PSN Pass Will Be “System Level”

Quite why it has fallen to Insomniac to deliver news on PSN Pass rather than Sony is anyone’s guess, but community manager James Stevenson has once again spoken out about the still all-too-vague new service.

“PSN Pass will be system level,” he said this morning on the developer’s official forums, “and will allow dual-login and any user on the system to play online.”

At first that sounds great – it looks like once activated multiple accounts on the same console wi’ll be able to play online – but surely it’s per PSN user too – what happens if you want to take the game around to a mate’s house?

Once again, this drip-feeding of information raises more questions than answers – Sony really, really need to get this Pass system up on the official channels (like the EU Blog) so we can all find out what’s going on…


  1. if they really thought this was a feature to add value to the games like they claim, and you’d have to be the most naive person on the planet to believe that, then why are they so reluctant to even mention it?

    if it is allowing multiple users on a console to play online without having to buy new passes that’s good.
    that’s more than ea’s passes do from my understanding.

    but that doesn’t change the fact this pass is motivated by a totally unjustified attack on the preowned market.
    because while the preowned market may mean they get a bit less money coming in, of course it also helps bring money in with trades helping to fund new purchases and it subsidising the store selling new games for less than their rrp, but for the sake of argument let’s say it reduces their potential income by more that it supports it.
    even in that case they still have no right to stop the preowned market.

    they have no more right to stop us selling our property than they do to stop us voting.

    • No one is trying to stop you selling or buying a preowned game. Incentivising the purchase of new? Yes. But your whole “publishers have to revert to illegal tactics” angle is getting real old.

      You can sell the game. You can buy the game second-hand. Just like any other product. When it comes to any associated services, however, the service provider reserves the right to set the price – just like in every other business.

      • you honestly believe that?

        that this isn’t motivated by the desire to get rid of the preowned market?
        they’ve shown that’s exactly what they want to do.
        from those, most likely illegal, notices in game manuals,
        to the ability they’ve proven they have for locking a disc to a single user, that they know will only fool the naive and stupid.

        and my complaints about the illegal tactics may be getting old, but it doesn’t make them any less valid.

        just because the campaign to give women the vote ended in this country nearly a century ago it doesn’t mean we would accept losing it again as it’s an “old” argument.

        no offense, but i cannot give any respect to any suggestion that any company’s profits are more important than the law.
        and i don’t trust the motivations of anybody who would make such a claim.

      • Im with you most of the hazelam, I think its a terrible state of affairs, I dont think it could be deemed ilegal. However it is certainly un-ethical in my view. At the base level, I feel I am being slightly punished because I dont have the disposable income to persistently buy game new and at RRP.

      • Come on guys, let’s not have this debate for the 4,000th time hey? Let’s keep it at 3,999 as that’s a nice round number.

      • I think the debate is a valid one, the only problem is that we make absolutely no difference and the people who could make a difference to such acts dont give a hoot. I emailed my MP about this exact issue a year or so ago when this practise was introduced and she essentially told me she didn’t care and sent me on my merry way.
        This isn’t the last she has heard of me…mwwahahahahaha ;-)

      • You keep quoting the law and “illegal tactics.” Have you any training in this area? It just sounds like you throwing around the wors “illegal” because you don’t like something.

        You say attack, I say sound business acumen. And apologies for having this debate again. If anything this perennial argument is old.

        How about you stop claiming a legitimate business practice (to entice someone to purchase a product new so the ongoing service attached to that product is paid for by the current end-user) is unlawful and I’ll stop replying? Deal?

      • Brendan, if you wait a month you an buy the game new for the same price as preowned after a week.

        So, you don’t have the income? Or the patience?

      • i did not say the passes were illegal, in fact i said i expect they are due to it being an ongoing service they provide, i think i made that point several times.

        the attack on a legitimate market is what i believe is illegal.

        are you really telling me i need to have a law degree to claim my purchases are my own property now?

        you don’t need to have studied law for years to know basic principals like our rights over our own property.

