might run afoul of some laws, but I'm not certain of that.

    4. asdf

      and the market speaks

      All this crap is why Sony went from dominating console sales to a me too also ran 3rd place in one generation. The PS3 will finish in third place this generation and if Sony doesn't get their crap together they will be the next Sega next generation. And this coming from a PS3 owner.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trouble ahead

    It's almost like they are asking for trouble. I wonder if this is just a penetration test beta program?

  3. SuperTim

    Hurrah for Sony....

    Give them a big clap and a cheer! We all love them don't we boys and girls.

    I hope that they somehow prevent me from doing anything else I was previously promised when I bought my PS3, because it is all too functional for me, what with me merely being an end user and with no chance of ever being able to get some kind of compensation.

    I was hoping that they would institute some kind of music limiting service that no longer allows you to play your own MP3's, but I may have to wait until the PS4 is out before I am prevented from doing that.

    Has anyone got any spare nails? I need them for the Sony Coffin I am building, and I have got through about 5lbs of them!

  4. <spez>

    same on the xbox

    its exactly the same with the latest game I bought for the xbox, "cough" Space Marine had a unique code in the box, that i used and if anyone wanted to progress in the online mulitplayer would need to fork out $10 if they havent the code.

    and thats on a system where you have to pay!

    1. VaalDonkie

      Noticed the same thing for the first time with Final Fantasy XIII on the XBox too.

      1. CD001

        Damn - that's harsh. Just as I was thinking that one of the few things the PS3 has over the XBoX is that it doesn't require a subscription to play online...

  5. tommy060289

    Its getting to a point where we are not allowed to own anything:(

    Your now buying products where you are not free to do as you like with. You've purchased the product you should be allowed to send it on if you like. IT YOURS. With things like this you can sell it on but its not the product you bought therefore drastically devaluing it to another person.

    Its one of the reasons I still buy Albums on CD and don't download games on demand. Singles and cheap iPhone games are one thing but when your buying full price games and album, why shouldn't you be able to sell them on?

    1. Blank Reg Silver badge

      You don't own the online service

      They aren't restricting use of the game offline, that would be wrong. But they are restricting access to the online service to those that have paid for it.

      One thing that everyone seems to overlook is that video games are in a unique position. Unlike books, movies etc. there can be an ongoing cost for the company that sells the game due to online play, yet there is no ongoing revenue. The more you play the game online the more it costs them.

      The online pass is a pretty good way to handle this. It would be even better if the games were sold at a discount and the online pass were sold separately. That way those that never want to play online wouldn't have to pay for it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Its getting to a point where we are not allowed to own anything:(

      you do realize that you can still sale your game 2nd hand? this right have not been taken away from you. The single player campaign is not effected by the online-pass in any way or form. In fact, they are implementing the online-pass _because_ they don't want to stop you from selling your game 2nd hand!

      It is the access to the multi-player part that the online-pass is trying to address. The argument is; people are using the servers even though the developer didn't receive a single cent from them! This, of course, won't be a problem is the 2nd hand market didn't start until 3 months from the release of the game.

      You see, games make most of their money from pre-orders and the first few weeks of release; very few games are exception to this rule. The 2nd hand market became a problem when it started to compete with new games in the 1st few days of the game release! There is no way for a new game to compete against a 2nd hand game since both match each other in every way.... except the price. The solution, online pass to get some money from the _online_ players who didn't buy a new copy.

      to sum it up for you, there is a difference between you not being able to resell the item in your hand and reselling the access right to the server!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "The argument is; people are using the servers even though the developer didn't receive a single cent from them!"

        No, they received the money from the original purchaser who NO LONGER HAS ACCESS!!!! Will they refund him the cost of the online access as he is no longer using the service? didn't think so

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The good news of course

    Is that this means the PS3 will continue to get the best games and the best platform exclusives, because the developers actually get revenue for it's product...

    El-Reg, stop with the fanboy baiting.....

  7. Annihilator


    "Other publishers, including EA, THQ, Codemasters and Warner, have also used an online pass system in their games too."

    You're forgetting that Steam extends this abuse of statutory rights too. Girlfriend recently bought Civ 5 (physically, in a shop and everything) and had to activate it on Steam. She was then unable to sell it on eBay when she subsequently discovered it was a shit game.

