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Sony considering PSN subscriptions

Sony considering PSN subscriptions

Sony is considering making PSN a subscription-based service similar to Xbox Live, according to recent comments.

Sony vice president Peter Dille has spoken out about possible plans the company has for the future of the PlayStation Network, including the re-release of old PS1 and PS2 games and a possible switch to a subscription pay model.

At the moment access to PSN is totally free and Sony sits apart from Nintendo and Microsoft in the way that it prices downloaded games and goods in real money, not fictionalised points.

In a chat with IGN though, Dille confirmed that PSN may become a premium service in the future, with PlayStation users paying a subscription fee for access, though he was reluctant to discuss specific details of how the system might work.

"It's been our philosophy not to charge for it from launch up until now, but [Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai] recently went on the record as saying that's something we're looking at. I can confirm that as well," he said. "That's something that we're actively thinking about. What's the best way to approach that if we were to do that? You know, no announcements at this point in time, but it's something we're thinking about."

Dille also briefly touched on the topic of digitally distributed games, saying that Sony was working very hard to put more PS1 and PS2 re-releases on PSN but that PS3 full-game downloads were unlikely.

"To download 50 gigs of data before you play a game [under current conditions], you could probably go buy a car, bring it home, put your family into it, drive to the store by and bring the game home by the time you [could download it," he explained.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

32 Comments

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Er-El 4th February 2010, 11:34 Quote
50gigs of data! What is he on about...? Most of the games I'm sure take up less than 10gigs and it's only some of the Sony and CGI-heavy games with no effort in compression that take up almost 25gigs.
liratheal 4th February 2010, 11:40 Quote
Bahahahahaha.

Yes, go on, make one of your few one-up points to the 360 a thing of the past.

It'll be glorious.
lacuna 4th February 2010, 11:42 Quote
Very disappointing news since it was a major selling point for the PS3
Omnituens 4th February 2010, 11:42 Quote
If they start charging for access to PSN, then they lose one of the advantages they have over MS.
Showerhead 4th February 2010, 11:49 Quote
Not a good idea free internet gaming is one of the few advantages the PS3 has over the 360 at the moment. I've argued with people that the PS3 is cheaper in the long run in that with the 360 you pay £35 a year which will slowly addup. this removes that advantage.
eldiablo 4th February 2010, 11:55 Quote
Sure hope thats not really going to happen, dont really wanna pay money for the one time a month i play online
smc8788 4th February 2010, 12:08 Quote
This has been rumoured for a while now and it seems extremely unlikely that you will need a subscription just to play online - it will only be required for certain 'premium content'.
smc8788 4th February 2010, 12:09 Quote
double post :/
Bursar 4th February 2010, 12:30 Quote
I can see it working if they give something back - but they'll need a two tier structure, the same as MS has with Gold and Silver subscribers.

They could leave PSN completely free for those who don't wish to pay for it. These people won't be any worse off than they are now. For those that do subscribe, they could have earlier access to demos, or discounts applied to their accoutns if they want to buy PS1/PS2 games.
shanky887614 4th February 2010, 12:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Showerhead
Not a good idea free internet gaming is one of the few advantages the PS3 has over the 360 at the moment. I've argued with people that the PS3 is cheaper in the long run in that with the 360 you pay £35 a year which will slowly addup. this removes that advantage.

id rather just use a computer, in the next 5 or so years there will be a working xbox 360 emulator and if youthink on it of terms of oeprating costs pc's wi nhands down becasue you have no montly subscription (except internet) when with the 360 you pay for internt (lets say £30 a month and 360 subcription thats allmost £400 pounds a year)

my computer runs graphics just as good as the 360 and it only cost me £160 for the graohc8is card and processor
scawp 4th February 2010, 12:39 Quote
You can already buy PS1 games from PSN
shigllgetcha 4th February 2010, 12:41 Quote
now we know why backwards compatibility was removed.
BlackMage23 4th February 2010, 12:57 Quote
what about those of us who still have a PS1 and PS2 collection? do we have to buy the games again if we want to play them on the PS3 cus that's what it sounds like.
Unknownsock 4th February 2010, 12:58 Quote
Hmm PSN already pretty much sucks, why ould you pay for it?

