PSN Pass, Resistance 3 bundle outed?

Logo for possible new online program spotted on box for not-yet-announced 320GB compilation pack; Sony mum on both accounts.

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No Caption Provided Source: A Konsolentreff forum posting by user Darko.

What we heard: During E3 2011, Sony announced two new Resistance 3 bundles: one that bundled a copy of the game with a 24-inch 3D television for $500, and one with a PlayStation Sharpshooter gun peripheral for $150. According to a new report, however, September's sci-fi shooter is bundling up again, and it is doing so with an all-new online initiative.

According to a post on the German video game forum Konsolentreff, Sony is readying a Resistance 3 PlayStation 3 bundle that will include a copy of the sci-fi shooter and a 320GB slimline PS3. A price for the bundle was not offered.

It appears Resistance 3 is bundling up and kick-starting the PSN Pass program.  Image credit: Konsolentreff.
It appears Resistance 3 is bundling up and kick-starting the PSN Pass program. Image credit: Konsolentreff.

Additionally, the bundle's box art shows off something called PSN Pass. Last summer, Sony's Andrew House said the company was "broadly supportive" of making online portions of a game available or unlocked for a fee, further noting that Sony was exploring an Online Pass equivalent.

Now, it appears that initiative may begin with Resistance 3, which is due out exclusively for the PS3 on September 6. Unfortunately, specifics concerning the PSN Pass cannot be determined by the logo alone, as all that can be read is, "network features only available in countries that have the PlayStation Store."

The online passes bundled with new copies of EA Sports titles, as well as Homefront, Mortal Kombat, and others are seen as an effort to make buying games new more attractive than buying them used (a sale that puts no money in the publisher's pocket). Typically, secondhand users must pay a nominal fee ($10) to access all the features new purchasers receive with Online Pass-enabled games.

Additionally, it is uncertain whether the PSN Pass--if real--will be punitive or appreciative. It is not known if the PSN Pass will bar secondhand gamers from some or all of a game's online component, or if it will grant new purchasers bonus material, like Mass Effect 2's Cerberus Network.

The official word: As of press time, Sony had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment or clarification on the matter.

Bogus or not bogus?: Both the Resistance 3 bundle and PSN Pass are looking not bogus. Given that the Resistance shooter series is one of Sony's biggest first-party franchises, it comes as no surprise that it would offer a bundle for it.

Further, the fact that Sony has gone on record saying it was looking into adopting an Online Pass makes it similarly believable that kicking off that endeavor with Resistance 3 this fall would not be out of the ordinary. However, it is unclear as to what form the PSN Pass will take.

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