PlayStation Pass? No Thanks
This is probably also Sony's answer to GameStop, which has been called a blasphemous stain on the entire industry for some time, due in large part to the fact that developers and publishers receive no profit from resale. Not like the entertainment industry hasn't been doing this for years.
Books now come with digitized lighters that detect when you intend on trading them in.
The special code that makes Left 4 Dead worth owning will come packaged with the game, so you don't really have to worry about that if you're buying it new. If you've decided to buy the game from Amazon, eBay, GameStop, or your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate, you'll have to shell out an additional ten bucks to $ony themselves if you want the access code to play the game online. There's no word yet on how they'll handle this, but my bet is that it's going to involve a lot of waiting. They could at least put the codes on PSN and pop up when you put the game in.
It's really not too big of a deal. Games that don't have a solid offline campaign really aren't worth the money, with a few special exceptions, and Sony has said that the Pass system will only affect online play. The real bug here is that games these days are ten dollars more than what they were five years ago, and fifty dollars was already a heft sum of money to be shelling out for a few pixels and a light gun. If you want to play online, and you happened to buy the game from a retailer who follows a "test first" policy (or GameStop, who seems to think they can open brand new games, shove stickers all over the inserts, and scratch the disc shoving it into a sleeve) then you're now seventy dollars out for just one game.
Probably even more important than any of that, however, is that this whole "pass" system is going to throw a knife in one of the oldest and most sacred traditions of video games: letting your best friend borrow your ****. Growing up, swapping games was probably one of the greatest things in the world. I mean, me and my buddy always swapped the same two games: my Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers for his Donkey Kong Classics. These two games were both on the NES, for those of you too young to know what I'm talking about. It was great knowing you were playing a game that was wrapped tightly by trust and camraderie. There was also the excitement of meeting on the playground the next down and swapping secrets you discovered that the game's actual owner didn't know about, like how to stop the water from flowing in the pub.
Yeah, I couldn't figure this out...
Granted, I'm jumping the gun a little bit because Sony hasn't told us exactly how this system is going to work, and I'm sure they probably haven't ironed it all out yet themselves. However, if the system works as they're pitching it now, it could be the worst thing to happen to gaming since, I dunno, since E.T.. What do you guys think?
This post was originally written for Nathan DiYorio's personal blog on July 12, 2011.For more of his random ramblings about cartoons, video games, and literature you should probably definitely go to his site right now: http://nathandiyorio.blogspot.com