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back to article Sony pains pre-owned game punters with PSN Pass

Sony has officially announced the PSN Pass, a network tollbooth for "premium" online services. The belt will tighten in September with the launch of exclusive PS3 title Resistance 3. The game will come with a code that will allow the purchaser to play online through PSN. Anyone purchasing secondhand copies of the game from …

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FAIL

fixed

"We are always evaluating new programmes for our online offering,"

"We are always looking for new ways to charge customers"

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No, no

It's more like:

"We've realized that people are buying games second hand and we're not getting any revenue from them. We're looking for ways to fix that."

Actually I'm kind of suprised they're not trying to say that buying second hand games is theft.

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Cash grab but not surprising

It's not about enhancing the online experience but in squelching the second hand market. I expect Sony, EA et al are extremely annoyed when they see their sales suppressed because people buy them second hand and all the profit ends up in GAME or Gamestop's pockets.

Personally I think it could be achieved more elegantly by including a code for a map pack with the game so that second hand players could still be able to play online but with a limited number of maps.

I also wonder what this means for rentals.

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Mushroom

solution

SImple, consumers vote with their pockets and just dont bother buying this game in the first place.

I'm surprised Sony would announce this so soon after their recent embarrassment

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How will it work for companies like Game

Who sell repackage old games and sell them as new?

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Why is it always followed my marketing bull

about 'enhancing online market opportunities'. NO WAY I'm buying these games, and don't get me started on the 'Buy' option on the PSN Movie store - anybody who's EVER done that deserves a wedgie a day for the next 10 yearsfor encouraging them.

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FAIL

Pre-owned is a big market...

Now I actually own a modern console (Xbox 360), I can actually buy modern games. £40 for a game? I can't justify in this tight times. £10-20 - much easier to justify.

Traded in some 360 games for the first time recently, was going to get another pre-owned as a result. If you look in HMV, the pre-owned section is bigger than the new game section. And I actually had the sales assistant tell me that if Game offered me more money for my game, they would try to match it. WTF?!

I'm getting better service than if I was buying the game new!

You can apply a blunt market vegetable to me in strange places if I'm wrong, but I'm betting those special games that require a pass will happen to be the really popular can't live without games, e.g. CoD, etc.

Looks like Sony's going for a popularity award at the moment. Or they employed any Apple marketting peeps recently?

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Correction

"This is an important initiative as it allows us to accelerate our commitment to enhancing premium online services across our first party game portfolio."

should read

"This is an important initiative as it allows us to accelerate our commitment to taking as much money as possible from people."

Fixed for you.

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FAIL

Well that was One Game...

had, have no interest in whats so ever, I might pick up Duke Once it hits the Bargain Bin, but as far as FPS Shovelware goes I'M SICK OF IT!

And as if I were ever inclined to actually find myself wanting this lame Game, I would suddenly find myself not wanting it any longer. Is S0NY want to charge me for access to their PSN Network, then they should just do that. But, WHO WOULD BE STUPID ENOUGH TO GIVE THOSE FECKERS THEIR CREDIT CARD #s again after the recent events? I don't think I would that's for sure.

In closing every Game that will require some "Code" to "unlock" features that were granted to me the moment I took delivery of the Box. Will equate 1 lost Sale to whomever thinks this is a naff idea.

Fail well...

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How does this work with families?

How will this work when others in the same family/home use the game online. Will they have to each own a code. At least with the 360 online gameplay you pay 1 fee per person (or get a family account) for as many games that the family use online. I can have fun with my friends who are forever telling me how good the FREE Sony online game play is compared to the costly 360 option

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Stop

Old News

EA have been doing this fora while with games.

Fifa 11 for example, you get 2 weeks free trial, then have to buy a pass

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Gimp

In other news...

...Sony are currently developing a new 1st person shooter entitled "Corporate Strategy." The objective of which is too shoot yourself in the foot as much as possible in order to wipe out all traces of market share.

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Devil

In makes me unpopular...

...but I've always been a proponent of the concept that those people should buy their games new.

The developers and producers make these games, and once a company like Game steps in, buys your old game off you for a few quid and then sells it for 10, the developers and producers make nothing for their hard work and Game effectively pirates it.

