It was a rumor for a day or two and now it has been confirmed as fact.

Sony has confirmed the PlayStation Network pass, which will debut alongside the launch of Insomniac's upcoming shooter, Resistance 3 . The pass is a new online initiative, which – unsurprisingly – will be for games with online capabilities. Any games that are part of the program will come bundled with a code that can be used once, and grants users "full online access for that title." Sony says it allows them to "accelerate our commitment to enhancing premium online services across our first party game portfolio."

We've been seeing something similar from EA Sports (and THQ) for quite some time. Such online pass programs are viewed as a way to combat the sale of used games, as publishers have often complained of never seeing any profit from that massive secondhand industry. No further details were available for Sony's PSN pass, but you can expect the full unveiling soon.

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Doppel
Doppel
9 years ago

I hope this brings down the insane price of used games. EB games in Canada has $55 for Black Ops. I mean, really now?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

The CoD games are nearly full price for years, it's awful.

Milonakis
Milonakis
9 years ago

what is the ratio of 55 dollars in monopoly money to american dollars?

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

The first MW didn't see a price drop until 2 was released and even than it was still $30+.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Give it time guys. Don't be surprised if in a couple years, or less, Gamestops will be found handing out spare copies of CoD games as bag stuffers for their Rewards Card members. I'm sure once the CoD bubble pops there'll be so many copies of CoD floating around they wouldn't fetch even $10 in resell.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

@milonakis
In case you didn't notice, the American Dollar is balls. It's been weaker than Canada's dollar for months now.

StangMan80
StangMan80
9 years ago

COD4:MW is $40 at some places. Some stores have games that came out last year priced at full price($60).
COD games are always overpriced. EVEN AT LAUNCH!

But most games should be at $40. $60 is just to much for what most games are giving us. I wish the price of games depended on the quality. every game comes out with $60. it sucks! EA sports games should be a about 30. BF3, U3, TR, they are games worth 60. all movie games like Cars, transformers should 29.99.
I know the developers and publishers have to make money but dang. I bet you would make more if you get more people to buy your game at a lower, DECENT price.

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
9 years ago

God, I would love for games in Australia to be around $60. They're $110 right now for a new release, and the Aussie dollar can get you $1.06 US. Seriously, $500 bucks for a launch PS3 woulda been nice, it was $999 here in Australia way back in early 2007.

That's why retail is failing here in Australia, cos everyone else around the world is selling stuff cheaper, including games, so everyone tends to buy online now.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

Where you living, Dance? I'm in QLD and, as long as you're in a city you can get most new games between 80 and 90 dollars. I got both L.A. Noire and inFamous 2 two days after their respective releases for $78 apiece.

After exchange rates are taken into consideration, that's what, a $21-ish difference? Small wonder that people are taking their business offshore.

EDIT: Checked your profile… Sydney? Damn… that's the biggest city of the lot. How is so expensive?


Last edited by Lawless SXE on 7/7/2011 3:05:14 AM

Doppel
Doppel
9 years ago

@Milonakis

55 CAD = 57.03 USD (Google)

Ha! 😛

I'm also talking about a USED copy of Black Ops. Really sickening price of used games. With this, retailers will be forced to lower their prices because consumers won't pay $45 for used when an $5-$10 pass on top of it.

hiverious
hiverious
9 years ago

Lawless, I'm in Sydney and I walked into a JB to look for Shadows of the Damned and found it for $100. Not really the $79 for launch I was hoping for. Given that prices rise a couple of weeks after launch, I'm wondering what it will end up costing.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

This is not going to go over well. I'm glad I don't play games online.

Cesar_ser_4
Cesar_ser_4
9 years ago

world, dont say it like they charge those online passes after the game has dropped down in price… oh sh*t

Cesar_ser_4
Cesar_ser_4
9 years ago

world, dont say it like they charge those online passes after the game has dropped down in price… oh sh*t

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

Do you often buy used games, World? If so, where? On the web?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Ebay

Milonakis
Milonakis
9 years ago

Bummer, but i guess it's not a big deal, as long as you buy your ps exclusives on day one like you should.

