Ah, it seems that we have at last reached the nadir of how far publishers can stretch downloadable content.

Sony is now offering up in-game Treasure Maps for all of the hidden content in Uncharted: Golden Abyss for purchase. Basically, since they’re offering Treasure Maps that are integrated into the game in exchange for some greens. The Treasure Maps will reveal all collectible items in the area that you choose to buy them for. Yes, you’re going to need to shell out money for more than one Treasure Map for that handheld game you already spent $40 for. So much for the PS Vita’s affordability.

Their explanation for such a scheme?:

Since UNCHARTED: Golden Abyss is a portable game, it’s not always easy to hop online and look up an FAQ. For that reason, we decided to offer DLC that integrates the Treasure Maps directly into Drake’s Journal.

Why yes, Sony, I often do have trouble taking ten minutes to pause my game to access the Internet browser that’s readily available on the device that I’m playing your game with. What if I don’t happen to be in a WiFi hotspot and am not one of the lucky few who ponied up an arm and a leg for 3G on my Vita? Well, darn. It’s not as if I could pull out my smartphone to check online for a free guide, right?

I remember when once upon a time being a completionist and finding every hidden item within a game without the use of hints or a walkthrough was an achievement. There’s that feeling of sweet victory mixed in with relief that you’re at last finished and regret that you wasted so much of your life trying to 100% that damned game when you finish that last objective or grab the last collectible of a game you’ve sunk over 100 hours into.

I don’t think Sony’s intent is to shit all over completionists and achievement hunters, but by making the Treasure Map a purchasable DLC, that’s exactly what they’re doing. Finding every hidden path and item in a game is an achievement of pride and now this offering makes such null and void, since anyone can grab up every item in game by just shelling out a couple bucks. I know that someone can just as easily refrain from buying the Treasure Maps, but it’s the principle behind the Treasure Map that matters.

We’ve seen EA selling cheats as DLC and now we’ve got this. I suppose we’ll next start having to pony up money in order to get extra save slots.