    I've still not been able to explain to her satisfaction why she can't sell a game that she bought. I understand her confusion.

    And Sony wonder why people are so keen to try and circumvent DRM switches??

    1. CD001

      Selling PC games?

      I'm not saying it's right but you've pretty much not been able to sell PC games back to stores (Gamestop et al) since noCD(DVD) type cracks/rips have been able to port the whole kaboodle onto PC HDDs for years - most games companies have given up on on-the-disk protection on the PC because it doesn't work; they get much more draconian about it (*coughs Ubisoft*)... and as these draconian measures go, Steam is one of the lesser evils.

      She might not be able to sell Civ5 but she might be able to gift it to a Steam friend maybe (in exchange for the first round of drinks up the pub or something)? Assuming, of course, she knows anyone that would like it.

      1. Annihilator


        You can't gift a game to a Steam friend, otherwise this is how she'd have sold it (remember, I said eBay, so she would technically know the buyer and be able to gift it to them).

        The only alternative she had was to hand over her entire Steam account, which she was tempted to do given it's the only game registered.

  8. radical mit2

    so now

    so let me understand, if i and my three kids want to play i need to purchase four copies?!

    wow.... that a bit of a downer

    1. MJI Silver badge

      No it is per PS3 and the account it was set up with

      Just like any other DLC.

      After a YLOD when I had to delete all game data just to transfer accounts and gamesave, I just redownloaded everything off the download list.

      BTW anyone tried reballing RSXs yet?

      1. Annihilator

        Multiple accounts

        The point the OP was making is that you can have multiple accounts on one PS3. I have one, my fiancée has one, each with our own PSN ID. The implication from this story is that only one of us would be able to register the online element of future games.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Applies to the console

          And also the original account, so quite varied

        2. Blank Reg Silver badge


          Every account on the PS3 can access the online so this has little impact except that second hand copies of such games should be cheaper.

    2. Chris Harrison

      Surely not

      unless you've got 4 PS3!

      1. MJI Silver badge

        That is a phone call to Sony isn't it?

        I thought it was 6 PS3s

        Oh well - you have 4!!!!

        Might need more than one copy of a game anyway!

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Payment required shock!

    Yes, folks, Sony doesn't want to provide you with a service for no charge! How unreasonable of them.

    I don't understand why so many gamers don't grasp the simple concept that if they buy a game off another gamer the producer of that game doesn't get a penny out of the deal.

    1. Dante

      yup think of the damage caused by second hand books, used cars, second hand furniture, etc.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Second hand

        Of course a second hand book doesn't require resources from the publisher, second hand car, you still have to buy your spares and servicing parts.

        1. Dante

          Are the game publishers running the game servers?

        2. Da Weezil

          and much less than half of those parts would be manufacturers, so no real comparison there either. My Peugeot has brake-pads from Lucas and a clutch from Borg and Beck, both of whom make the parts for the manufacturers but are sold via factors with a lot less premium than those coming in a box with a logo to match the one on the tailgate.

          The spares and servicing analogy doesn't hold water

    2. ScottAS2

      I'll bite

      I think gamers are perfectly aware of that - they just don't see why the game producer should earn anything from a second-hand sale. If publishers aren't covering the cost of online services with the initial price, more fool them.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I don't understand why so many people don't grasp the simple concept that if they buy a <*> off another person the producer of that <*> doesn't get a penny out of the deal."

      * - jumper / car / book / film / ...

      Why is it different for games then?

      That is the nature of selling items you own to other people...

    4. Loyal Commenter

      Oddly enough

      If I buy a second-hand car, I don't expect the manufacturer of the car to get a cut.

      In this case, I think it is fair that they buyer of the second-hand game should be able to re-register it with their system, depriving the original buyer of the ability to play it online with the same code. Surely, without the physical media, the original purchaser wouldn't be able to do this anyway?

      1. MJI Silver badge

        To Oddly enough

        Cars still require parts Vauxhall still make money off me despite my car being 10 years old.

        Too bad water pumps have gone up through the roof recently in price.

      2. Blank Reg Silver badge

        Oddly enough that comparison is wrong

        It doesn't cost the car manufacturer anything when you drive your car. But it does cost the game developer something when you play your game online, it's a huge difference.

        1. P. Lee

          re: Oddly enough that comparison is wrong

          No it isn't. There is no difference between the new purchaser using resource on the game server and the original purchaser using resources on the game server. There isn't an increase in the number of copies of the game out there.