      • You own the product, not the service. I do understand you don’t differentiate between the two.

        And an attack on a legitimate business? It’s called capitalism. One business trying to make profit usually at the expense of another. The have a way of making money and get paid for the service provided. They’re doing it. End of. Seriously – I’m not commenting about this any more. Feel free to rant all you want unchecked.

      • As far as I’m aware you don’t actually buy the game, you buy a license to play the game. How this fits into this debate I don’t know, but I expect its probably relavent somewhere.

      • “No one is trying to stop you selling or buying a preowned game. Incentivising the purchase of new? Yes.”

        Sorry Kovacs but this is utter bullshit. They are not incentivising the purchase of new at all.

        As someone who buys all their games new, it doesn’t give me anything extra, in fact all it means for me is that should I fall upon hard times and need to sell my games, they will be worth much much less. To be honest, this just makes me feel like quitting buying new games and turning towards piracy rather than making me want to buy additional brand new games.

        At best they are pushing people who previously bought a lot of pre-owned into buying new by adding barriers to pre-owned.

        Imagine this scenario: I buy a new game, put it in my PS3 and play it for a couple of hours, realise it’s a crappy game/not to my taste… I’m left with a game that’s depreciated MASSIVELY even though it’s effectively brand new.

        They are not adding any value or providing any additional rewards/incentives for buying new. All they have done is de-valued my games collection.

      • I much prefer Activision’s approach, odd how almost everyone can see a negative side to the pass system but doesn’t give the one company not taking part in it any credit as viable means of slowing down trade-ins and therefore pre-owned sales. The pantomime love-to-hate thing must be difficult to get over.

      • Also, not buying something because the price will fall will be far, far worse for the industry than some people subsidising their new purchases with trade-ins

        Most games (except for CoD and Rockstar’s best sellers) seem to be available for £22.99 to £27.99 a week or two after release, even in the normally higher charging bricks & mortar stores.

        If everyone hangs on for the price drop it will cause further deflation of game prices meaning even more margin eroded from retail/pubs/devs This will mean even more focus on annual franchises and leveraging the IPs into more & more spin-offs which will inevitably mean even less funds for risky projects.

      • Ah, a good ol debate. Strangely i dont much care today as i find myself having other more important things to think about but id like to *like* Davids comment somewhere up there. I like the style :)

    • It isn’t an unjustified attack on the preowned market, it’s justified by the developers and publishers wanting to get money from a source they normally are left out of, and I don’t see why they should be vilified for that. Yes it is annoying having these passes, but you’re essentially complaining that the game you’re getting cheaper than normal might be more expensive (but still less than if it was new in most cases). If the game retailers just put up preowned prices by £5-10, the effect on you would be the same, but hardly anyone would be getting so angry about it.

      Finally, as Kovacs said, they’re not stopping you selling your games, it’s just you might get a little less for them as the retailers are prepared to pay less.

      • and as i keep pointing out, legally they have no right to money from that source, the games are no longer their property at that point.

        sure they originally created the product, but they were paid their share for that when they sold the game new.

        maybe it is unfair that people are making money on preowned games without cutting them in, though i believe the benefits outweigh the costs, but that doesn’t mean they have any right to any of those profits.

        like i keep saying, this is not about the pass itself, it’s about the long term consequences of it.

        if sony and other publishers gave a 100% guarantee that they would never adopt steam style drm i would drop any objection to these passes in an instant.

        but i have no doubt as soon as they feel they can get away with it they’ll implement them like a shot.

      • I’m glad you’re here to make this argument Hazelam. TBH the only way I could see a publisher adopting a Steam-style DRM system would be for downloadable content only, and only if they allowed access as Steam does to the content (locked to user, but allowing for roaming). The day they try to lock physical media to a console or user is the day the sky falls on their heads; the only reason that this hasn’t happened with Steam I imagine is that at least with the PC, piracy is an option.

        In any case, publishers need to grow a pair and shake the 2nd hand game retailers into line if they have a problem; stop taxing your customer base (who have limited funds already), and start taxing those reaping the profits. It’s like asking the poor to pay off the debt of the rich.

