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PSN will continue to be free

PSN will continue to be free

Sony still has no plans to charge users for the PlayStation Network service.

At bit-tech we occasionally give Sony a little bit of stick and it's no secret that the company has had a fair bit of bad luck lately, but one thing we do constantly admire about Sony is its ongoing commitment to the freely available PlayStation Network.

The only problem is, what with Metal Gear Solid 4 helping to shift more PlayStation 3s than ever before, more people are signing on to that free service. More people equals increased costs for Sony - more servers, more bandwidth, more updates and so on. There's inevitably going to come a point when Sony has to ask people to start paying, right?

Apparently not. In a recent interview with Next-Gen.biz, PSN boss Eric Lempel said that Sony has no plans to charge for the PSN service.

"We’re happy with what we’re doing right now and we’re going to stick with it. I think being free is always an advantage. The fact that it’s free is nice for consumers who want to try out the online experience, those who may be new to it and may not be ready to commit to spending dollars, and that’s a really good message for us."

Hah, take that Xbox Live! Do you use PSN regularly? What would you change if you could? Let us know in the forums.

50 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Timmy_the_tortoise 4th July 2008, 12:39 Quote
It's free.. But it's just a shame that it sucks compared to LIVE.
bowman 4th July 2008, 12:42 Quote
PSN, LIVE?

No thanks, I'll stick to Steam and Battle.net. What's that, they're free you say? Work perfectly fine you say?

Oops. Maybe PCs aren't dead after all.
Timmy_the_tortoise 4th July 2008, 12:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowman
PSN, LIVE?

No thanks, I'll stick to Steam and Battle.net. What's that, they're free you say? Work perfectly fine you say?

Oops. Maybe PCs aren't dead after all.

Steam's great... but it just can't beat the ease of use of LIVE.. and not every PC game uses it... in fact, only Valve ones do at the moment.. Of course soon there'll be more non-Valve games putting it to use, but I think you get it.
p3n 4th July 2008, 13:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowman
PSN, LIVE?

No thanks, I'll stick to Steam and Battle.net. What's that, they're free you say? Work perfectly fine you say?

Oops. Maybe PCs aren't dead after all.

Steam's great... but it just can't beat the ease of use of LIVE.. and not every PC game uses it... in fact, only Valve ones do at the moment.. Of course soon there'll be more non-Valve games putting it to use, but I think you get it.

Try using steam since 1999?
baronvongogo 4th July 2008, 13:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
Steam's great... but it just can't beat the ease of use of LIVE.. and not every PC game uses it... in fact, only Valve ones do at the moment.. Of course soon there'll be more non-Valve games putting it to use, but I think you get it.

Steam has plenty of non valve games on its service such as, bioshock, the whole collection of ID games, Prey, max payne series, audiosurf and many more:
http://steampowered.com/v/index.php


The problem with the pc platform is that for the average joe they won’t know how to fix any problems that might arise or even getting their microphone detected. This is the one area where consoles are better being just plug and play if something goes wrong turn off and turn back on.
sandys 4th July 2008, 13:30 Quote
Sony will most likely offer up Qore here as a method of generating revenue, its like an xbox Live Gold thing where you get exclusive access to stuff but unlike Xbox you can stil game and stuff like that online for free, seems fair enough, better than having a load of ads infecting my XMB which is another alternative that was talked about.

http://blog.us.playstation.com/2008/06/03/introducing-qore-taking-you-behind-the-curtain-with-playstation/
Timmy_the_tortoise 4th July 2008, 13:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by baronvongogo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
Steam's great... but it just can't beat the ease of use of LIVE.. and not every PC game uses it... in fact, only Valve ones do at the moment.. Of course soon there'll be more non-Valve games putting it to use, but I think you get it.

Steam has plenty of non valve games on its service such as, bioshock, the whole collection of ID games, Prey, max payne series, audiosurf and many more:
http://steampowered.com/v/index.php


The problem with the pc platform is that for the average joe they won’t know how to fix any problems that might arise or even getting their microphone detected. This is the one area where consoles are better being just plug and play if something goes wrong turn off and turn back on.

That's not what I meant, though, is it? I meant all of the Steam Community features which are what make it in any way comparable to LIVE. The friends, the achievements, the messaging system.. chatting with friends in-game..
Major 4th July 2008, 13:40 Quote
Had my first experience of Metal Gear Online last night and through it was pretty damn good tbh.
bowman 4th July 2008, 13:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowman
PSN, LIVE?

No thanks, I'll stick to Steam and Battle.net. What's that, they're free you say? Work perfectly fine you say?

Oops. Maybe PCs aren't dead after all.