There's a wave of belief amongst alot of (mostly younger) people who think that just because a game exists they're entitled to it or MUST play it, one way or another. If you can't afford a game, then you don't buy it. Once enough people can't buy the game and sales fall off then the prices have to come down, and arsehole companies like EA make less billions and start treating their paying customers better - like perhaps stopping putting bullshit DRM into their products.

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WTF?

Stealing?

"The developers and producers make these games, and once a company like Game steps in, buys your old game off you for a few quid and then sells it for 10, the developers and producers make nothing for their hard work and Game effectively pirates it."

That's nonsense. The devs got rewarded through the original sale, and then the good (a DVD with the game on it) belongs to me, period. And I can do with my property whatever I want.

But I guess if you sell your car then you give a share of the money you got to the car manufacturer, right? And if you sell your house, I guess you give a part of the money to the builder who built the house at some point in the past, or to his descendants. No? Why not? Following your crude logic, if you don't give them a share, you're effectively stealing from them.

Of course game publishers want to drain some of the money that goes in 2nd hand games. However, they are only able to get through with it if their customers actually are that stupid to believe they are stealing from the devs when selling or buying used games.

"Once enough people can't buy the game and sales fall off then the prices have to come down, and arsehole companies like EA make less billions and start treating their paying customers better - like perhaps stopping putting bullshit DRM into their products."

Yeah, in your dreams maybe. Here on Planet Earth they more likely will claim the low sales on piracy and then come up with even stronger measures, as they did in the past.

By now it should be very obvious that the aim of the gaming industry is to get their customers away from the 'pay one play forever' model where games come on physical media to a 'pay-per-use' model where they can charge gamers for the time they are playing. They have made this more than clear on various occasions, and you have to be very thick to miss that. The beginning was made by Valve with STEAM games like HL2 where only a part of the game is on the physical media, and the game is locked to a certain user account.Later supplemented by online activation (with a limited amount of activations of course), digital distribution, DLC (charging for content which should have come with the game), requiring an online connection when playing single player games, and now it's activation codes for multiplayer. Of course all these charged-for options are not transferrable. If you really believe that they will ever go back to DRM-free distribution you're delusional.

Game publishers found that a big part of their customer base is retarded enough to swallow the constant blame on piracy (games are never low because a title is crap, sure) and happily pay for slices of a game which used to come in one piece. Look at when EA introduced their permanent online requirement. Everyone cried but in the end there were enough idiots who actually purchased this crap.

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WTF?

In makes me unpopular...

...but I've always been a proponent of the concept that those people should buy their cars new.

The designers and mechanics make these cars, and once a used car company steps in, buys your old car off you for a few quid and then sells it for 10, the designers and mechanics make nothing for their hard work and the garage effectively pirates it.

---

Sorry, but why? I'm a developer and I don't see why after I've sold you a copy it's any of my business what you do with it - even if you do make a few quid back selling it to someone who acts as a broker and also makes a few quid.

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FAIL

Yeah, right

And I suppose you pay your plumber every time you flush your toilet?

The manufacturers got paid the first time. The original owner hasn't got the game anymore. Nobody has lost out.

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the PSN Pass is essentially a tax on folk who buy pre-owned games

Really? Looks much more like a charge for using their servers to me.... Or do you think they're obliged to allow access to anyone?

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Good point

As long as they design the game so we can set up our own server instead.

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Pay for use of their server?

Not sure how you figure that. COD has a matchmaking server, but the actual game you play is hosted by one of the players in the match. AFAIK I paid when I bought the game thanks.

Looks like I'm going to be bent over & violated on this one because I have two PS3's. I can see Sony's viewpoint though - they wouldn't want to encourage people to buy more than one PS3 now would they. Sheesh.

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Good for them

Games companies/publishers/platform owners don't make money from second hand sales. Because digital products like games don't really degrade with use, high street stores can buy back second hand games at a low price, resell them marginally cheaper than new and pocket a ridiculous markup without passing any profit on to the people and companies who paid and worked to make the game.

