PlayStation Network to Begin Charging?

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Sony’s PlayStation Network may not be free of subscription fees much longer, according to oblique remarks by its CTO.

SCE’s Chief Technical Officer Masayuki Chatani has this to say about Sony’s PSN plans in a recent interview, where he also explains how the slimlined PS3 and failed PSP Go were intended to appeal more to non-gamers:

Maintaining service will mean continuing cost. This is a major issue for a home electronics manufacturer, isn’t it?

Servers and the like have running costs, and we would face difficulties if our business depended solely on the sell-and-forget model. After we sell the hardware, though, we continue to sell products such as content and services.

We expect to see considerable growth in digital content, such as game download services, avatar items and the like.

We can also accept payment in a growing number of ways. In addition to single-payment packaged software, there are also schemes like monthly fees or per-item charges. I think this variety of payment methods will bring about a diverse range of playing methods, too.

Presumably making the entire PSN service require paid subscriptions, as with Xbox Live, would be a last resort, but it certainly sounds as though free access to online gaming services may in part give way at some point to a subscription based model…


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    Avatar of ScarredBushido
    Comment by ScarredBushido
    01:15 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol welcome to our world

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:36 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I guess sony is really loosing money! Now they are going to charge you! I knew it couldn't be free forever!

    Avatar of Riiku
    Comment by Riiku
    00:35 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dont give a shit. Still enjoying my Battlefield 2: Forgotten Hope 2 and Project Reality mods.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:19 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't think he was referring to Xbox live style subscription fees. I think he was more talking about subscription fees for individual online software titles (MMO's on the PS3 and what have you)

    Avatar of Apirant
    Comment by Apirant
    02:21 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They want to appeal to non-gamers...

    If they want to do that, why don't they just add web browsers? The Internet is pretty much the main reason why anyone would want a PC.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:23 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    *finds random interview online*

    *reposts interview and makes ridiculous assertion that is not even implied in original interview, posts as fact*

    *is Sankaku Complex*

    Avatar of El Chaos
    Comment by El Chaos
    03:42 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    OK now, this made me chuckle. XD

    Avatar of 711
    Comment by 711
    20:59 16/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Playing games online should remain free and since I couldn't care less for game trailers, demos and that gimmicky "home" thing I think it would be a nice move to charge for "extra functionalities".

    Also, this move was kinda predicted and they where just waiting for the console itself have a good consumer base to make it, something that will probably happen in the near future, but OBVIOUSLY, not before Christmas since they are not morons.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:00 16/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    um that's pretty old news. Sony did mention in a convention about offering a paid for premium services ON TOP of every services currently offered for free, meaning everything that PSN is right now would remain free, only that some kind of premium service could be acquired by users for a monthly fee. Maybe it would be faster download, better online though I honestly never saw a single difference between PSN and XBOX Live in terms of online playing, exclusive content perhaps, nobody knows so far.

    That was announced like 1 or 2 months ago on gaming sites.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:35 16/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think sony want to make a profit by charging for psn after so many loss every ps3 concole they sold.. I mean, how can we survive if we facing a loss for every product we have sold.. A business is to make a profit not a loss.. So, I think that's why sony will be charging for their psn too like xbox did on xbl.. you did also know right that microsoft earn a lot of profit from their xbl..

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:55 16/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    No no no, it would NOT be fair to charge for PSN. It is not fair that Microsoft charges for Live. Sony and Microsoft do not host servers for any games, only running the matchmaking. If a company tried to do this on an open platform like the PC, no one would use the service, but the only reason why Microsoft and Sony can get away with it is because there is no competing service on their platform.

    Avatar of El Chaos
    Comment by El Chaos
    02:40 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually Microsoft does own their servers. If you don't use Live you can't play online unless you resort to unofficial servers (pirate stuff et al) or the game's developer provides its own, along with its own fee (Square Enix and Final Fantasy XI, and I assume it'll be the exact same thing with the PS3 and Final Fantasy XIV).

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:45 16/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I like to consider myself a gamer and not a fanboy but I just have to laugh at this. Everytime a Console War pops up, I always see this argument more then any other. And now that PSN is going to start charging it's just down right hilarious (Although it sucks since I just bought a freakin' PS Slim). Well,time to go back to my 360 then...

