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Sony PSP game requires online gaming voucher

Posted at 25 February 2010 01:00 CET by Randomus

The Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) has been plagued by piracy since the beginning, and Sony has been unable to do much about it.

However, the most recent anti-piracy attempt is now being criticized by gamers and bloggers who think it crosses the line.  In the SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 video game, available this week, the retail package contains a PlayStation Network game voucher that stops the game from being played online if not verified.

If the game is purchased used, the new owner can purchase a new voucher code for $20 (half the price of the MSRP of the game, $40).

Game publishers have had a difficult time stifling game piracy, despite testing out many different methods.  This is described as a “trial run,” but it could be expanded to other game titles.

Sega tried the same thing with its Little Wing license requirement for all Phantasy Star Portable 2 owners — and said it is willing to use the anti-piracy measures again in the future.

Electronic Arts executives and other companies also have the mentality that all illegal downloads are lost sales, which has been an approach that hasn’t worked.  Most gamers understand the need for anti-piracy measures, but become frustrated when the anti-piracy measures interfere with game play.

This is currently a Sony test, but it could be expanded to other future PSP game titles.  I’m interested to see if this new method helps prevent video game piracy — and what public feedback will be among gamers.

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There are 5 comments

Jedi Master Yoda
Posted on: 25 Feb 10 16:29
    Too be honest I think this is more about companies wanting to milk more money off of people as they don't want people selling the games on and want you to buy new.
    MyCE Resident
    Posted on: 25 Feb 10 18:37
      Yeah, it seems like a scheme to just make more money off of used games, whereas right now the game developers are completely cut out of the used gaming market profits.
      MyCE Resident
      Posted on: 25 Feb 10 19:39
        How typical.

        That's right Sony, punish the honest customers. Sounds like a Ubisoft move.
        MyCE Rookie
        Posted on: 26 Feb 10 02:39
          I doubt this will make any noticeable difference in profit.

          On the one had they get money they don't deserve from second hand sales.

          On the other, they will lose their biggest customers - the gamers who play so many games that they have to sell their old ones to afford new ones. If these people can't get a decent price when they sell (a game that would normally be worth $20 second hand would now be worth zero) they're not going to buy it new.
          MyCE Rookie
          Posted on: 26 Feb 10 04:46
            If it only affects online gaming I don't really care the majority of video game buyers don't play online, so the game is not "worthless", I am sure online gaming costs Sony a fortune, they don't charge for it (to the best of my knowledge), and rely on new game sales to keep it going and "pay the bills" so to speak, I don't see any issue in making second hand gamers pay if they want to play online...
            Actually I applaud the measure, it's a hell of a lot better than where they wanted to take things (PSP Go, download only gaming), so now they have addressed both issues, keeping things in a way so that used games still have a trade in value, AND finding a way to keep online gaming free for those who want to use it. (although I think $20 is a bit steep, should of been $10, that would make it much more affordable for all)

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