The image above made its way around the net and gaming blogs after surfacing on German gaming site Konsolentreff, the folks responsible for the branding across the bottom of the shot. The Resistance 3 bundle featured in the shot has branding on it that highlights the new PSN Pass program. It reads, “Network features only available in countries that have PlayStation Store.”

That, of course, does not explain what the PSN Pass is. Sony Computer Entertainment of Europe and America got wind of the find and opted to release a statement in order to quell confusion surrounding the program. If you’re familiar with EA’s online pass, then you probably already know exactly what the PSN Pass means for players.

We are always evaluating new programs for our online offering, and starting with Resistance 3 this September, we will be instituting a network pass program for PS3 games with online capabilities. This program will be game-specific. Games that are a part of this program will include a single-use registration code that grants the account holder redeeming the code full online access for that title. This is an important initiative as it allows us to accelerate our commitment to enhancing premium online services across our first party game portfolio.

The idea here is that software manufacturers won’t be hurt as badly by the used games market once their titles release. While this topic is often debated, the general notion for publishers is that money spent on secondhand games is money that company’s can’t earn. Gamers buy Resistance 3 used two months after it drops and Sony sees none of that sale.

With the PSN Pass, players that buy the game used will likely not have access to the one-time code needed to get them online for DLC or multiplayer gameplay. In order to experience that side of the product, gamers will have to buy a new PSN Pass from the store. Pricing for that has not been announced, but EA currently charges $10 for their edition.

We’ll have more on the PSN Pass as it comes.

[via Konsolentreff and Joystiq]