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And so it begins: retail games that require even more cash to "unlock" options. EA's PSP version of Fight Night Round 3 is set to be the harbinger of what might be much more to come: in order to do online play, you'll need to fork over an extra $2.

A pittance, you say? Maybe. It'd be nice to just include that in the basic price of the game to begin with. But the real kicker is a second "option" they give you: allow ESPN to "sponsor" your "online subscription" to the game, instead, and you can play for free! All you have to do is give up your e-mail identity and allow ESPN to fill your inbox with promotional spam.

We'd feel like a sucker to sign away our spam-free rights, but we'd feel like an even bigger sucker to fork over a measly two bucks to e-sucker punch your roommate in the jaw. Heck, we could just do that for free.

EA experimenting with marketing [ArsTechnica]