Well folks, looks like party could be over. Turn on the lights, get your coat and go home because reports are coming in from various Internet forums that Sony has finally upped its game and IP locked the US PSN store.
Sony had proved that IP locking the PSN could be done on other regions, and their locking of the video portion of the US Store had been in place for some time. Up until yesterday there was a work around with Mastercard brand credit cards which, if you could register them, allowed you to add funds to the PSN and buy content from the US Store. Pretty handy given the teeth grinding delays in content appearing in other regions.
While no one will loose any credit they’ve already added to an account, the IP lock means that adding any new funds via a card won’t be possible. Even Entropay, that last bastion for those who couldn’t get their cards to work by normal means, appears to have been stopped by this measure. There are still rumblings that pre-paid PSN cards will work if they’re from the correct region, providing you can source them. But given how stringent Sony have become, surely it’s only a matter of time until these are bared too (in a similar stance to Xbox Live).
While ordinarily this wouldn’t be such a big issue, it’s the lack of parity between the Store regions that means this is a bigger issue than it really needs to be. Until such time that Sony can pull their finger out and stop the delay problem which have dogged the PSN for some time, we’ll still question the sanity of Sony’s stance on all this.
Denying people the content they want (and are willing to pay for) is surely one hell of a strange business model.