Sony Introducing Online Pass

Posted July 6th, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Sony today confirmed the introduction of their own ‘Online Pass’ program which appears to be dubbed the ‘PSN Pass’. Starting with Resistance 3 in September SCEA’s titles will restrict access to online functionality by inserting a one-time use code in copies of their games. For those who buy used (or rent) there will be a charge to purchase a new code.

That means expect it to be present for MLB 12: The Show and beyond. The irony here is that The Show’s online play has always been its biggest weakness. Who could possible feel incentivised to pay $10 over the cost of a used copy for such a poor online experience? Though its effect on those who buy the game new is less, it still does reduce the resale value and therefore has an influence on everyone.

Its not surprising that SCEA has followed with an ‘Online Pass’ program after EA and THQ rolled out their own last year. It was actually rumored to happen sooner but is just now taking shape. It will increase the scrutiny of online play however as consumers expect more when it is framed as a value add-on. UFC Undisputed 2010 took huge criticism not just for its poor implementation of its program but also for terrible performance and a myriad of other issues. SCEA will have to finally get online play up to par in order to justify its placement behind the pay-wall.