PlayStation games to be bundled with online pass for first-time buyers only

Sony arms paywall in new war on pre-owned

Sony has joined the publishing industry’s battle against pre-owned games by announcing plans to introduce an ‘online games paywall’.

The PlayStation manufacturer will bind the ‘PSN Pass’ process into its own titles, beginning in September with Insomniac’s Resistance 3.

The Pass requires customers to use an in-the-box code to access various gameplay features that can only be downloaded via the PlayStation Network.

The implication is that pre-owned buyers of such games, who won’t be able to re-use the code, will be frozen out of the online content, unless an additional fee is paid.

"Starting with Resistance 3 this September, we will be instituting a network pass program for PS3 games with online capabilities,” Sony said.

“This program will be game-specific. Games that are a part of this program will include a single-use registration code that grants the account holder redeeming the code full online access for that title.”

Sony joins the likes of Codemasters, THQ and Electronic Arts in introducing an online paywall.

The scheme has sparked consumer uproar, with many aggrieved that online gaming is not freely available for a growing number of games that end up in the pre-owned bins.

Many developers, meanwhile, believe the pre-owned market has become too big a part of the finely-balanced games economy.

Last year Blitz Games Studios co-founder Andrew Oliver said pre-owned sales is a bigger problem than piracy.

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