Originally Published: July 19, 2011, on EGMNOW.COM

THE BUZZ: Joining the ranks of THQ, EA, and Warner Bros., Sony has come forward and confirmed that they will be the first first-party to include an online pass, rumored to be called PSN Pass, with their games to unlock some, if not all, of a game’s online features.

WHAT WE KNOW: The PSN Pass system will be much like others implemented in third-party games up to this point. A new copy of the game will come with a one-use only code that can be used to access online play for the game. Players who buy the game used from retailers such as Gamestop and want the online content will be forced to go onto the Playstation Store and pay a small fee for a new code to use with their previously owned game, just like with third-party titles that make use of online passes. The price point is still unknown, but will likely be universal across the board once more games begin featuring PSN Pass and Sony has confirmed that Resistance 3 will be the first game to require it for unlocking its online multiplayer.

WHAT IT MEANS: “This is an important initiative as it allows us to accelerate our commitment to enhancing premium online services across our first party game portfolio,” said a Sony spokesperson on the matter of PSN Pass. This is clearly just another step by developers and publishers to make sure they receive some sort of cut of the profits from used game sales and it was only a matter of time before the first-parties got in on this. And since Sony’s online pass will already be implemented by September with Resistance 3, even though Sony said it would be game-specific, it isn’t too far fetched to think that Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One, Twisted Metal, and Uncharted 3 could likely see passes as well even though they were not directly mentioned. And if Sony is willing to begin implementing this, could Microsoft be that far behind? Considering you already have to pay for Xbox Live, compared to PSN’s free service, Microsoft could be even more primed to put the screws to used game retailers in the future.

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