Qubex
Qubex
9 years ago

ManBearPig, it is still an unnecessary cost!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

You don't have to buy it day one either, as long as it's new…

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Beamboom, you can buy used as well, just make sure that the price you pay includes the online pass. It's up to the retailer to price the game competitively with a new game purchase to attract used game sales.

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

That's true of course Highlander, but now you talk about professional retailers. like Gamestop.
The seller of a used game might just as well be the former owner directly, selling their old games for 7-8 bucks.
Yes you only have to buy the pass via the PSN when you get back home, but that's really beside the point here.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/7/2011 11:59:22 AM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

I don't think it's beside the point in this discussion at all Beamboom since to play multi-player you must have access to the network and buying the online pass is a simple transaction. With regard to individual sellers of used games, they represent a much, much smaller slice of revenue compared to Gamestop and actually they typically sell their used games for less than the GameStops of the world do in any case. In the long run, it may drive the value of their used games down a little, but it won't have anything like the effect it has on the prices at gamestop. Either way though, private sellers account for a small fraction of the total 'pie' of used game sales.

Danny007
Danny007
9 years ago

I really don't see the online pass as a way to combat the sale of used games. To me its just a way to rip off gamers twice as much and sadly in some cases those gamers are ones that can't afford that 60 dollar price tag.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

It's not meant to rid the world of used sales, its merely a tool to help mitigate the publishers and developers losses. In that case it seems to being working.

godsman
godsman
9 years ago

I agree. This PSN Pass doesn't add more value for gamers, it is just a way to take more money from gamers that can't afford the full $60.

This reminds me of Sony's code to keep bootleg movies from being played on the PS3 after 2010. I forgot the name of this code. It doesn't protect their investments, the bootlegger just play their file from a new source to play the movie. Sony won't advertise such thing, "Now fully anti-piracy protected to ensure consumers spend money to buy our blu-rays", because moves like this may hurt their sales.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

If you buy your game new, there's no impact on you. If you buy your game used, make sure that you don't get shafted by the used game retailer. If they charge you so much for the game that by the time you get the online pass it costs more than the new game, who's fault is that?

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I don't mind this. I buy Sony games new anyways. Come to think about it I can't remember the last used game I bought.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I don't need my FPS games new, even exclusives.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I used to buy all my games used too but I started to think about my games like I do my music. If I enjoy a certain band and want to support them I'll buy their records new instead of used. How else are the people who create the art we enjoy going to get paid to continue giving us the art we enjoy?


Last edited by Jawknee on 7/6/2011 10:53:19 PM

Killa Tequilla
Killa Tequilla
9 years ago

Me and you are on the same boat. I buy my games new all the time. Since 2000 I have always purchases all my discs new. The only game I have ever bought used this year was CoD4, only because one of my buddies told me to. I had already bought the game in 07 and lost it along the way. This only affects the people who buy their games used from gamestop and dont help the developers one bit. I think now… well start seeing more quality games since developers get more money. More money, more business. Is this for every new game on Sonys machhine from now on?

godsman
godsman
9 years ago

I buy mine new as well. This doesn't bother as much as the pre-order DLC. Now I have to preorder all my games just to get the complete experience?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Sometimes I want to try the game, but not support the developers in any way 🙂

johnld
johnld
9 years ago

@godsman

i just go and preorder at gamestop to get the code at launch, put it in my ps3, return the game with a believable excuse (i'm planning to get the CE), then buy it at a store with a much better deal. This is how i got killzone 3, la noir, and socom 4 for 60 bucks each but it also came with a 20 dollar gaming coupon for each game along with a free 20 dollar game (resonance of fate) with la noire.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Wow John, that's a lot of scheming and jiving, too much work for me. Say did you ever get Mass Effect 2 to work in your PS3? Sometimes you just have to try 600 times and then bam it works forever.

johnld
johnld
9 years ago

@world
yeah, it works on and off. but once i get past the first loading screen before the main menu, i start fearing all the other loading screens that the game seem to have a lot of.

theres one thing i cant avoid now though. whenever i get to the end mission loading screen and get a trophy, it freezes without fail. i end up getting a corrupt save progress but my gamesave and profile is still fine. i guess it just corrupts my trophy progress which i gave up on since i wont be playing this game again anyway. its a pain to get started already so why torture myself by playing on insanity.

