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Sony PSN Pass To Dent Pre Owned Game Sales

By Tony Ibrahim | Monday | 11/07/2011

With retailers like JB Hifi and EB games housing strong pre-owned game departments, gaming developers and Sony's PlayStation department are launching one time online codes to minimise used game purchases and help with the maintenance of online gaming content and components.

Sony is the latest to target gamers who purchase games second hand with their new PlayStation Network pass. The pass is an online code that can only be redeemed once (without additional charges) to be rolled out with selected games that predominantly have a large online following.

The PSN pass was revealed when German site Konsolenreff unpackaged a bundled slimline ps3 and Resistance 3 pack and noticed a new logo for the yet-to-be-announced PSN pass. The PSN pass with its one time code was confirmed by a Sony representative a day after its unofficial announcement.

Companies such as JB Hifi and EB games currently offer a trade in service, where gamers can return their finished (or just bored of) game for a credit valued at the fraction of the price which can then be invested in the next gaming title that holds their interest. Retailers then resell the game, with some titles being marginally less than their brand new counterpart.

With the introduction of the PSN pass, and its friendly equivalents from developers like Electronic Arts, selected games will come with a one-time only electronic pass that gives gamers access to its online component. For Massively MultiPlayer Online games, such as said Activision's record breaking Call of Duty series, it could negate the purchase of a second hand offering.

"We are always evaluating new programs for our online offering," a Sony statement revealed.

"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.

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

Developer Electronic Boutique claim their one time code is simply there to help with the maintenance of their game's online components, charging second hand buyers $10 to generate another unique code.

Mcvuk.com favourite Michael Pachter believes EA's $10 code generation fee is too cheap, and that the practice will become an industry norm.

"I think it's brilliant and yes, I think it will become the norm at the major publishers" he said to IndustryGamers. "And I think that EA is charging too little."

Consumer's purchasing the game second hand will have to factor in the additional cost of its online component. In these cases, developers hope this little push will be enough to encourage people to buy the game brand new, or at the least help with the management of their online gaming arenas.

"With Online Pass, EA is ensuring that second-hand purchasers will pay something for the maintenance of the server network and for access to premium content, since they extend the costs of providing these services."

The first game to be released with the Playstation Network Pass will be Resistence 3. 

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