Unless they do a dramatic change.
liratheal 4th February 2010, 13:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanky887614
id rather just use a computer, in the next 5 or so years there will be a working xbox 360 emulator and if you think on it of terms of operating costs PC's win hands down because you have no monthly subscription (except internet) when with the 360 you pay for internet (lets say £30 a month and 360 subscription that's almost £400 pounds a year)

my computer runs graphics just as good as the 360 and it only cost me £160 for the graohc8is card and processor

There is so much wrong with that I'm not sure where to start..

First off, counting the internet bill as part of the playing online package is ridiculous, especially if you don't include the same cost for your PC online gaming. But then, given the cost of internet per month, usually under £30, and the amount of things that are done online these days, I doubt it's really fair to include it as a "monthly" cost for gaming.

I think your timing estimates for an emulator are off. In fact, I don't think there ever will be one. What appears to be the major selling point for the 360 is the Xbox Live malarkey, which you won't get with an emu. Why bother putting all that work into porting the Xbox OS to a PC, dealing with all the hardware issues, only for no one to look at it.

I'll cite PS1 and PS2 emulators as an example - They're not fully functional even now. Chances are low that there will ever be a 360 emu that even remotely touches on the games list available on the console itself.

As for the costs? £160 now, yes, but what will that be when the next series of consoles are released? I don't know about you, but upgrades are pretty much at least an annual thing for most PC gamers, whether it's the entire box or just part of it. You also fail to take into account the cost of everything else that goes into a PC, and comparing that to a console.

PCs are more expensive, maybe not on console launch, but they will always have higher running costs than a console, purely because of the upgrade paths.
SNIPERMikeUK 4th February 2010, 14:32 Quote
I wondered why sony sent me a web based questionaire recently that I filled in, and most of the questions were regarding subscriptions.....?
Cei 4th February 2010, 15:07 Quote
As said above, it's likely Sony will have the PSN as it stands now as the free option, with a premium chargeable service on top. The questionnaire I filled in a while back on this very topic listed NEW features as the charging options (early access to demos, betas, enhanced Facebook connectivity, free PSone titles etc.), rather than attacking the current core competencies.

Overall, this would actually put the PSN in a promising position. The free option (ie: PSN as it is now) would be superior to the Xbox Live Silver offering, and the PSN Premium would offer far more than Live Gold.
DigitalBoy0101 4th February 2010, 16:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal

PCs are more expensive, maybe not on console launch, but they will always have higher running costs than a console, purely because of the upgrade paths.

Hmm, I must take exception to this statement. Gaming PCs are upgraded regularly, but only because the PC games themselves are becoming ever more complex and demanding of equipment. Were there a single, unified PC platform that gaming companies built to (see: console games), there would be no need to upgrade regularly.

Pretty much every household needs a PC, as it has many other uses besides gaming. A household does not NEED a console, it is a luxury. If you could only have one (PC or console), the smart money would be on a PC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanky887614
pc's wi nhands down becasue you have no montly subscription (except internet)

This is not entirely true as well. MOST of the top PC games that are available for online play (comparing apples to apples since the main topic is about PSN) require a paying subscription. There are exceptions of course......and those that are free are subsidized by advertisements for the most part. The money always comes from somewhere.
Farfalho 4th February 2010, 16:56 Quote
About the fee that's completely rubbish. About the full-size PS3 games being downloaded, he's right, there isn't such high speed broadband avaliable to all. It would require 10Gbit connections to be worthwhile
infi 4th February 2010, 21:01 Quote
sony never said they will charge for multiplayer, just for specific PSN services.

people keep reading PSN and subscirption in the same sentence and thinnk they'll have to pay for multiplayer.
docodine 4th February 2010, 21:57 Quote
How many of you would actually download PS3 games? Aren't the bandwidth caps in England really low?
identikit 4th February 2010, 23:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by docodine
How many of you would actually download PS3 games? Aren't the bandwidth caps in England really low?