          The golden rule of PC (Steam) gaming is don't buy new. Also, PC games are cheaper to start with.

          I generally do the video/game comparison. How many hours am I likely to get out of it and how much joy vs renting a video. Also buying games during the steam sales gets you them for pennies.

          I broke my rule for black-ops and regretted it. It's rubbish compared to hl2 which I got for peanuts a few months earlier.

    5. Dazed and Confused

      @Robert Long 1

      Of course the producer of the game gets paid. They have the right of first sale. For many gamers they expect to recoup the reasonable trade-in value of their played games to fund the purchase of new ones. If they couldn't sell on the games they've bought and are now bored with, they wouldn't buy so many new games in the first place.

      Stopping this is short term thinking. They will loose new sales are a result and so their over all revenue will go down and not up.

      You don't think their customers are suddenly going to get given more pay/pocket money/birthday presents to compensate. The games market is just as built on trade ins as the car industry, go and stand in any games shop on a Saturday and watch the lines of people coming in with a bag full of old titles and some cash to fund the latest game. Most of those sales will disappear if they can't do it.

      Talking to friends with older kids it seems that as they get older the churn gets faster, the games producers are getting nearly all the trade-in value of selling on old games. Try asking in your local games shop what the difference is between selling them a used game for cash and trading in against a new title and you'll see why very few games aren't traded in for new ones.

      So yes the games producers do get paid.

      Sell on old games is how they do get paid.

    6. Anonymous Coward

      Because all the idiots that dont understand it

      are 12yr old Xbox fanboys. They think everything is free, everyone works for free, everything should be downloaded for free.

      When they grow up and join the working world (which is unlikely in the case of an Xbox owner), they will realize that people need to get paid for their products, and that freeloading thru life is not really an option.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quick! Push more of our users onto Xbox!

    This won't make much difference to me, I've already stopped buying PS3 games entirely after the security breach. I'm just keeping it as a blueray player atm.

    But in general, expect to see a lot of people switching to Xbox rather than continue putting up with Sony (unless Microsoft starts doing it too, of course)

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Seems they already are

      See above

      Also paying for online on top.

    2. Chris Harrison

      and the downside ...

      is that as a gamer the arms race between Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo is actually a GOOD things. As an XBox owner I want sony to bring it on and force microsoft to bring out the best games they can!

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Chris Harrison

        And it the same way for PS3 owners, we want it pushed, and who are the winners - gamers.

    3. Spikehead

      Seems this process is on xbox too. EA have this in their new titles on both formats.

    4. VaalDonkie

      I mentioned further up that Final Fantasy XIII has the same trickery on XBox.

    5. IPatentedItSoIOwnIt

      Difference is...

      As far I know only 3rd party publishers are charging you the second hand tax on XBox. I don't think Microsoft published games like Gears 3 or Forza 4 are trying to fuck you for every last penny

    6. Daniel B.
      Thumb Down

      Bad substitute

      MS pimps off their users by charging for online play, overcharging for HDDs and locking out third-party HDDs (Sony lets you stick any HDD on your PS3). If you really want to stick it to the man ... switch your PS3 for a PC, not an Xbox.

  11. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    As the players leave in droves it might finally kill off the abomination that is Sony gaming division once and for all!

    1. MJI Silver badge


      Nintendo - no real online

      MS - pay for online, and also the odd online pass

      Only PC left

      Why would this hurt Sony?

  12. P Zero

    That's alright

    I won't buy any new games anyway because I'm not updating my firmware.

  13. LordBrian
    Thumb Down

    And what happens if your PS3 dies ?

    Madness... and will backfire on Sony mark my words. What happens when I buy a new PS3 or I want to take the game into the office where I have a second PS3 ?

    And they wonder why people pirate games and try to get round them.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Same as always

      You download off your download list in Playstation Store.

  14. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Another good reason not to get a PS3

    Yet another attempt by Sony to screw its customers.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Alternatives no better

      Xbox owners have a similar system and also have to pay for Live.

      Nintendos online - sorry it is useless and a nightmare to use.

      PCs not sure, haven't played any online multiplayer on them, nor traded.

      The money would be going back to PS and used for the multiplayer servers.

