One of the best features of the PS3, in my opinion, is the ability to share games bought via the PSN Store with 4 of your friends. Thanks to the generosity of Sony and a few of my friends were kind enough to put their PSN accounts on my system, I’ve amassed a pretty sizable collection of quality, downloadable games that I probably would have never purchased on my own. Sadly, the good times are coming to an end, as Sony announced today that effective November 18th, they will impose further limits on game sharing.
Starting Nov. 18, games will only be able to be activated twice: once on your system, and once on another, a reduction from the current 5 activations permitted previously. All previous activated content will still fall under the 5 activation limit, but anything purchased after November 18th will be subject to the newer, more stringent rules.
Obviously, game sharing was a point of contention between Sony and developers; users being able to share their games with 4 friends meant that game companies potentially lost 4 other people to sell games to, but I felt that the ability to share games actually helped developers. Thanks to friends sharing games like PixelJunk Monsters or Flower with me, I was able to give games that I otherwise wouldn’t have purchased on my own a try, and because of it, I became a fan of the developers of those games and later purchased more games by them. The ability to share my downloadable games also made me chose to purchase games over PSN rather than XBLA when possible, and now that that choice is gone, I’ll probably have to decide whether I’ll want the 360 or the PS3 versions of downloadable games on a case-by-case basis from now on instead of defaulting to PSN.