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

I'm sorry but this is so lame. I for one usually buy my games new, but I don't see the huge crime in the used game market.

The publisher gains nothing from all the money Gamestop, Amazon, and others make but this "online pass" is just a way the developer to get a piece of the "used game market" pie.

Resistance 3 was on my "wait and see list" or I was going to rent it through Gamefly to try it out first, simply because of the sheer number of games coming out later this year. If I can't play multiplayer unless I pay $10 or whatever I might have to pass.


Last edited by jimmyhandsome on 7/6/2011 10:39:52 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

No one said it was a crime. As I said above, it's a tool to help the deserving developers and publishers mitigate their loss'. There is nothing wrong with a business trying to protect their bottom line. Especially when it's a business we are supposed to support if we want to continue enjoying this hobby.

godsman
godsman
9 years ago

Keep in mind, this is only for multi-players only. The single player campaign will still be free. I don't see why you can't still "try" the game by renting.

I hardly see anyone rent to play online anyway. Many rent to play offline for the story and plot then return it the next week.

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

Right but it affects other things: in my case, I pretty much shouldn't bother renting it now because I'm not going to pay $10 to play online while not owning the game. Think about the money they make from selling the game once, then an additional $10 per renter, or in the case of Gamestop and other trade-in stores per person who buys it used and pays for the pass.

Just annoying for those of us who were on the fence about this game. I could careless if they did this with Uncharted 3 because I already have it preordered at Amazon.

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

@ godsman

I've rented games before and played plenty online. And in the case with FPS, most of my time is spent in multiplayer.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Jimmy, this doesn't, and shouldn't have an impact on the purchaser of used games.

Look at the situation where GameStop sells a used copy of a game at $5 off the new price. That's a bloody awful deal in the first place, but it's $55 that goes only to GameStop, not the publisher or developer. With the online pass, Gamestop can't charge the same amount because the $10 online pass makes the used game $5 more expensive than the new one. So Gamestop has to either bundle a new online pass at the same price point as before, or drop the price another $10 to compensate used buyers for the cost of the online pass. That doesn't hurt the buyer, they are still paying the same amount. It helps the developer and publisher, and the only one coming out with a loss is the profiteer in the middle who bought very low and sold very high. In fact, this online pass system should have a triple benefit for gamers, it will justify game servers being available for longer times, and help pay for future patches or new games. All in all, this is a positive move for everyone except Gamestop and the various game rental companies.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

It's still going to have a campaign you can play if you rent it.

johnld
johnld
9 years ago

@jimmy

do what i do man, i basically use the same 60 bucks to rent games from gamestop. in the end, there will be no cost to you at all. you get to try games that you want for 7 days, i believe thats a lot longer than other rental places and still manage to get all your money back. plus since its gamestop, i dont mind screwing them over. if i like a game, i usually buy it new at another store at usually a lower price.

Gabriel013
Gabriel013
9 years ago

Actually Highlander, I see this hurting the person who bought it new and now wants to trade it in. Whereas previously then may have expected to get $30 of the $60 back when trading in, they now may only get $20 back as the stores like Gamestop will not want to eat into their profit margins.

Dropping the trade in value to little over 30% original value (or even less) rather than 50% could be enough to stop gamers from buying the title in the first place if they were on the fence about it to begin with. That will hurt the industry, not help it.

The games industry needs to pull it's head out of it's ass and start acting like every other normal industry. You are not entitled to a recurrent revenue stream from the same damn product, just like books, movies, clothes, cards….. etc….

You should be selling 1 game and 1 lifetime online experience (or whilever they maintain the servers) for 1 price. Regardless of how many different users get the benefit throughout the life of the game.
If person 1 buys it he can play ot forever online. Person 2 buys it from person 1 and HE then gets to play it forever. There is NO detrimental impact AT ALL for the publisher/developer.

