Piracy on the PSP is a problem. Well, it’s a problem for all platforms, but in the world of digital media, the PSP is easily hackable and has been since day one. Sony has a plan, or at least one that they will try with the upcoming PSP SOCOM title, Fireteam Bravo 3.
If you buy the game used (or choose to pirate it) you will not be able to go online without forking over $20. Those that purchase a retail copy will enter an authentication code to prove their ownership, while those that buy digitally will have this process taken care of immediately.
This kills a significant portion of the market, including those that rent, those that buy used, and those who loan games to friends. Can Gamestop (or any other used retailer) now justify charging $5 below the current new price if it takes an additional $20 to get the full experience? Sony’s John Koller chatted with IGN, stating that this is “a trial run for a new initiative we are exploring for the platform.” The “feature” is called a PSN Entitlement Voucher, a shameless corporate PR term for “we hate used games.” Whether or not this goes off without a hitch and whether this actually stops pirates remains to be seen.