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Sony Pre-owned, Isn’t Piracy!


Sony wants to restrict services for pre-owned game buyers.

Courtesy of MCVUK.com we’ve discovered that Sony are about to take a stance upon second hand games that will cataclysmically piss off more people than Billy Connolly managed to do with his Ken Bigley comment. In fact Sony’s stance should be ‘beheaded’ and totally rethought as they are punishing video game players because of the minority of firmware breakers who decided to get there slice of PSP gaming on the waves of piracy. Sony plans to take an edgy stance with consumers with Fireteam Bravo 3 and make pre-owned game owners cough up $20’s for the privilege of playing the game online.

“Furthermore, in a nod to recent plans implemented by EA, anyone buying a pre-owned copy of the game will be forced to cough up $20 to obtain a code to play online.” – MCVUK.com

Now, why should this be the case? Before I get all the evangelist mainstream press on my back about buying pre-owned means that the developers get nothing back, I would like to state that I do know this and that this should be something carried out between publishers and retailers. Rather than punishing the pre-owned buyer, why not thrash out a deal whereby a percentage of the re-sale goes back to the publisher, even if the pre-owned price were to rise slightly because of that. To see this implemented originally from EA is no surprise. Their financials for the last couple of years have looked more, red than Cheryl Cole’s face after signing the divorce papers. However, Sony have wanted to do this for awhile, you only need to look back at media report archives in 2006 to see stories of them wanting to add a license to PS3 games to prevent pre-owned ownership.

Ok, we kill him and then get the $20's

Koller has tried to counter balance these actions stating that they will stamp down on piracy with these actions, but let’s face it, this wasn’t the overall picture. Just by doing a quick Google search would reveal Sony’s secret aspiration to prevent PS3 pre-owned game sales is pretty evident and whilst these were rumours, they had to start from somewhere and now they are becoming a reality. The truth is pushing towards downloadable content doesn’t seem enough for Sony, EA or Ubisoft and the reason why I section out Sony is simply because they are the console owner and they really can set the precedent here. To have a console manufacturer jump onto this ever increasing bandwagon and support it, will mean that Microsoft and Nintendo have full reigns to latch onto this initiative taking little negative press or outrage with it.

We were all spun a yarn back in late 2007 that downloadable content was the big plan to drive down pre-owned game sales and it would appear to be successful. But surely, if someone buys a pre-owned game and like it, the chance to pick up some revenue which wasn’t available in the first place stands, no? I know personally that I myself bought EA’s Burnout Paradise pre-owned and enjoyed the game so much that I shelled out on all the DLC. The other part of the double headed spear from companies was to offer pre-order incentives such as additional multiplayer maps or exclusive content for buying the game new or before the launch itself. I’m sure this worked too. So I’m really struggling to see why these further actions are taking place when already sufficient and in my view, fair action had taken place prior. Now it would seem that Sony, EA and Ubisoft are beginning to encroach on consumer’s freedoms and to us it stinks.

Has actions of Robert Kotick last year paved the way for publishers to make bolder choices? He after all was behind the price hike of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and whilst there was initial outrage almost everyone buckled under their temptations and bought the game anyway and the same fear resides with me today over this particular issue. If people badly want it enough, they’ll needlessly fork out another $20 to play Fireteam Bravo 3 online. Sorry Sony but this is taking the piss and whilst your line up over the last 12 months, has been welcomed by our gaming community, this stance is certainly about as welcome as a nasty case of syphilis. Someone get me the cream, I’m itching.

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