Not so much a problem with bandwidth caps, but speed. As mentioned in the article going out and buying a physical copy in store is a lot quicker than downloading 20+gigs of data. From Sony's POV the cost of bandwidth pushed out to users is also a worry. However on the flip side a digital copy tied to a PSN user solves the issue of second hand games killing a portion of the market.

Edit: My 2c on the pay for PSN? Personally I'd hate it and seriously consider getting rid of my PS3 in favour of... nothing. Yeah I'd stop gaming and maybe only play a few games a month on my PC.
Eggy 5th February 2010, 10:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
This has been rumoured for a while now and it seems extremely unlikely that you will need a subscription just to play online - it will only be required for certain 'premium content'.

They already confirmed that the features that are free now will remain free, including online play. Seems strange that bittech "forgot" to mention this.
Eggy 5th February 2010, 10:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalBoy0101


This is not entirely true as well. MOST of the top PC games that are available for online play (comparing apples to apples since the main topic is about PSN) require a paying subscription. There are exceptions of course......and those that are free are subsidized by advertisements for the most part. The money always comes from somewhere.
What? Only MMO games have a subscription model but you get continuous updates for free, all the other multiplayer games are free to play online.
Anfield 5th February 2010, 10:31 Quote
haha.... great timing, just when I was considering getting a ps3.
But then with the money saved on not having to replace my dead blueray player I could easily pay for whatever psn charges.
UncertainGod 5th February 2010, 10:59 Quote
They will have to keep basic (current level access) free as it isn't worth anything, but if they introduced a subscription model that gave me access to their back catalogue and perhaps a couple of other things I wouldn't have a problem with that. But it has to be value add, not just charging for something everyone already has.
scawp 5th February 2010, 12:57 Quote
If they start charging for online play they will lose a hell of a lot of customers to microsoft.

I doubt they will
ssj12 5th February 2010, 13:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
Bahahahahaha.

Yes, go on, make one of your few one-up points to the 360 a thing of the past.

It'll be glorious.

if they dont charge for online gaming, and just random features, they still have a massive one-up.
uz1_l0v3r 5th February 2010, 13:52 Quote
[QUOTE=liratheal]
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanky887614


As for the costs? £160 now, yes, but what will that be when the next series of consoles are released? I don't know about you, but upgrades are pretty much at least an annual thing for most PC gamers, whether it's the entire box or just part of it. You also fail to take into account the cost of everything else that goes into a PC, and comparing that to a console.

PCs are more expensive, maybe not on console launch, but they will always have higher running costs than a console, purely because of the upgrade paths.

I don't upgrade every year, nor do I see the need to. My current pc should be more than enough to play the latest games for several years. There is absolutely no need to upgrade "every year", I have no idea what you are spendin your money on.
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 7th February 2010, 19:40 Quote
No way should Sony start to charge to play games online. That is totally stupid and if they do then there is no reason to buy a PS3 and have to pay for a third rate online network.

The more the console business rapes it's players for cash the more those same victims may start to realize that the PC is the best way to go.

With six core CPU's and GPGPU technology knocking at the door it's only a matter of time before a Xbox360 and PS3 emulator are up and running. The 360 is nothing but a low end PC anyway but the PS3 will be a great challenge because of the Cell and it's PPE - SPE set up. Every emulated system has online gameplay.
Blademrk 8th February 2010, 13:22 Quote
I did wonder about this when Sony started emailing questionnaires asking about price ranges/packages a few months back.
Anfield 8th February 2010, 16:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krayzie_B.o.n.e.
No way should Sony start to charge to play games online. That is totally stupid and if they do then there is no reason to buy a PS3 and have to pay for a third rate online network.

As I understood the article they are considering to put paid extra content on it and no where does it say that they will charge for plain regular online gaming.

As for the GPGPU argument, ehmm.... ever considered the Electricity cost outside of a select few countries? unless both Ati and Nvidia find a way to slash power consumption by atlest 75% there is no way GPGPU can ever take off as running a GPU with any kind of load on it is horribly expensive.
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