Sony is testing a new way to monetize the PlayStation Network without resorting to subscription fees. Their idea is to pass fees on the second hand market.
SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 is in stores now. Buy a new copy and you can play online over PlayStation Network for free after you register the game. Buy it used and you have to fork over an extra $20 for a PSN entitlement voucher before you can play online. Fireteam Bravo 3 has a retail price of $39.99, so the PSN entitlement voucher is half of the price of a new game.
Fireteam Bravo 3 isn’t the first PSP game to require registration for online play. Sega introduced a similar strategy with Phantasy Star Portable 2, which requires all PlayStation Network users to have a Little Wing license before going online.
When asked if online entitlement will be in future games, John Koller, Director of Hardware Marketing at SCEA, said to IGN “SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 is the first title to introduce the new online entitlement feature. As with many programs, we’re investigating future opportunities, but we have no announcements to make on it at this time.”