Online passes allow companies to make a few bucks off used game sales or rentals, forcing said players to fork over $10 for the ability to play online, or possibly even unlock certain content. Never mind that some customers might not have broadband access and they'll never be able to get the stuff they paid full price for. EA began the practice with what they called, "Project $10," which has now swelled to include the likes of THQ, Warner Bros. Interactive, and Sony.
The difference here is that Sony offers a PR reasoning for their inclusion with their statement, including the pass to "accelerate our commitment to enhancing premium online services across our first party game portfolio." Let's dissect that, shall we?
The $10 online pass will "accelerate their commitment to enhancing premium online services." So, in other words, charging for PlayStation Plus, a $50 a year "premium" online PSN, service doesn't already do that? And, was Sony not committed to their online service already?
To clarify, a used game buyer jumping online and playing Resistance 3, in reality, doesn't cost Sony a thing. The first sale and second sale does not cause a crowded server; there is still only one player online, and Sony was still paid for their product. In other words, it's a cash grab, no different than any of the other online passes currently in circulation.
Video games are $60 at retail. What's the breaking point?