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:56 16/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I bought my PS3 for the MGS franchise, The next ZOE (Kojimaaaaaaaa!!!!!!) the next Fumito Ueda games, and for the GT series. As i am a casual player i wasn´t interested on paying a montly fee to play online, but still wanted to enjoy the experience from time to time, and i wanted my console to work without fearing the RROD (incidentally i had to send my sisters WII to repair the SD port...) that´s why i haven´t bought a 360 with the new Forza 3.
    Polyphony is making me sick of waiting for GT5 to be released, and i seriously think that the game should be 99% completed since months ago and it´s just a marketing movement, all those delays make me think that the game is not superior to Forza on several aspects and they are rushing to give it more stuff, as a GT series fan im bored of random delays, which only make me think that the game will be no more than a HD GT4 with 30 versions of the GTR R35 added, i mean it will not really be worth the time they have keeped us waiting.
    And now they are telling us that the online service will need a subscription? i swear that if that ends up being truth im swapping my ps3 for a 360 and not bothering with the GT series anymore even if it is superior to Forza 3.
    And i tell you, i am ready to buy the special edition GT5 and all the downloadable content that it´s released, and i already have a Logitech G25 wheel and a playseat to enjoy the game, but im not putting with a paying online bullshit, they should have had told me that when i bought a PS3 last year.
    I have been a long sony fan, but i feel like they ripped me off on this generation.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:20 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wouldn't get so worked up, this is just some guy talking about the ideas that are on the table, not an official press release on the matter. So don't go and rage-quit already.

    I agree with you on the "As i am a casual player i wasn´t interested on paying a montly fee to play online" part though. I don't really care about it enough to think it's worth paying for. And also I'm a PC gamer at heart, so I am just used to the online aspect being free. It'd be really sad if all online console gaming ends up being subscription based. It's too much of a commitment for me.

    Avatar of Icy-nee-san
    Comment by Icy-nee-san
    00:12 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Meh, I don't care for online much on Console games... Except Mario Kart Wii, so fun to play against random people xD

    Avatar of Striker25
    Comment by Striker25
    07:55 14/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Meh Mario kart

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:54 16/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    correct me if i'm wrong, but i belive i read an article saying PSN will still remain FREE and you, we the PSN users will have a choice to AVAIL a PREMIUM service meaning more perks, more access to premium stuff (whatever they are). so anyone else out there trying to slander PSN or anything else under the sun that's free, go "F" yourself.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:47 16/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    How about some more PS1 games on PSN,

    where are the resident evil games?
    Why are we still waiting for the english version of ff8?

    Get your shit together sony

    Avatar of El Chaos
    Comment by El Chaos
    03:02 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Probably for the same reason Microsoft basically forgot about their own backwards compatibility list, save for some very punctual titles: because there isn't enough people interested in that old stuff.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:00 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not sure which region you're from.. but on the US store all 3 RE games have been released as PS1 classics. The sad thing with Sony right now is that they lack consistency across all regions.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:38 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The Playstation Network already has subscrtion services quore to be exact and they were planning on making clubs on Home a subscrition so I doubt that that online services will change much. multiplayer will still be free and I think Home will most like ly stay charge free as well. I also doubt they would charge to connect to the market.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:39 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    OLD AND INCORRECT INFORMATION.

    There will be a paid subscription, but one that will offer more features. If you're okay with just the current features, it'll stay free. Confirmed by game sites throughout the Internet.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:22 18/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Make it like Windows LIVE, at the very least if you are going to start charging.
    Let the people who want to throw their money away get all the bells and whistles of crap that I don't care about and let me enjoy my fucking Online experience in peace.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:45 18/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So Sony fails. If they wanted to use server costs they should have done so from the very beginning.

    Once again they limit themselves and start out free and then all of a sudden it starts to cost money.

    Which is a really really bad way of handling things. Just reminds me of the phone sellers: Oh but you will get all of this for free!!

    When you receive the product though it costs in shipment and it is hard as hell to stop getting the product...

    Bad move Sony, bad move.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    08:43 18/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's a very poor marketing move if you ask me.

    Instead of charging for what's free now it would be a better idea to add some premium services that you can pay a small monthly fee to access.

    The stock holders probably should start pushing for a new CTO.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:08 28/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    How does it feel now? They got y'all good!!!! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:06 28/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:35 19/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They're not talking about making PSN subscription-based- they're going to ask for money for things like FF14.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:31 21/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually, try the following link:
    http://kotaku.com/5429592/sony-survey-says-premium-playstation-network-subscriptions-under-consideration?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kotaku%2Ffull+%28Kotaku%29&utm_content=Google+Reader [http://kotaku.com/5429592/sony-survey-says-premium-playstation-network-subscriptions-under-consideration?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed: kotaku/full (Kotaku)&utm_content=Google Reader]