      1. CD001

        There's basically no resale value on PC games - for all intents and purposes, once you've bought a PC game you can never resell it; the consoles have traditionally relied on "untweakable" hardware and physical disks as copy protection - on the PC it's been the wild west since, well, before there were IBM compatible PCs (think every generation of "personal computer" since the Beeb).

        Circumventing copy-protection systems on the PC has been there since the get go so the protection systems have been getting more and more shirty forever (Starforce comes to mind - sack of cak that was).

        So, the advantages of PC gaming are that the games cost less in the first place and (MMOs excepted) there's no additional fee to play online - some are even "free to buy", like Team Fortress 2 and rely on micro-transactions after the fact to fund the game (moar hatz).

        The downside is that there's no resale market for PC games.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      And what?

      Pay for Xbox Live?

      Have a joke for online with the Wii?

      PC only?

  15. pjcard

    All new Sony published PS3 games

    You haven't made that particularly clear.

  16. Miek


    Was looking forward to Uncharted 3, guess I won't be buying it now. As far as I am aware, the second hand market is not illegal and sony have no right in restricting the functionality of their products based on whether the user is the original purchaser or not.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Your loss

      Quite likely to be one of the best games this year, I will be buying on release.

      As to second hand, yes you can use it all you like on single player.

      As to rights - I work in software developement and the transfer rights on a lot is a lot stricter than that of a game.

    2. auburnman


      You seriously wouldn't buy Uncharted 3 because someone that isn't you would have to buy multiplayer access if you sold it on?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, the second hand market is abused by the likes of Game, CEX and HMV to make profits without those pesky publishers getting any more money than that original sale. This move isn't banning the second hand market, it's simply upping the cost of second hand titles... or, potentially, dropping the price you pay at the shop since demand for them will be lower as the cheapskates balk at the extra costs. Which I never understood anyway since the price of recently released second hand games tend to be close to the price of a brand new title anyway and the packrat in me won't sell titles back for store credit.

      This is only affecting online multi-play... which isn't so big a deal since single or local multiplayer will still work. Besides, console gamers can't provide their own private servers and have to use the platform holders middleman software and public servers and once those are closed down, online multiplaying of those titles will go with them.

      The key thing is ensuring the publisher gets a slice of the pie so they can keep paying studios to pump out titles.

    4. g e


      They do have the right to restrict access to their gaming network however they see fit :o/

  17. djswivel
    Thumb Up

    Good news for me!

    This means that the second hand prices will plummet. Excellent news for me as I have no interest in multiplayer will be able to get the single player campaign for next to nothing.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Except at Game

      More than new and was there an online pass?

      Funny really the last S/H PS3 game I bought was the first game in the series which had the first online pass.

      £10 for a launch game - was entertaining and more fun than its sequel. Part 3 though - that is good as well.

  18. MJI Silver badge

    I don't blame them

    When you look at the gouging Game and co do on second hand games, it seems a little unfair that the developers are not getting a cut. I saw R3 second hand for £4 more at a high street shop (HMV or Game) than I paid at a supermarket day after release.

    If I paid a decent amount S/H eg £15 I would not begrudge paying this, provided it is not a lot (around £5 I suppose).

    That said I do tend to buy new and keep, only selling games which are really poor.

    I went to a lot of effort to obtain the US only Uncharted 3 demo, as before this will not effect me.

    The online pass is per PS3 and can be redownloaded per account so if you lose your PS3 or have more than 1 you can reuse it.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lol, wonder what this does re rentals from say lovefilm lol

    Anyway give up on the consoles and get Onlive on your PC instead. Most new games aren't worth more than a couple of hours game play anyway. *Goes back to working and muttering until home time so as to play more nuclear dawn and buildcraft.*

  20. Wang N Staines

    Hahahaa Sony ... twunt

    Was going to buy my kid a PS3 ... not anymore!!!!

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Denying them the Sackboy

      That is child cruelty.

      (Parent with 3 LBP loving children)

    2. Greg J Preece

      Yeah, buy them a 360 instead, where you'll run into the same problem. Or you could buy them a Wii, which barely has an online presence to speak of.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Alternatives have no Sackboys

        That is a huge reason to get a PS3 for children LBP series is possibly one of the best games around for 8 to 13 year olds.

        I did a survey among two young gamers about their favourite game and LBP came top - even over Super Mario Galaxy.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Despite all the Sony bashing...