Steam's great... but it just can't beat the ease of use of LIVE.. and not every PC game uses it... in fact, only Valve ones do at the moment.. Of course soon there'll be more non-Valve games putting it to use, but I think you get it.

That's because in the PC world we have such fantastic things as competition, open platforms, modifiable games, complete digital distribution..

Heck, every feature the current generation of consoles have that they're touting, we've had for years, sometimes even decades before they had them. 'HD gaming'? Given that Sony's definition of that is 720p and sometimes less, we've had that since the 90's, thank you.
Timmy_the_tortoise 4th July 2008, 14:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowman
That's because in the PC world we have such fantastic things as competition, open platforms, modifiable games, complete digital distribution..

Heck, every feature the current generation of consoles have that they're touting, we've had for years, sometimes even decades before they had them. 'HD gaming'? Given that Sony's definition of that is 720p and sometimes less, we've had that since the 90's, thank you.

Stop being so patronising and talking to me as though I'm some lowly Console gamer who thinks "PC gaming is too fiddly"...

I am a PC Gamer, but the LIVE platform is just so well thought out, it's perfectly simple.. I love it. The fact is that there are SO many platforms on PC that you can rarely find one that all your friends use. Steam is the best, undoubtedly, but the in game chat that is with friends who you are not currently playing with only works with a limited number of Valve games.. automatic updates only apply to Valve games.. It needs further growth before it's as good as LIVE.
Bauul 4th July 2008, 14:29 Quote
I must admit that whilst I'm a PC player at heart, the short time I've had a play with Live it came across as extremely smooth and easy to use. Something that to be honest not even Steam can claim to always be.
baronvongogo 4th July 2008, 14:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
That's not what I meant, though, is it? I meant all of the Steam Community features which are what make it in any way comparable to LIVE. The friends, the achievements, the messaging system.. chatting with friends in-game..

Oh ok thought you meant steam as a whole :) but yes the steam community options are limited, so far it only a few games fully supported with steamworks which is where LIVE is set apart as being a fully complete tool for achievements, chatting and friend system for all its games.

LIVE is still ahead of PSN just little things annoy me with the PS3 such as not being able to password my account so say my brother could login as me play as me online or use my saves.
badders 4th July 2008, 14:45 Quote
As good as LIVE may be, the fact that it's not free is the reason I haven't bought a 360. Even on the PC I won't upgrade to gold - silver's free and it's the minimum I need to play the GFW games.

What are the main differences in infrastructure between LIVE and PSN? I've heard that quite a few 360 games actually host the multiplayer on someone's 360 instead of a server - is this the same on PS3, or are the games hosted by the developer/publisher?
Timmy_the_tortoise 4th July 2008, 15:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by badders
As good as LIVE may be, the fact that it's not free is the reason I haven't bought a 360. Even on the PC I won't upgrade to gold - silver's free and it's the minimum I need to play the GFW games.

What are the main differences in infrastructure between LIVE and PSN? I've heard that quite a few 360 games actually host the multiplayer on someone's 360 instead of a server - is this the same on PS3, or are the games hosted by the developer/publisher?

£40 a year is bloody peanuts, mate.

And yes, quite a few games (such as Halo 3 and CoD4) do host on someone's 360 as opposed to a dedicated server... It works well, but makes international play considerably more laggy... especially when playing across the pond.
badders 4th July 2008, 15:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
£40 a year is bloody peanuts, mate.

And yes, quite a few games (such as Halo 3 and CoD4) do host on someone's 360 as opposed to a dedicated server... It works well, but makes international play considerably more laggy... especially when playing across the pond.

I don't know what your situation is, but £40 a year is a lot of money, especially if you have to pay it all in one go. If you can pay it monthly I bet it's more, too!
Timmy_the_tortoise 4th July 2008, 15:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by badders
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
£40 a year is bloody peanuts, mate.

And yes, quite a few games (such as Halo 3 and CoD4) do host on someone's 360 as opposed to a dedicated server... It works well, but makes international play considerably more laggy... especially when playing across the pond.

I don't know what your situation is, but £40 a year is a lot of money, especially if you have to pay it all in one go. If you can pay it monthly I bet it's more, too!

As a one off payment, I suppose it is a little steep, and yes.. the monthly plan makes it a little more expensive.. but it's not a bad price for the services you get. I think it's definitely worth it.
will. 4th July 2008, 15:25 Quote
PSN store is better than Live.

Live's integration with the multiplayer aspect of games is better than PSN.

PSN is free... Xbox is cheaper...

It's pretty much neck and neck.
Timmy_the_tortoise 4th July 2008, 15:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by will.
PSN store is better than Live.

