Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Will You Pay For The PSN?

PlayStation boss Kaz Hirai has confirmed that, at some point in 2010, the PlayStation Network will get subscription-based “premium level” content. Unfortunately, Kaz declined to tell the world just what that content will be.

One huge advantage that Sony’s PlayStation Network has over the rival Xbox Live service is that it doesn’t charge gamers to play online against each other – but don’t fret, PS3 and PSP owners, because that’s not changing. Probably. Hirai’s statement suggested that the subscription model would run alongside the existing free services.

Microsoft’s Xbox Live is a two-tiered service, with the free Silver edition offering downloads of videos and demos, while the Gold service allows gamers to play online, plus access certain exclusive content (including the Twitter, and Facebook apps recently launched) and special offers.

If Sony does keep online play totally free, it’ll be interesting to see what it can offer to keep PlayStation Network users shelling out a subscription over a period of time: could it be a movie service offering a certain number of film downloads per month? Or perhaps exclusive access to prerelease beta versions of games? We’ll have to wait and see.



  1. I wonder if they will release an EU version of Qore as has been mooted in the past?

    Will be interesting to see what they come up with though - a video/music subscription would make sense (particularly with Sony's iTunes rival slated for an appearance on the PS3 in the near future).

    Maybe it will include access to some sort of cloud to back up your data online.

  2. Having been a long time Xbox subscriber - n way in hell am I foring out more mney for online play >.<

    Just not worth it *sobs*

  3. If it means that I can download whatever I want without paying anything extra on top of a monthly / annual subscription then I would be interested providing it's not too expensive. I'm more interested in access to games rather than movies. There are a lot of good games released on the store right now. Sometimes it seems like two or three come within a short space of time and I don't want to shell out that much money at once. It would be better if I could pay a fixed amount per month and download any PSN games I want to (apart from full games that are also available on Blu-ray). I wouldn't even mind if I was just renting the games - i.e. if I stop paying the subscription, the games stop working. This would need a lower subscription fee of course.

    I'm less inclined to pay for access to movies because I suspect that Sony wouldn't be able to provide this at a realistic price point. Well just look at the price of the content on the PSN video store currently and you'll see what I mean. Depending on how much content they have to offer, if it's enough to compete with the likes of Sky movies / Virgin media then Sony could charge a similar extortionate monthly fee and some people would go for it (not me).

    With Sony launching a premium service that puts everyone not paying onto an inferior service (lite or silver or whatever they want to call it). I hope that this service isn't a degraded version of what they are offering to everybody today.

  4. @Tone - "We’ll have to wait and see." Got me singing, "We hope it's chips, it's chips, it's chips, we hooooope it's chips!" :)

  5. @reakt

    With you on the store pricing - Paramount seem to be the only studio on there who have a clue about pricing for digital distribution. I think their older movies are £6.99 and newer ones are £8.99 for the SD versions. That's not too bad in my book, but £11.99 for an SD version (as is the case with most of the studios on there) is pulling the pud somewhat.

    Not that I will ever buy films from it - I never normally watch a film more than once and it's usually a little cheaper to rent from Filmflex (virgin media). Now if they start doing more anime (series rather than movies) and price that sensibly (stop sniggering at the back) they would have my attention.

    Some sort of game rental subscription could work, like you say, a lot of goodness on the PSN at the moment.

  6. I've finished a rough draft of my magazine, would be great if someone could write an article on this subject. I'll give them digital doughnuts in return!!