FutureFive NZ - Sony to take cues from EA's Online Pass?

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Sony to take cues from EA's Online Pass?

GamesIndustry.biz reports that Sony is "exploring actively" a way to earn revenue from those who purchase its games second hand; specifically, Sony is looking into charging second-hand users for online multiplayer access.

"On the principle of making online portions of the game available or unlocked from the disc-based release for a fee, we're broadly supportive of that, and we're exploring actively the same option for our own content" said Sony's European president Andrew House.

The move would mean that gamers who purchase second-hand copies of the likes of Uncharted 3 and Killzone 3 just might have to pay a one-off fee to play the online portions of those games. It's a strategy that's already been adopted by the likes of EA and THQ for some titles.

These comments follow Sony's recent introduction of a paid, premium online service - PlayStation Plus - additional to the free online play currently offered by the PlayStation Network. Historically, the PlayStation Network has provided much the same service as Microsoft's Xbox LIVE service for Xbox 360 but without charging users a subscription for use.

"In terms of a just a charge for basic online play, that's something that we have to talk about a lot more and we struggle with a little bit because we feel very vindicated and base a lot of the success of PSN today - a 70 per cent connection rate across consoles - on the fact that we've removed that major initial barrier to entry," said House.

According to the GamesIndustry.biz report, the recently launched PlayStation Plus has shown encouraging adoption rates. "It's interesting that there's been a more significant uptake on the annual subscriptions than there has been on the three months subscription, with the exception of Japan," explained House.

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