Live's integration with the multiplayer aspect of games is better than PSN.

PSN is free... Xbox is cheaper...

It's pretty much neck and neck.

From my (limited) experience with PSN store.. I would say that it is better than XBL Marketplace.. BUT, the downloads from the PSN Store took FOREVER!! It was stupidly slow.. It may have been my brother-in-law's router, or internet connection but Jesus Christ.. it was like running on a 14.4k modem or something..
WildThing 4th July 2008, 15:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowman
That's because in the PC world we have such fantastic things as competition, open platforms, modifiable games, complete digital distribution..

Heck, every feature the current generation of consoles have that they're touting, we've had for years, sometimes even decades before they had them. 'HD gaming'? Given that Sony's definition of that is 720p and sometimes less, we've had that since the 90's, thank you.

Lol QFT
kenco_uk 4th July 2008, 15:36 Quote
Hang on a mo - who was doubting it was going to be staying free?
will. 4th July 2008, 15:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
From my (limited) experience with PSN store.. I would say that it is better than XBL Marketplace.. BUT, the downloads from the PSN Store took FOREVER!! It was stupidly slow.. It may have been my brother-in-law's router, or internet connection but Jesus Christ.. it was like running on a 14.4k modem or something..

Yea, it is slow. But so is the 360 which we have connected to the same router. It's weird because both PC's have nice fast net.
DougEdey 4th July 2008, 15:42 Quote
Live is only £26 now.

But for me, most of my friends have a 360 so I'll play on Live. I will be getting a PS3 in a few weeks hopefully so I'll be able to play with you PS3 peoples.
will. 4th July 2008, 15:48 Quote
That's one of the biggest gripes for me. Everyone got the 360 when it came out and now don't want the PS3 so I don't have anyone that I know in the real world to play with.
Liquid K9 4th July 2008, 15:52 Quote
come on....

yeah, so more people are using it, but how are they using it? after purchasing a game, they play it online, or buying games from the store?

seems like these "increased costs" can - if not already, be included in the cost of the increased userbase. I mean, if you get more people online because more people are buying more ps3s and more games - it just seems obvious the cost of operating the service should be pretty easy to subsidise, doncha think?

heres another thing I want to say. where do these people get the nerve to charge us for - basically - internet access. PC games have offered downloads, trailers, demos, updates, and yes even full games for years. have we as pc games been levied with a universal charge for 'accessing the internet' - NO. where does microsoft get off charging us for that access, idiots.

Im happy sony arent going to charge for the service, but i'll tell you what - if they did, I'd ditch my ps3, its expensive enough as is. theres a point you get when you feel like your being taken advantage of - charging for basic services that increase their profit, is it. and im pointing the finger at you microsoft, you stingy gits.
Orca 4th July 2008, 15:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by will.
That's one of the biggest gripes for me. Everyone got the 360 when it came out and now don't want the PS3 so I don't have anyone that I know in the real world to play with.

Well that PSN thread helped us connect with those at Bit at least. There there Will :p

I don't really have any personal preference over Live or PSN either. Both do their jobs well, and each one has its pros and cons.
TTmodder 4th July 2008, 15:57 Quote
Bah consoles. i still prefer my trusty computer http://graphjam.com/2008/05/30/song-chart-memes-a-gamers-buying-guide/
ssj12 4th July 2008, 16:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowman
That's because in the PC world we have such fantastic things as competition, open platforms, modifiable games, complete digital distribution..

Heck, every feature the current generation of consoles have that they're touting, we've had for years, sometimes even decades before they had them. 'HD gaming'? Given that Sony's definition of that is 720p and sometimes less, we've had that since the 90's, thank you.

Stop being so patronising and talking to me as though I'm some lowly Console gamer who thinks "PC gaming is too fiddly"...

I am a PC Gamer, but the LIVE platform is just so well thought out, it's perfectly simple.. I love it. The fact is that there are SO many platforms on PC that you can rarely find one that all your friends use. Steam is the best, undoubtedly, but the in game chat that is with friends who you are not currently playing with only works with a limited number of Valve games.. automatic updates only apply to Valve games.. It needs further growth before it's as good as LIVE.