The games companies don't wan't to make their money by selling online passes, they want to make new games more valuable than used copies and online passes are one of the few ways they can do this. They really have been boxed into a corner as they are competing with *their own product*.

The real baddies here are the high street chains who are competing with their suppliers and the members of the gaming public who will buy second hand because it's three quid cheaper.

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Technically true

"Because digital products like games don't really degrade with use..."

While technically true, it is very much *not* true that they hold their value. Otherwise, I have this Megadrive game here, you want it for £40, which is what it cost when it came out? Thought not. You can treat this as equivalent to degrading with use, as it's still depreciation.

Also, Ford competes with two-year old Mondeos when trying to sell new Mondeos, but you don't hear them complaining.

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FAIL

Software depreciation

Digital software doesn't depreciate? Please don't tell Canada Revenue, they allow me to claim an annual depreciation rate of 100% on my business software purchases. This would include any video games I purchased for the purpose of renting out.

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Pirate

Only a matter of time

"Sony hasn't said how much the pass code will cost.

Whatever the price, the PSN Pass is essentially a tax on folk who buy pre-owned games."

That'll be another Sony users register, then.

has to be the Pirate icon

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Ridiculous

I never planned on purchasing Resistance 3 on release, but will wait for a discount or buy used without buying the pass.

I understand network overhead costs, but not how Sony can continue to advertise PSN as free. More like free* now.

What other industry taxes pre-owned sales?

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Pint

The way the second-hand market is going by the looks of it..

Didn't Capcom do something a bit similar for a DS game, it's basically crippled on the second-hand market as you can't reset the game and play it again?

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Unhappy

Yup

Expect more to follow.

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No problem for me

I buy my games new anyway. I doubt it'll really affect second-hand people anyway. If anything, it'll lower second-hand prices as companies like GAME will realise that they can't get away with selling second-hand games at a few pounds lower than new like they do now.

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That removes my main argument about my son not getting an XBox

If the PSN stops being free, then I'll tell him to go for it.

(Sony now being far more evil than Microsoft.)

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I've had enough of Sony's shit.

Anybody wanna buy a PS3?

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Used PS3?

Wonder how long it will be before there's a PSN exclusion for those...

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Flame

Kneejerk reaction

I wish Sony did have an exclusion on 2nd hand PS3s. That would have shown the heifers that stole mine :-(

</rant>

I don't really. Sony are taking the P.

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good

hopefully this will force the game retailers to drop there prices for used games. GAme and game station for far too long have gouging the public for 2nd hand games. Ive felt for some time the prices for used games is far too high and this should make the games worth less.

all for this idea!

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Stop

This needs to be tested in court.

It sounds as though it would conflict with Exhaustion of Rights.

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Stop

Own Nothing

This moves us one step further to where we own nothing, but rent a (very) limited license to use. Its how it will be for Music, films, eBooks and now games.

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Bound to Happen Eventually!

The PSN free ride was bound to end some day. PSN Plus was the start, this is the next step and then we'll probably see a two-tier PSN, aka Xbox Live Silver and Gold.

P.S. Don't you just love impartial reporting: "Whatever the price, the PSN Pass is essentially a tax on folk who buy pre-owned games.".

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Not the BBC

"P.S. Don't you just love impartial reporting: "Whatever the price, the PSN Pass is essentially a tax on folk who buy pre-owned games.". "

This website lies in the complement of the BBC, hence doesn't have to be impartial. One benefit of this is that they can say things that are obviously true, but might offend certain people, or rather multinational corporations.

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El reg isn't impartial

And has never claimed to be - The tagline says " Biting the hand that feeds it" not "Fair and Balanced".

And in any case, what you've quoted really isn't an opinion. Its a fact. Sony is placing a charge on pre-owned game buyers - fact.

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EA

have been doing this for a while.

annoying. i dont see how its ethical to be honest. if you buy a game and dont like it you then lose value on trade in.

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WTF?

This is already the case....

...for some of the games on PS3, for instance FIFA 11 has a code supplied as new and once used anyone buying a s/h copy who never had an original copy then needs to buy a new access code.

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FAIL

Bad Sony.... (yawn)

Another day, another pathetic El-Reg hate fueled Sony story, with a small footnote, that everyone else in the industry is also doing the exact same thing....