    ....this has been going on for quite some time, and it isn't a Sony invention. I've got a PS3 and an a Xbox 360 and I've run into far more games that use an online pass system on the Xbox 360 than I have for the PS3.

    1. Rab Sssss

      Was for DLC content not online multiplay though.

  22. Mark C Casey

    Doesn't this just promote piracy?

    I mean, if you're a pirate you can't normally play games on the net because of some version difference or because your console is detected as being modchipped etc.

    So, think of it from some young kid who occasionally buys a game new but buys a lot of his games used. All of a sudden he can't play most of his games online. (yes, I know this isn't retroactive to old used games, just spitballing here)

    He looks at the pirate option as a lot more enticing, after all if his legally purchased games give him the exact same experience as a pirates then why not just pirate? After all it costs less and he's not going to lose any functionality.

  23. Adam McCormack

    Optional Title

    @Robert Long 1

    Yeah - exactly.... becuase Vauxhall, Ford, Volvo and others all get a cut when you sell your car to someone else ... Oh wait, that's wrong isn't it

    Let me try that again, Barrat's, Wimpy, Cala homes etc all get a cut when you sell your house ... nah, that's wrong too.

    One last try, Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, Sony etc all get a cut from the 2nd hand camera market ... nope - still not working.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Same as before

      These items are not using any infrastructure from the builders/manufactures, but in fact require spares and supplies.

      I am the third owner of my car and I still buy parts from the dealer (with a trade club card).

      1. DRendar

        You buy parts from the dealer?

        You made of money?

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Dealer - yes I do

          It is cheaper and the bits last longer.

          Cam cover gaskets - all non genuine leak - genuine don't.

          Under £40 for 40 litres of semi synthetic oil of a decent brand. (Fuchs I think).

  24. Chris Harrison

    Good for Sony

    Personally I'm really sick of the second hand game market. Just a couple of days ago I brought a nice fresh copy of Gears 3 in game for 39.99 only for the spotty oik to tell me I could have a second hand one for 37.99.

    The thing is, I'd rather most of the money went to the company who made the game so maybe they might invest some of it in making something else I'd like to play, rather than going into the pocket of a money grabbing leech of an organization.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      See my post about Resistance 3

      £38 S/H £34 new

      Game are a bunch of thieving gits when it comes to second hand game prices.

      Oh and no midnight opening for Uncharted 3, as I said to them "So might as well get it from Tescos or Sainsburies".

    2. MaximumJed

      What's wrong with that?

      What's wrong with that exactly? It's not like Game will have stolen the second hand copy back is it? As others have said, if you buy a car and sell it on, the dealership doesn't get a cut. However if you give it back to the dealer - new but registered - they can't sell it as new anymore, they have to absorb a hit on their profits for the sale. If you sell it back to the dealer - used but practically new - they'll make a bit more as they charge you for the use you've had, and then sell it for a little less than a brand new one. This is exactly what Game do, and they're within their rights to do it.

      As for the publishers deserving an extra something back, their part of the bargain is to provide an online space for each copy of the game, for as long as there is decent support for it. If the original owner sells their copy, they can't play anymore, and so the online space for that game transfers to the new owner. It's still one space, per game, and still the same number of games in circulation.

      Frankly I'll stop buying stuff for either of my PS3s, plenty of content is impossible to copy between systems, even if you 'officially' redownload it from the PSN store. While xbox might be doing the same thing for certain games, its not policy yet so until it is, they will get my gaming dollars.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        To Jed

        Game price gouge - just ignore them

        Actually there will be multiple profiles, they are not deleted when the game is sold on, this does need storage.

        As to S/H cheap off Ebay - why worry about the pass?

        S/H from Game - aghhh!

        Dollars - the UK market is a bit different to the US

    3. Semaj

      So don't buy second hand from game then - there are plenty other second hand game retailers.

  25. Red Bren

    Stupid and short-sighted

    Currently, you can buy a brand new game, play it, get bored of it, part-ex it for a shiny new game, rinse and repeat.

    Under Sony's brave new world, you buy a new game, play it, get bored of it, it has no residual value so you throw it away, you don't part-ex for a new game and Sony lose a sale. They don't make an additional sale to the second hand gamer and they miss the opportunity to sell downloadable content to two customers.