Just get Xfire and you will be great.
devdevil85 4th July 2008, 17:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by baronvongogo
LIVE is still ahead of PSN just little things annoy me with the PS3 such as not being able to password my account so say my brother could login as me play as me online or use my saves.
Dude, you can have an almost unlimited amount of PSN accounts on your PS3 (but who knows, I have only seen 2 accounts on a PS3). You can also have a password to protect each one as well. I don't know what you're doing when you create your accounts, but that's how my g/f and her brother have it currently.
devdevil85 4th July 2008, 17:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
It's free.. But it's just a shame that it sucks compared to LIVE.
Please explain yourself, and not to be mean, but why the f*** does being able to chat with friends playing games other than yours make the PSN suck in comparison? Seriously.....
devdevil85 4th July 2008, 17:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
From my (limited) experience with PSN store.. I would say that it is better than XBL Marketplace.. BUT, the downloads from the PSN Store took FOREVER!! It was stupidly slow.. It may have been my brother-in-law's router, or internet connection but Jesus Christ.. it was like running on a 14.4k modem or something..
What do you mean by "FOREVER"? Either way, your router/internet connection must suck because last night alone my g/f downloaded 8 videos (~450MB) and 3 demos (~1.3GB) in like 20 minutes....now the only complaint is the having to wait to install the demos...now that seems to take forever sometimes depending on the size of the download....but yeah check your connection and see what you're pulling....I think she's pulling around 5.5Mbps.....when I get mine I'll be pulling about 13.4Mbps.....
Cadillac Ferd 4th July 2008, 17:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
Quote:
Originally Posted by badders
As good as LIVE may be, the fact that it's not free is the reason I haven't bought a 360. Even on the PC I won't upgrade to gold - silver's free and it's the minimum I need to play the GFW games.

What are the main differences in infrastructure between LIVE and PSN? I've heard that quite a few 360 games actually host the multiplayer on someone's 360 instead of a server - is this the same on PS3, or are the games hosted by the developer/publisher?

£40 a year is bloody peanuts, mate.

And yes, quite a few games (such as Halo 3 and CoD4) do host on someone's 360 as opposed to a dedicated server... It works well, but makes international play considerably more laggy... especially when playing across the pond.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, they charge you 40£ a year for Xbox Live? That's pretty lame when you consider that it's only 50$ over here. I'm not really an expert in exchange rates or anything but isn't 40£ somewhere in the region of 80+$? Why on earth would they charge nearly twice as much for it?

Anyways, the distributed serving model that Xbox Live seems to me the best way to be able to run some sort of matchmaking system (like CoD4 and Halo 2/3). I guess the percentage of laggy games you'd see directly relates to the distance you live from the majority of that game's population, which unlike having servers set up in fixed locations, is technically subject to change depending on what time of the day it is I suppose. Wouldn't international play still be poor for you if the servers were located in North America and the majority of the player base was located here as well?

I'd like to see if someone develops kind of a hybrid solution, using both player-served games at times with servers supporting that for territories with lower player populations. I don't know if something like that is even possible but I do think that the current options can create discrepancies in the gameplay experience depending on your location which is mighty unfair I think.
DougEdey 4th July 2008, 17:45 Quote
The RRP of the cards in stores is £39.99, most places sell it for £34.99. But places sell it for £25 up, for instance here: http://www.365games.co.uk/index.php?productID=2820
koola 4th July 2008, 20:09 Quote
PS3 For Teh Win!

Seriously PSN needs to have a way to mute those bloody kids who leave their BT Mic open and spam all game long... arh!
hodgy100 4th July 2008, 21:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquid K9

heres another thing I want to say. where do these people get the nerve to charge us for - basically - internet access. PC games have offered downloads, trailers, demos, updates, and yes even full games for years. have we as pc games been levied with a universal charge for 'accessing the internet' - NO. where does microsoft get off charging us for that access, idiots.

Im happy sony arent going to charge for the service, but i'll tell you what - if they did, I'd ditch my ps3, its expensive enough as is. theres a point you get when you feel like your being taken advantage of - charging for basic services that increase their profit, is it. and im pointing the finger at you microsoft, you stingy gits.

I completely agree. PSN is good, infact the ony thing that xbox live has on it now is game invites.
ChriX 4th July 2008, 21:58 Quote
I'd rather have one extra game per year than have to pay for online gaming. All the features that people rave about on XBL I'd never even noticed or used anyway so never noticed a difference between the two. Therefore I am perfectly happy with PSN.
rollo 4th July 2008, 23:08 Quote
xbox live is fine but lack of space on 360 itself hinders it badly. im totaly outta space, (paying £120 for an upgrade is a no)(considering hd prices for 250gb is at like £32) If microsoft want to sell movies bring out cheaper better hard disks. As for download speeds. Not sure were you live but ps3 and 360 download at about same rate. 120mb takes about 1minute on 360 and ps3. Patched gt5p in just under 30mins. (17mb broadband ftw lol give cable connections in area please)
Cadillac Ferd 5th July 2008, 08:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by devdevil85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
It's free.. But it's just a shame that it sucks compared to LIVE.
Please explain yourself, and not to be mean, but why the f*** does being able to chat with friends playing games other than yours make the PSN suck in comparison? Seriously.....
Not sure where your statement came from, what does the chat feature have to do with PSN sucking? Does it not have it or something?
rollo 5th July 2008, 11:33 Quote
xbl main feature list goes sumit like

achievements
ingame chat
playing games with friends
news and events
arcade
movies

of all those features, Only 1 intrests me playing games with friends. Ingame chat is very of putting. News and events is the never read section. Arcade is mostly overpriced nonesence but there is some good games in there. Movies fails due to lack of hard disk space. Quality is also not HD on the movies.