They shouldn't even be thinking of or care about how many hands their product passes through unless it's to realise that if their game is traded a lot then they've made a shitty game.


Last edited by Gabriel013 on 7/7/2011 1:11:58 AM

johnld
johnld
9 years ago

@gabriel

then used game market will take a hit. less people selling their games, less profit from price gougers like gamestop. They're going to have to make compromises if they want used game sales. either lower used game prices or increase trade in values in order to keep their used game sales going. This is a better deal for customers.

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

@ john

Ha, that seems like a lot of work but clever nonetheless.

@Highlander

I don't know how you think that this won't affect people who buy used games. Keep in mind that while Gamestop is by far the biggest of the "trade-in" shops, Amazon, Bestbuy, and I believe even Walmart now all have some form of game trade ins. I've actually used Amazon's a couple times. Titles that support this online pass usually don't have a good trade in value (Medal of Honor comes to mind). All of these places won't necessarily just drop the price of used games that have the "PSN pass" by $10. This shouldn't affect me for the most part, because like I said alot of my games were bought as D1P (so obviously new). But this makes you think twice about games that you are unsure about and may want to try out.

However, when I first picked up my PS3 last year I picked up Uncharted, Killzone 2, and Motorstorm all used off of eBay. It was a quick and cheap way for me to jump right in with alot of games that I missed out on. I definately would've thought twice about buying used and then buying an online pass to play Killzone online though. And as I've mentioned before this kills any chance of me renting titles that support this feature.

It just seems like a sleezy way for the publisher to make more money off of a product they already sold. Yes they have online servers to support, but if they don't want people to buy their games used, or trade in, then make a game that has the longevity, replayability, and future DLC support that makes the consumer want to keep the game forever. Don't make the consumer cringe at the thought of more fees/passes they'll have to shell out.

I read through most of the comments and I'm honestly pretty surprised about the amount of people that are not only OK with this but think its somehow "good". When Activision came out with that stupid "CoD Elite" monthly subscription myself and others were all over the thought of it being ridiculous and a rip-off for paying for features that the developer should already be offering. Somehow I feel if this were Activision coming out with an online pass everyone would being singing a much different tune.

slugga_status
slugga_status
9 years ago

I agree with Jimmy here. This is nothing more then trying to take money from used game sales. A "Pass" shouldn't be required to play online. There's no true reason for it to be honest.

It really only hampers gamers who are not as fortunate as many of us to be able to go out and buy a game new. Or those teenagers who love online play but can't because mom or dad couldn't afford $60+ just that $40-45.

I could understand voucher or pass of some sort just to verify that you have a real copy of the game and not pirated one..But this crap just for online play is just bad and shows they're not thinking about all gamers just the few that can afford to buy full priced games…

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

JImmy and Slugga,

Sorry, but you're both wrong, and I think you're allowing your own bias to cloud your understanding of the issue. But, having played in this argument many times before to no avail, I know that when people draw lines in the sand on this issue, they will not budge, no matter how much logic, fact or rationality is brought to the discussion. I get that it's a sensitive topic for some, but really and truly, if you can't see that the whole concept of online passes is aimed squarely at used game retailers and their unproductive price gouging, then there's no point discussing further.

Jimmy,

One simple point. When Gamestop sells a used game, the publisher incurs nothing but additional cost. Gamestop makes free and clear money. The used purchaser pays nothing to the developer or publisher, and yet expects to use the publisher's game servers. Sorry, but that's simply not right.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 7/7/2011 10:41:49 AM

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

Highlander,

I think we both agree that Gamestop is crap. Plain and simple I don't shop there and I have *never* bought a "newly released" used game from them ($55 price point I'm talking about, not bargain bin). I think it's awful that they charge THAT much for a used game and I never understood why people wouldn't cough up the extra $5 for a new one that supports the developer. The *only* positive that this online pass provides is possibly lowering the price of some used titles at places that price gouge like Gamestop. But even then I expect Gamestop to casually mention that you can't access online play to people purchasing used games. If I remember correctly when EA first started doing this Gamestop not only didn't charge less than the $55, but barely mentioned it to consumers. This resulted in plenty of PO'd gamers.

