I wanted to post this so people have more information about the PSN Pass system that First Party PlayStation 3 titles will be using. There seems to be a bit of misinformation (and a lot of stigma) that hopefully can be cleared up...
Simplest detail about the Online Pass: New games get it free.
The PlayStation Pass is a System Level Authorization. This means that the entire Console is allowed to play the game, regardless of which PSN account is used. That being said, it is Activated using a single PSN account. To use it on other PS3s (ie. siblings with their own PSN accounts and PS3s) you need a single PSN account that is present on both systems. When you authorize that PS3 with that - lets call it a "Master Account" - each sibling can then use their own PSNs to play the game online. Also, they DO NOT have to log in as the "Master Account" just to play the game.
Now, this technically means that you can share the "PSN Pass" with your immediate family or close friends as long as you authorize your account on their system, but that's a bit shady. You're also limited to 5 authorized PS3s (sort of like how iTunes works).
Also, the "PSN Pass" works with games that offer Split-screen mulitplayer with Dual PSN Login (so stats are tracked for both accounts). Since the PS Pass is enabled for that console, the 2nd PSN account gets access on the console, regardless if they have the pass at home. However, this doesn't grant them access on their "home" console, unless the pass has been downloaded there, as well.
There is little to no information about this available online. I got all of my information straight from Insomniac.
The PSN Pass actually gets downloaded to your PS3. You can always re-download it on another PS3 that's authorized with your PSN account. It can only be downloaded with the one account, but it allows any PSN account on that PS3 to play it. Insomniac Games even tested this.
My conversation yesterday with Insomniac on Twitter:
(me):@insomniacgames - I know you've already answered a lot of questions, but is there somewhere that lists the details of PS Pass?
(Insomniac Games):@PolarBearTC back of the manual in the game. Sony hasn't put up any websites detailing the program.
(me):@insomniacgames - Thought so. For those of us that do not have the game yet (getting it soon), any "online" version of the manual available?
(IG):@PolarBearTC no. what is your question?
(me):@insomniacgames The specifics on multiPSN accounts on multiple PS3s. I would need one "master" account on all PS3s with the PS Pass? (cont.)
@insomniacgames (cont.) And that Master PS Pass would give the other PSN accounts access?
(IG):@PolarBearTC the PSN Pass works at a system level. Whichever account can download it on up to 5 PS3s that are authorized for that account
(me):@insomniacgames Okay. And if there are more than one PSN account on that system, then they get access as well, correct?
(IG):@PolarBearTC yes. All other accounts on the system can play. We even tested that here today to be sure
This and the other converstations on Twitter should be enough information for most.
If you have siblings or close relatives, you simply need to sign in with your PSN account, re-download the Pass, and then your Siblings can play online using their own accounts.
(umi88):@insomniacgames R3 online pass is only system based? ie people with 2 ps3's for example can only play online in 1 ? :/
(IG):@umi88 no, you can go to your PSN account on your second PS3, go to account history/downloads, and re-download the pass
(IG):@Joel_Taveras You only need ONE online pass for all accounts on your system. If you have multiple PS3s, you can redownload the pass to each.
(hiddenblades):@insomniacgames what I meant was you can't bring a copy of the game over to a friends house or buy a used game and play online.
(IG):@hiddenbladez yes you can. You can activate your PSN account on up to 5 PS3s.
I hope this helps clear the air about the PSN Pass.