      • Hazelam, they’re not claiming a legal right to money from your preowned market. They’re claiming a fee to access their servers for multiplayer, which, if you think about it, isn’t technically on the disk or ever in your console. Only assets that make it possible to play online are there, but the most vital part are servers.
        They’re simply charging people to access the publisher’s equipment.
        The game you own, is the game you can play without any outside assistance from the likes of Sony or EA, and you pay absolutely nothing to the publisher should you pick it up preowned.
        Picture it as two games on each disk. The distinction becomes even more obvious with games like Bioshock 2 or Medal of Honor- they even had different development houses working on their multiplayer components! Even games like Uncharted have different developers working on the multiplayer if you look at the credits. They are separate entities.

      • HAZELAM : I do apologise but are you not completely bored yet of harping on about the same old tripe? You’ve made you’re point many times why not just leave it now like I have!?

      • COLMSHAN1990 Has hit the nail on the head! Very well put :D

      • COLMSHAN1990 is dead right, which is why I have no problem with the pass system. It’s just an adjustment on the second hand market that will see _some_ of the revenue return to the multiplayer service provider (ie: publishers and devs).

        It certainly won’t destroy the second hand market as the doom and gloom tin foil hat brigade seem to assume.

    • Whilst the practise in the publishers right, they are not helping themselves.

      Yes some people (not me) will still purchase the games with passes, but some cant afford the extra expense, esspecially in this climate, people who live at home will easily be able to afford the full service, whilst people who have bills to pay or low income are being punished.

      I think given time people will stop buying completely, and start other hobbies (like snake keeping for me, which also has earning potential) and when my console dies (at this time) i dont intend buying another.

      My point being, the publishers will see a small rise in new sales followed by a bigger decline. Il put my money on the next playstation not selling half as well as the ps3 did.

    • I am inclined to agree that the pass doesn’t seem to be giving me anything for buying a new copy of the game. It’s just making me pay extra if I choose to purchase second hand copies. Also as the article states ” what happens if you want to take the game around to a mate’s house?”. If this is the case and it does stop this then it’s getting in the way of what gaming is all about imo, which is having fun with your mates!

  2. Activate Activate Ac-Activate A—oh yeah this is interesting news

  3. I’ll take a punt and say its identicle to everyother online pass system. You activate the code and your playing online, any other accounts on that console will be fine. EA passes work in the same way.

    The pre-owned market means that NO MONEY coming into the developers / publishers not just a little bit less. They aren’t stopping anyone from reselling games they have bought they are simply trying to get back lost revenue.

    A pre-owned purchaser is not a consumer and is essentially no different then a pirate, neither of you are paying the dev / pub for playing there game.

    Deal with it and move on.

    • Thanks for making that clearer.

    • the law says there’s a world of difference between a preowned buyer and a pirate.

      i’ll listen to the law before any publisher.

    • A pre owned purchaser is no different to a pirate – what a ludicrous statement.
      Nothing even close to a pirate, for 1 most pre-owned purchasers dont speak with West Country accent and say “Arrrrr” very much. I’d hazard a guess very few own parrots and as for….Oh wait…I see what you mean…even then its still a ludicrous statement ;-)

      • LOL I agree, in what sense, is a preowned user a pirate????????

        The devs arnt losing anything because they have already been paid.

        the publishers arnt losing anything because there arnt magically extra copies floating around

        and the people that buy preowned (in alot of cases) wouldnt buy the games at all if they couldnt get them cheap.

        gaming for the most part is a hobby, and people only reserve a small amount of money for hobbies, they have mouths to feed ect.

        I hate to say it, but the publishers are using our own addiction/enthusiasm against us

    • Argh. I been buyin preowned games for many a moons. I am also a pirate. My vessel sails the seven seas and I be blowing up galleons and drinking rum with me mates. What be your problem with pirates. Be ye prejudice. Surfice to say not many franchises of game be taking gold bullion at this time, so I have had to get a part time job argh. I do however believe developers need money for their commpanies to make new sea fairing games. Therefore I agreed with the pass system. Argh

  4. How do other passes work? If you have one for FIFA, can you take your FIFA box round to a mates and play online there if you login as yourself?