However, they are far from the only business that will be affected by this pass. Because of their sucess with the "used game" market, other companies, including my beloved Amazon, have adopted similar trade-in policies. Its something thats convienient for those of us who want to trade-in a disappointing title for a giftcard to buy future games (usually new). Alot of people adopt this model, if only for affordability. I tend to keep most of my games but every now and then I trade a game in I know I won't ever play again if the price is right. For example, I bought Portal 2 for $35 new off of Amazon when they dropped the price, beat it, and recently just sent it back for a $27 giftcard for a future purchase. Because it had little replayability I felt like it was a decent decision on my end. Especially when a slew of games comes out this fall. I also recently signed up for a subscription to Gamefly. Renting games will now solely be for SP campaign only if more titles implement this "online pass". If this becomes the norm (which seems to be happening) the trade-in value of such games decrease, and any chance of me renting and/or picking up the title used later on becomes burdersome by paying for $10 to access online play. You may not get much use out of multiplayer, but myself and others certainly do.

The only argument I've seen for this sort of pass being good is that "Gamestop is evil, and this will cut into their bottom line". Which I agree with in a sense, however there are alot of other businesses that this will affect, as well as the gamer who can't afford to buy every single game new. Hell, I've must've saved HUNDREDS of dollars this generation alone by trading in certain games and buying games used from the bargain bin or eBay. This may not affect some of you, but I'm sure it affects plenty of people who buy games.

And while I agree with your example of "James" buying a game used, and not establishing a relationship with the Publisher or developer, there is one flaw in the argument. Since John already paid for the title (and access to the online servers) why should someone else pay AGAIN for the same copy? I mean, its not like John AND James are playing online simultaneously. The servers are suddenly not supporting more people, still just one. And the publisher should have already received money from John, so why should they be compensated AGAIN? This is double-dipping, my friend.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Because John paid for his own personal service, no one elses. In the John and James example, James has to establish his own customer relashionship with the publisher.

John isn't paying for someone else's game when he buys the game, he's paying for his own. You're not reserving a spot or notional 'slot' on a server with an online pass, you're paying for a service that you consume. If I buy an online pass, and use it, it's consumed, and I can't pass it on to someone else.

If you want to share your 'slot' then share your PSNID, though personally I absolutely do not recommend doing that.

In some ways this is actually a natural progression of things. In the case of used books (which people almost always raise in this discussion), a used book is less attractive than a new one, because as a physical article it shows sign of use, it is less valuable and so when a buyer pays $3 for a book instead of the retail $10 price, the publisher loses very little because the used buyer was unlikely to fork over the $10 anyway. With used games though there are two problems for publishers. 1, games on BluRay rarely show any sign of use, and even if they do have minor scratches the game on the disc is still in pristine condition, there is no perceived loss of quality of the game due to it being used before. Secondly, used games sell at retail for prices that are really very close to the new price. $55 used and $60 new is common place. It's not like a used book that sells for a mere fraction of the original price. In effect what the online pass does is restore some of the natural justice of the used product by making the used product less attractive (and less valuable) than the new one.

The copyright folks recognize this thing called the doctrine of first sale that basically allows a buyer to sell a copyrighted work on to whoever they want because once it's sold to the original buyer the publisher can't control who the thing sells to. However the entire principle of first sale is based on the physical deterioration of the used article which actually limits the attractiveness of the used article and maintains a level of new sales. It's a balancing act that is recognized in the doctrine of first sale. With game disks, there is no deterioration, and so the balance is disrupted heavily. The Online pass functionally restores the balance by making a used game less attractive to buyers if the game doesn't have an online pass with it.

As much as people want to complain about this it is actually a way of restoring a balance that has been heavily disrupted by rampant price gouging among used game retailers and the lack of physical difference between the new and used articles.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 7/7/2011 11:36:53 AM