    What Sony fail to realise is that the second hand games market is actually good for them.

  26. Chris 244
    Thumb Up

    I for one see an upside

    It will stop all of the PS3 fanboy gloating about their "free" PSN.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Happens on Xbox as well

      And we only use free PSN when provoked.

  27. Tubby21288

    I can't really see a problem with this. It happens all the time with PC games that are bought second hand. Some require you to register the keys, and if thats done nobody else can play the game online even with a valid key because its already registered to somebody else. It was bound to happen sooner or later.

  28. Mike Brown

    good. hopefully this will kill the 2nd hand games market. The prices are stupidly high for a 2nd hand product.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Only from Game ect

      Not elsewhere - got Resistance Fall of Man £10 from Ebay, R2 was £12 from Argos.

      Bargains are where you want to look.

      Older games & multiplayer, are people still playing?

  29. SpaMster

    I see theres a lot of people commenting here who actually have no idea what they are talking about.

    First off, the online pass is linked to your psn account, not your console, so if you buy a new console, you can simply log into your old account and download the pass again at no extra charge.

    And secondly this is done to try and get some revenue back off there games as games companys are losing a lot of money off second hand sales, if you want someone to blame for this it's shops like blockbuster.

    The fact that this system is slowly working it's way onto 360 titles is worrying though, i mean your paying for the online features pretty much in advance. It's understandable from sonys stance, microsoft seem to be using it as a platform to make themselves more filty rich though.

  30. Da Weezil

    In respect of second hand games, There has to be a reasonable price difference for me to consider a used item, £2 wouldn't cut it and in the past the spotty oik in Game has been =told they are having a tin bath.

    I guess when the sales drop Fony will be screaming about piracy being the cause rather than the removal of the legitimate right to sell on property that you have paid for. Another reason the Fony products DONT get any consideration in this household. In light of their repeated attacks on our fair and legitimate use, we vote with our wallets, others should do likewise - nothing focuses a group of shareholders like falling sales figures.

  31. darklord

    and another reason

    Not to buy a PS3 no matter how

  32. Dave Oldham

    Nothing new surely.

    Multi Play DVD's which have a digital copy for your portable device have a one time code. Get one of these second hand, you have to hope that the person selling it hasn't already got his digital copy, because if he has, you don't get yours.

  33. pdb

    Don't have an issue with this, running and hosting an online service costs the publisher money. Currently buyers of second hand copies of games are enjoying that service at no cost, this is not a great business model for the developer. If you accept that the second hand game market is here to stay then moves like this are inevitable, the purchaser of a used game can obviously enjoy the offline experience and then has the choice of paying for online if they wish.

  34. Semaj

    Next Step

    First they bring out DLC (means they don't have to finish making the game before they can sell it - plus it's a great way to charge for bug fixes). And of course DLC ain't transferable so if you sell on your game it's useless to you and the buyer has to buy it too.

    Now they nobble their online play. It's Sony for now but they'll all do it.

    How long before they start scamming us with "activation fees" or some other BS way to destroy the second hand market even more?

    1. CD001

      That's how the PC gaming market (with the odd exception like Egosoft) has worked for years... now that consoles are basically PCs (they have HDDs and connect to the internet) it's not entirely surprising that the consoles are coming in-line with the PC world of DRM.

      There IS no second-hand market for PC games ... expect no different for consoles in the long run (though will they bring the price of console games down in-line with PC games - I doubt it).

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re Next Step

      Bug fixes MAY be in DLC but I have never paid for a bug fix. Only paid for DLC I have seen are as follows.

      Multiplayer maps

      Multiplayer skins

      LBP costumes

      Most bug fixes come automatically and always free

      I am ignoring XMB backgrounds and your piccy as they are not in game.

  35. iDestroy


    Playstation are imposing this online pass system to all their published games.

    Microsoft do not include online passes to their games. E.G Gears of War 3 recently released without a pass required.

    People need to stop making out like they are being "double taxed" by Microsoft because of live + these passes, it is NOT microsoft who make you buy an online pass for certain games it's the publishers, EA are a prime example with their FIFA games.

    To my knowledge no microsoft game requires an online pass to play.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      AFAIK Sony published, not others.

      Will MS do it?

      That I do not know.

    2. TimNevins
      Thumb Down

      You're missing the point

      XBox Live Subscription *is* the Pass.