Sony does all the above, Even including ingame chat. Playing with friends is harder work on ps3 sure. but for a system that is 2years old its still pretty decent. Xbox live has been out for nearly 6 years. And its never really been improved in 6 years. Just more people are seeing it. Microsoft charge you for everything.
eldiablo 5th July 2008, 14:08 Quote
The free psn is one of the reasons i chose the ps3, so please keep it free, like someone said before, id rather buy 1 extra game a year than pay to play online. I already pay for my games, why should i pay to play my games online?
devdevil85 5th July 2008, 16:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadillac Ferd
Not sure where your statement came from, what does the chat feature have to do with PSN sucking? Does it not have it or something?
I said that because w/ 2.40, the only thing XBL has over the PSN is the cross-game invites and cross-game voice chat. These features IMO are a luxury of paying $50/yr for Live w/ a lot of people never using them (my friends & myself included). Not to say they aren't wanted, they just aren't features that now make XBL worth having IMO. He says PSN sucks, so now with that said, how does it "suck"?
Cadillac Ferd 5th July 2008, 18:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
xbl main feature list goes sumit like

achievements
ingame chat
playing games with friends
news and events
arcade
movies

of all those features, Only 1 intrests me playing games with friends. Ingame chat is very of putting. News and events is the never read section. Arcade is mostly overpriced nonesence but there is some good games in there. Movies fails due to lack of hard disk space. Quality is also not HD on the movies.

Sony does all the above, Even including ingame chat. Playing with friends is harder work on ps3 sure. but for a system that is 2years old its still pretty decent. Xbox live has been out for nearly 6 years. And its never really been improved in 6 years. Just more people are seeing it. Microsoft charge you for everything.
The only thing you need a 'Gold' Xbox Live account for is playing online so Microsoft definitely doesn't charge for everything...

Can't we all just agree that both services have their advantages and drawbacks without the need to claim that either one flat-out sucks?
devdevil85 5th July 2008, 18:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadillac Ferd
Can't we all just agree that both services have their advantages and drawbacks without the need to claim that either one flat-out sucks?
Exactly, both have their advantages and I don't like it when people say one "sucks" or is "better" because it depends on what you want as a gamer.

I, personally, don't see what XBL will offer over PSN though once Sony implements cross-game invites/chat (especially at $50/yr)
speedfreek 5th July 2008, 19:02 Quote
If they could make the friends/buddies system more like what steam has then they will really have something going. I don't like the way you start a multi player game on there, you don't get to pick a server with whatever rules your looking for but you are just forced into one.

If it wasn't free I wouldn't use it, no sense paying several times to use what you bought. I can always play online for free on my PC.
ParaHelix.org 6th July 2008, 00:26 Quote
PC rules, full stop. In basically every way anyone can think of, however, you do have to have a half decent one and they are also real fun to build.
rollo 6th July 2008, 10:53 Quote
cad fred i never said they suck i just listed the points
1ad7 6th July 2008, 11:41 Quote
PC is the best online gaming period. and psn is the closest thing for a console. Correct its missing features, same that pc is but just like pc you improvise, join a ps3 gaming community and only play with those ppl, your rep depends on xbox's system with live and that sucks...

If ps3 will add music support to all games, like xbox I will be truly thrilled with my purchase.
devdevil85 6th July 2008, 17:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ad7
If ps3 will add music support to all games, like xbox I will be truly thrilled with my purchase.
It's up to the developer to allow it or not, so Sony doesn't have control over the "all" aspect, but it is available for them to implement.....

When is 2.40 going to be ready?
rollo 6th July 2008, 23:42 Quote
2.4 works fine as is for most people
Cadillac Ferd 7th July 2008, 00:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
cad fred i never said they suck i just listed the points

Oh my last comment wasn't directed at you, it was just directed at the discussion in general.
Amon 7th July 2008, 04:48 Quote
At least it does its job fine and is actually released/stable, unlike Nintendo's abandoned endeavor for an online network for the Gamecube.
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