It's the way the industry has to go, too many people waiting a few weeks and picking up heavily discounted titles, that the original developer gets no revenue from.

This is good news, as it means money is actually getting back to the companies that CREATE the games in the first place, rather than staying with the retailers, who already make money on the original sales, and then double-dip.

Without the game studios creating content, there would be no games.

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Trollface

or maybe

Or maybe they could make games that weren't mindless churned out crap that can be completed in 6 hours so that their gamers actually hold onto them for more than a week?

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Well I never

thought that I might agree with Steve/Mark/Carole.

Bar the looney, paranoid,ignorant, puerile fanboism of the first paragraph of course.

The remaining three paras do make a certain sense and every one has a choice about whether or not hey wish to pay to play. The ethics are questionable but the honesty isn't. Sony are clear about what you haveto do access the multiplayer code. You either have to pay retail or pay non-retail, but that's an open , honest up front choice.

I won't pay to play multi-player but because in fish-world that's less important than the multiplayer. Fish jr takes a different view.

It does beg the question wheher it's more patheric to hang around El-Reg in order to boost a large manufacturer of expensive boxes or for EL-Regto report honestly about what Sony or doing.

Personally I'd vote the former.

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Trollface

Well...

If it keeps all the mouthy 14 year-old cheapskates from playing online games then it can only be a good thing.

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As long as they make it obvious on the packaging

That way I won't buy it new or second hand.

I hope the software companies prefer not to piss off their potential customers with this one.

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FAIL

New ways to harass the customer

One can hardly be surprised, after all, it's Sony we're talking about.

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Anonymous Coward

title on my HUD

As long as the money for this is going to the dev studio/publisher (tho I'd rather it be the studio ;) ) behind the game, I have no problem. Sony keeps all the money then it's wrong.

As it stands, high street games stores are making a killing out of second hand titles by buying them in cheap and selling them at near new prices, denying revenue to the creators of the game.

I don't mind there being a second hand market, especially for older platforms. I just don't like the high street stores scalping both the customer *and* the game makers in one fell swoop.

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FAIL

Well ...

It's not an incentive to purchase new, it's simply a not purchase at all and you lose any revenue you could have potentially had from DLC purchases.

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Ouch...

I thought one of the reasons that pre-owned games kept a good price, was the fact that the game is the 'key' to playing it on-line. It's not as if Sony/Microsoft has a BIG problem with pirates (like the PC platform). Microsoft charge an annual fee for Live Gold (allowing you to play ALL games on-line vs others). Pricing this to individual games is not a good move IMO, especially as Sony fans have said on-line gaming is 'free' compared to the Xbox offering which makes it a better offering.

What what I've seen and heard of the on-line experiences of both the 360 and PS3, the 360 wins for gaming hands down, maybe Microsoft got it right with their annual fee for access to all of it....

Will be interested to see what people make of this move...

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mixed feelings...

while i dont like being ripped off this isnt as black and white as people seem to think.

games with this on should retail 2nd hand for: (the same price as before) - (how much it costs to buy pass)

i wonder how does this affect the resale value of 2nd hand games? it also seems to screw people who lend games to people (i lend them out to mates who dont earn as much as me) - will they be able to play?

for me this is still dodgy practice. i dont recall people like Ford wanting to charge you to drive 2nd hand cars.

plus, its not like sony has thousands of dedicated servers to play on. its all p2p on most games, all they do is hook you up to a p2p game that the users are paying to host anyway

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can't see that happening

"games with this on should retail 2nd hand for: (the same price as before) - (how much it costs to buy pass)"

But then I've seen Game/Gamestation selling pre-owned games for more than a new copy before!

I've always tended to buy my games new, as ive had a few pre-owned things in the past that had damaged disks etc, i see a couple of quid extra for a sealed new game as worth it, saving a potential trip back to replace it. Now i only tend to go for pre-owned if it's considerably cheaper, or not available anymore new*

*this sort of thing needs special mention, if the producers want to complain about, and lash out against, the second hand markets, they'd better make damn sure i can always get things new.

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