From IGN: February 16, 2010 - Sony hopes today marks the beginning of the end of the rampant piracy seen on its PSP platform. SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3, released today, is Sony's first test at discouraging pirates from downloading PSP software. Those who purchase SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 3 are now required to register the title through PlayStation Network before given access to online gameplay. UMD copies of the game will come with a voucher code that must be redeemed online, while digital copies will automatically register in the background. Those who buy a used copy of the UMD can purchase a PSN entitlement voucher for $20 to play online. We spoke recently with John Koller, director of hardware marketing at SCEA, about this new initiative to combat piracy on PSP and when we may see it appear on other titles and platforms. For SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 3 on PSP, players must now register to play online if they buy a retail copy. Will this security measure be put in place for all online PSP titles going forward? And could we see this being used for online PS3 titles as well? John Koller: 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. IGN: Why has Sony waited until now to implement this feature for a PSP title? And why for only one title? John Koller: Today's consumers are more tech savvy and better connected to the internet than ever before. Piracy continues to be an issue of concern for the PSP platform. SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 is a trial run for a new initiative we are exploring for the platform. We will continue to explore this as an opportunity for the platform going forward, but we have no announcements to make on future iterations at this time. IGN: Has the PSPgo helped shrink piracy on the PSP platform since titles are download-only? Is there any piracy at all on the PSPgo? John Koller: Piracy remains a concern on the PSP platform, but the launch of the PSPgo and the ability to access the PlayStation Store directly from PSP-3000 were significant steps towards fighting piracy and getting consumers to download digital games legally. Since then we've seen a steady rise in digital game sales and PSPgo has undoubtedly played a critical role in helping to minimize the impact of piracy on the PSP platform. IGN: Will this feature help improve PSP software and hardware sales, both at retail and digital? John Koller: No one will dispute that piracy has a negative impact on software sales. We're continuing to take proactive steps in the fight against piracy and believe this new initiative will be of benefit to the gaming industry. IGN: Did developers approach Sony about this feature? Or was this a combined effort? John Koller: From the largest publishers to the smallest developers, piracy is an issue that impacts everyone in the industry. We've been working closely with our development teams and publishing partners on this new initiative to help educate consumers on the importance of piracy-protection. IGN: How will fans react to this anti-piracy feature? John Koller: From our research, this will be received quite positively. Remember, piracy affects more than just the creators of the game. It also affects the consumers who purchase titles expecting a high-quality gaming experience. Game development is a long and costly process that can take years to create and many more dollars to develop, manufacture, market and distribute. Our goal is to keep this development pipeline flowing with creative new IPs, well known franchises and pick up and play experiences that all can legally enjoy. That's something that all fans can be happy about. http://psp.ign.com/articles/106/1069716p1.html -------------------- The actual pirates aren’t going to be deterred by this and will find a way around it. The only person this will hurt are Sony’s legitimate customers. Sony’s campaign against “used games” is hilarious. The publisher has already received money for the title. It’s simply a transfer of goods just like any other trade. What’s next? They’re going to go after people who swap games or even rent games? Until there’s a shrink-wrapped EULA attached to the front of every game cartridge and disc, used game sales will continue. Sony and other game publishers should be focusing their time on trying to build value additions to keep their customers interested in keeping their game through DLC, etc. Limiting an included feature of the game (including online play, which you know will be marketed all over the game’s case), is the wrong approach.