    Maybe you’ll just have to start taking your FIFA box and your PS3… ;)

    • On the PS3 all EA passes download a 100KB file that is added to your download History. I imagine if you take the disc round to your mates, log in as you, download the pass you can then play….as can anyone else on the machine.

      Comes in handy when buying games from the USA as it means you can use them with your UK account :)

  5. All online passes currently tie to both the account and the machine, and I’m side that’ll be the same here. Any user on my ps3 benefits from the fact the online pass had been activated on that ps3. Plus, I can take my game around a mates and play online there, ad its also tied to the account. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I’m sure that’s how it works.

    Also, I can’t believe this comments section is turning into a pre-owned debate yet again.

    • that’s because that’s what this is about, they may spew some bull about adding value, or some other lame rationalisation, but this is all about attacking the preowned market.

      • But we only had this debate yesterday. I’m not going to say what I want to in response to your comment, because everything that could be said about it was said yesterday.

      • it’s a shame for both of us, because this issue isn’t going to go away.

        you don’t like me complaining about it, for some reason, and i don’t like the attack on my rights this could/will lead to.

      • It’s not an attack, its a defense against the pre-owned market.

        Why are you so up in arms about it?

        Shouldn’t they deserve to make some money for a product they spent 3 years making?

      • I’m not saying I don’t like you commenting. I’m just saying its unnecessary to have the same debate twice on consecutive days. Everything that could be said was said yesterday.

      • tonycawley, it’s now actually been about 4 days having the same conversation. Has been slightly entertaining seeing this psn pass compared to : the 1930s, the 1980s, Cancer research,3 world countries, the women’s right to vote act,charity shops,public libraries,art galleries ermmm can’t remember what else that’s just off the top of my head (thanks Hazel)

  6. Good! So my dad can play online now unlike account based ones like the one on BFBC2. he had no extra maps/VIP content.

  7. I’m bored by this now. It’s going to happen. A big corporation like Sony has seen a way of making money for it’s publishers and developers. I’m in shock. If anyone doesn’t like it they can move onto a Microsoft console, pay an annual online fee but be able to play a complete second hand game. Simple.

    • Shame 360 owners have to pay 3 times play online and haven’t seen the common sense to ASK WHY.

      Pre-owned game is purchased from GAME, online pass purchased from MARKET PLACE and finally an XBL Sub.

      • thats so true, its even more unjust for xbox users than it is ps3 users

      • that is a very good point.

    • I apologise. I thought this was only on PS3. Oops. There is the argument then. Stick with PS3 it sucks but not as much. So the cheapest option is PC gaming.

  8. If this did come into play where it’s only tied to an individual console and not the user, what happens when your PS3 YLODs?

    This happened to me recently and it’s already horrific enough losing your save games/trophies if you haven’t backed up/synced recently.

    • It’s only tied to the user account not the PS3. You just download the pass file via your download history.

      • That’s not what this article is suggesting.

        “Per console, then, not per username”.

      • As in, everyone on the console will be able to play online. It’ll still be just a file that one user downloads, so if the PS3 dies, you redownload it.

      • What’s stopping you from just downloading it your friends ps3 then?

  9. Will this PSN Pass apply to my second hand CDs and DVDs that I purchased at CEX? Its just some of them have extra content, bonus features/tracks, as well as online services. Do I need a Universal Music Group Pass, Warner Music Pass, or EMI Group Pass??

    Whilst I admit that the capitalist system is the best we have…the greed within is a terrible thing, IMO.

  10. In my experience, if I redeem an online pass, I can log into my brothers ps3 and play online, but only on my profile, so any trophies earned/save files are logged to that profile on his machine, he cannot access the online portion of the game on his own account. That’s how we got burned on NHL 11.

    • That’s how I thought it would work. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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