Online gaming on consoles just took an ugly turn for the worse. According to Destructoid, all Sony-developed games will require an "online pass" — a code that comes with only new copies of a game in order play online. Can you hear the mobs?
Sony didn't come straight out and say why it's suddenly decided to start requiring online passes to play its first-party titles online, but it should be obvious isn't it?
It's all about strangling used game sales to death.
"Online Pass will be incorporated into Uncharted 3 and future Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS) games with online functionality," the company told Destructoid. "We will provide further information in the future. "
In what is a very direct bid to deter gamers from picking up slightly played, second-hand copies of its PlayStation 3 games, those wishing to play online have no choice but to buy a new copy in order to secure a valid online pass code.
Gamers who pick up a used copy at a used game store like GameStop will have slimmer chances of grabbing a working online pass code with the game, because if the original buyer already used it, it's no good for the second buyer.
Following a trend that seems to be echoing across the game publishing industry, Sony started requiring an online pass with the recent release of PS3 shooter Resistance 3. Other game publishing giants such as Ubisoft and EA also introduced their own respective "online pass" systems last year and have steadily eased gamers into accepting the concept.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception will be the next major blockbuster hit from Sony to require a new code to play online. All future games published by Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios will require one to game online too.
What does this ultimately mean? Well, if you love your first-party Sony games and love gaming online, you'd better love buying new copies too. Not only that, but it seems within reason that Sony will extend the online pass requirement to its PS Vita and PlayStation Portable gaming systems, and the inevitable PlayStation 4.
While some publishers do offer for sale the online code at a separate price, should you choose to buy a used copy, Sony currently does not. How do you feel about publishers strong-arming gamers into buying new copies that include an online pass code in order to access online modes?