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Sony 'exploring' Online Pass equivalent for first-party games

Platform holder in support of paid used games initiatives

Sony is in support of publishers who've introduced systems to monetise the sale of second hand games, and plans to come up with a similar system of its own.

First pioneered by EA (with its Online Pass system) and later followed by THQ and Ubisoft, publishers have began incorporating systems in which purchasers of second-hand games are forced to pay an additional sum - around $10 - to gain access to the multiplayer modes of the title in an effort to profit from used game sales.

Sony's European president Andrew House said that Sony's in favour of such practices. "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," he told

"And we're exploring actively the same option for our own content," he added.

Activision boss Bobby Kotick has showed interest in taking it further and charging a subscription fee for anyone wanting to play online in games like Call of Duty, in a proposed effort to monetise the astounding popularity of the series' multiplayer modes. But Sony's not too hot on that idea.

"In terms of 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.