      See how many games you can play online without XBL. AFAIK none.

      To add injury to insult almost all on-line multi-user games are hosted on your own XBox along with the cost of bandwidth to support the game. So MS do not even provide dedicated servers (except for GOW3).

      MS offer a glorified matchmaking service and charge you a premium for the service. There is no alternative so no competition.

      To make things worse XBL is user based not machine based.

      So if four of your kids want to play (say) SF4 online then four separate live accounts need to be paid for.

      Even though they can only play one at a time so there is no extra cost network or hardware wise.Even the Family pack is a mockery. XBL should be machine based.

      e.g. 1 user x 1 hour per day : Cost $60 per year.

      2 users x 30 minutes per day = 1 hour : Cost $120 per year.

      Why the price differential given the same usage?

      As for this ridiculous myth of covering the cost of Hosting that's a decision MS made. They could have easily allowed a PC Server model such as Quake/Unreal/HL Servers being hosted by whomever desired it when they desired it. Alternatively if the games are peer-hosted then a Server is not even necessary.

      As a monopoly they can charge what they like on their own terms.

  36. Peter Townsend


    all Sony is actually saying is that the on-line play licence that it bundles with the initial purchase is nontransferable? I'm really struggling to understand all the righteous indignation about this. Seems a perfectly reasonable move to generate revenue, which is what Sony is all about, like any commercial operation. If you want to play on-line, buy the new game or the licence. If you don't want to buy the licence or cough for a new game, play it solo or over a local network.

  37. James Hughes 1


    All this means is that second hand prices will have to drop by the cost of the online pass?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    once again people are comparing 2nd hand game market to 2nd hand car market!

    people, you need to understand that you can't compare the 2nd hand games market to the 2nd hand car/furniture/electronics market. The reason being, with the 2nd hand car, you get a warn out item that have been used and can no longer compete with the new car. With the 2nd hand game/movie/music market, the item that you get 2nd hand can match the new item in every way except the price (* reminder, you are interested in the data and not the physical item).

    and what makes the comparison of the 2 different market to be even more unfair is: you finish with cheap game, you never finish with the expensive car. There is always some use for the car, you never _finish_ with the car. On the other hand, you do _finish_ games. So while the car will stay with you for years, the game will be sold 2nd hand just two days after you have bought it!

    to be honest, the only thing that I can see in the 2nd hand game world that can be compared to the 2nd hand car world is: the console! The games are cheap and have a point at which you no longer need it (you finished the game). The console on the other hand is expansive and no never finish with, there is always some new game to play on it!

  39. Tubby21288

    The way I see it guys. If you buy the game with no intention of selling it on this won't affect you. Infact the ONLY way it will affect you is if you buy a second hand game. Personally I tend not todo such things so Sony can do what they like. It's not as if your paying to use the PSN to begin with or in any sort of legal binding with Sony that states "They must provide the service free forever'.

    The solution is simple. To avoid this charge, don't buy second hand games. You and I both know that eventually Microsoft, Nintendo etc will all adopt the same stance (if they have not already).

  40. Greg J Preece

    At least you can get them 2nd hand

    2nd hand PC gaming is dying a death because the licences are locked online through kit like Steam, and there's NO way to get a new code/whatever for yourself. So you can't buy the game 2nd hand, ever. This online pass malarkey still sucks ass compared to previous consoles and games, but it's better than them going the PC route.

    And haven't the X-box publishers been doing this for yonks?

  41. Michael Habel

    So does this...

    only affect S0NY published Games, (like say Resistance 3, or in this case Uncharted 3 etc...), or indeed ALL FORTHCOMING TITLES FROM SCEx (J,A,E), including any and all Shovelware?

    This could be the final Nail for me, PC Gaming is a FREAKING JOKE!, I can not properly spew my utter detest towards the entire FPS genre. Tiresome, boring, unimaginative, and just about everythings been done a million times over.

    Whats left Racing Sims? That's fine I guess, but what to do when I want to play something from NIS (e.g. JRPGs) , supposing I wanted to try something more "Casual" what are my choices in the J'n'R Shpere on the PC? My Magic 8-Ball says no.....

    So hopefully all this will do is to drive the Retailers to force quicker Price reductions, Cause there IS NO WAY IN HELL I'M PAYING 60€+ for the king of crap that's in my current line-up.

