All day yesterday I was checking the PlayStation Network Store via my Vita, hoping to see a content update so I can download Unit 13, the latest co-op shooter from Zipper Interactive. I'm on the review for the game, so time is crucial for me, as I want to get the most out of the experience. To my disappointment the game wasn't available until almost 8:30PM Eastern last night, after which, I needed to wait almost two and a half hours for the 1.2GB game to download. Sadly, these superfluous issues with time were only the beginning.
Of course upon firing up Unit 13 I'm greeted with a message telling me there's a game update. So now I'm forced to wait another 5 minutes for another download. How can there be an update to a game I JUST downloaded?
The next issue I had was actually playing the game in co-op online. Clicking the co-op option in the game stated I needed an online pass. Considering this wasn't a boxed copy, I wasn't exactly sure where to get the code. After looking around a bit I figured maybe i just had a credit for it it and could download it from PSN without any cost. I was wrong, I was staring at a $9.99 price tag. Fuck it I thought to myself, it's now 11PM - I'm tired, cranky, and just want to play the game.
So I fire up the game and notice it saved my progress from the demo. Sweet, things are looking up. On to Mission 2. Halfway through the mission the sound goes out. That's bizarre I thought to myself, quickly hitting the PlayStation button and hearing the calming music of the Vita dashboard. "Guess it's the game," I thought to myself. I tried to jump back into Unit 13 and my system hard locked. So much for that day 1 patch.
I then tried to power it down and I was stuck at a spinning wheel for 15 minutes. Finally I found a procedure to force a reboot and was back in business. At this point it's almost midnight and I decided to go to bed.
Oh right - you came here for the online pass issue. It seems if you purchased Unit 13 last night, a glitch caused the online pass not to come bundled with it. Luckily Zipper and Sony quickly saw the situation and resolved it. Several other users on the PlayStation Community Forums posted issues with redeeming the code with their retail copy too. The issue has since been resolved, if you're missing an online pass for your copy of Unit 13 - Sony is supposed to contact you with instruction on how to download it.
The moral of the story? These kind of issues are what keeps digital distribution from going truly mainstream. Slow downloads, late updates, and inconsistent behavior of titles making playing games frustrating, not fun.
Update: I didn't get an email yet from Sony - but the Online Pass did magically start working.
Thanks Jim for the Community Forum Tip.