    The only exception to that rule would have been Gran Turismo 5, A Game that convinced me to get a PS3, and a very expensive Wheel. I still need the even MORE EXPENSIVE Playseat though.

  42. David Austin

    I Have sympathy with both sides, here.

    Gamers are demanding more from their triple A games, forcing development costs to balloon - we've gone from 30 people teams running on a 18-24 month development cycle in the PS2/Gamecube era, up to 100+ Teams on 2-3 development cycles.

    Yet the game titles have not gone up in price - most games have been selling at the £30-£40 new range since the SNES and Mega Drive days. They can't really push the new prices up any higher, without alienating the consumers.

    Gamestop/Game/Gamestation have a very obvious 3 part business strategy, which massively compounds this problem;

    - Push Pre-orders, to get as many full price day one sales as possible

    - Give good trade in prices to new games to get back as many copies as possible while they're still in demand

    - push the 2nd hand copies on buyers, as all profit goes to them, as opposed to publishers and developers getting a cut.

    Only step one in that strategy benefits anyone but the retailer. some game stores see the same copy of an individual title a half dozen times in the launch months.

    I'm in the fortunate position of being a 20-something with disposable income, and care enough about the games industry and developers to buy new whenever possible. I cannot begrudge any pocket money saving kid, hard pressed parent, or hard up adult for saving a bundle on a second hand copy, which they're told is functionally identical to a new one - it'll be fun to see how Game's 2nd hand slogan - "Everything's the same but the price" - fairs against this new direction.

    Many of you are making analogies to to the second hand car or house market. While I take on board the general point, we are dealing with a mostly digital product, here - as long as the disk is not scratched, there is no degradation in the product you get; If you buy a car, you get it with an empty odometer, in pristine condition, with no scratches, dings, or crumbs in the drivers seat. New House, you get to specify the furnishings and fittings you want.

    The only market I can think of with a like-for-like compassion is the 2nd Hand DVD market, and even then the studios can make a good portion of their production costs back in the cinema, beforehand.

    I may not like it, but I can understand where Sony is coming from - they get to make some money from second hand sales, turning the online component into a service instead of a freebie (It would be more interesting and harder to justify if 1st Party Microsoft games started doing this, as they're already charging for Xbox live - as many have pointed out, 3rd party publishers, like EA, have been doing this with their games for a while on all platforms)

    Until Digital Distribution really kicks off - to iTunes Levels - and we can cut the real bad guys in all this - Game & Co. - out of the equation, I don't see a nice way around this.

    1. TimNevins

      Hence the Online Passes

      This is why these passes are introduced.

      They are artificially introducing "dings","dents" and "scratches" to an electronic pristine product in order to make the product less attractive to buyers.

      As mentioned this will result in less money flow all round.

      To those that mention your single player game is not impacted , its worth bearing in mind that many games have only a token single player experience and are really designed to be played online. FPS's,Fighter's,Racers etc

  43. Daniel B.

    Already happening

    Dead Space 2 has the "online pass" thingy. According to this article, it isn't "all ps3 games" though, it is all Sony published games. Still shitty of them to do this...

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No more

    renting the latest CoD from Lovefilm then...


  45. El Dude

    What is the problem?

    I really don't have a problem with this and don't understand what the f*** people are complaining about, unless you buy a game where the online part of it is the be all and end all of the game play then it isn't worth paying full price to start with in the first place. It will kill off the second game market though. And lets face it, the game shops has only a very limited timeline left anyway. The days of buying games on a phyisical media is numbered. The next gen game machines (As is already happening on the PC side of things) will be through game stores... And the biggest thing that worries me is that you will buy for a full priced game on the respective console makers games stores at full retail price or RRP, which is still currently probably about a 30% mark up than you will pay in the shops! Thats from my console experience by the way... PC games are cheaper. It's a challenging environment for all concerned, the games developers are strangled by licensing costs from the hardware makers to start with and having wars between them doesn't help. What was PSN store selling FIFA 12 for... £55? I got it for £20 less and 2 days before it was released!?! I will pay a lot of money for some good games, but they need to be good, but you can't tell with reviews or even a demo. I kicked as in Bad Company 2, but I hate FPS games and would never have touched it until I got a try at it without having an online license.Ah well, I'm sure that twat Jobs had the answer to it all and held it back.

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