    Avatar of Ero-Kurage
    Comment by Ero-Kurage
    14:40 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, they can start looking at cutting that Mainichi Issyo Weekly thing, which is not important at all, and each episode is way too long even with auto-forward now. Then HOME is pretty pointless and boring, I go there once in awhile when I really have nothing to do, it is beautiful but not yet pathetic enough to waste real time in that virtual apartment, for what ? I don't find that interesting at all. If I have time and turn on my PS3, I would be playing games, leveling up my ToV or MW2.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:24 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I was just about to get a PS3 as well, oh well a some old PS2 games shall do.
    Cheaper on my part.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:41 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    it's gonna blow if i have to pay $50 bucks for the live subscription and another $50 for PSN

    Avatar of Callysto
    Comment by Callysto
    12:12 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm not sure this is really new news. I remember back in 2008 there wwas a small article is asian psn teasig the prospect of charging online whiih inevitably led to a recent PSN spam session on my friends list with peope sending chain letters and if you on't send this o as many people as possible you'll have to pay fees and whatnot.

    I'm not really sure about this one. psn free is one of the major +1's over 360.

    I can't justify paying 50 bucs a year when i barely play that much online games.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:39 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Good, I hate the Ps3 network. 360 is so much better when it comes to multiplayer, and online communities. It's because we pay for it. That money goes to use. I for one welcome the fee. If you can't afford it, get a better job. You can't live in your mother's basement forever.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:44 18/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    fuck the 360. This whole site is anti sony propaganda

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:10 28/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    If it's anti-sony propaganda then why did you come here?

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:05 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Does this site hate sony or something? I mean all they do is post negative news about the ps3 and psp. Come on, why not something good? This site should just be renamed fucksony.com. And one more thing. Sony will charge for premium content, PREMIUM! ONLINE PLAY WILL STILL BE FREE! Did you have the balls to mention that or are you a fanboy?! goddamn!

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:05 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I hope you're being sarcastic

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:48 18/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    no im not, whats the big problem with the ps3 huh!? At least it does not have a shitty warranty, red ring of death and perfect 360 scratches on the disk like the 360 has! The Wii and PS3 dont have any fucking problems!! and this site is just badmouthing the shit out of the PS3 and PSP!! This fanboy site can kiss my ass!

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:08 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sony needs money to mantain the subside of the ps3 slim

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:27 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Mysterious Voice: "Stabbing your loyal users in the back, huh? First you remove backwards compatability, now this? You might as well lower quality control on the system, Micro$ony.

    Next time, get a PC."

    Uhh...the base online features are still gonna work.

    Mysterious Voice: "My point still stands; get a PC."

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:33 16/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Old news this has already shot down.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:25 16/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I never did like how the xbox makes you pay for a subscription and then still pay to download stuff.

    Avatar of drunkspiderman667
    Comment by drunkspiderman667
    16:17 16/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    ive already read extensively about this and most all the features available now will still be available. this is only pretaining to rental services and the like. playing a games online component will still be free unless the games makers decide they want to charge. case in point would be mmos.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:14 16/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    well, this is pretty much a disappointment, free online gaming is one of the factors that drives people to buy the ps3 but if they start charging then they better have some amazing games coming out next year that requires being online

    Avatar of Tateha
    Comment by Tateha
    16:03 16/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    paying for online on the ps3 will mean the death of online gaming for the system. for a lot of people this is one of the main reasons why they choose ps3 over the xbox360. If sony does eventually go through with this, they have successfully dropped the ball.

    Avatar of dual.soul
    Comment by dual.soul
    16:28 16/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sony already addressed this weeks ago. What we currently have (Online gaming, Home, demos and misc. videos) will remain free. Sony is looking to add a premium service along side this; an optional upgrade that will have newer features on top of what we already enjoy. This will include their new music service and whatever else they may have in store.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:44 16/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not samefag, but I'm citing this reference in support of his claim:

    "SCE will further increase sales by offering users new entertainment through the combination of hardware, software, peripheral, and PlayStation Network," Hirai said in a statement given to British outlets, such as CVG. "Especially in the online area, we are studying the possibility of introducing a subscription model, offering premium content and services, IN ADDITION TO THE CURRENT FREE SERVICES."

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:45 16/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Something like this won't be done for a good while, you can't simple say 'okay!! were tad bit low on money so you have to pay to play' and then put it on the very next day. If this does happen it will probably be introduced over a long period of time.

    Probably stuff on PSN that was free will become charged, certain content or something, I don't have a PS3 so I don't know exactly.

    Avatar of Canti
    Comment by Canti
    16:46 16/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Regular play and store acces will remain free.
    What they are discussing is a expansion to qore where you can get exclusive trailers/demos/news if you have a subscription.

    Besides it would not even be legal to start charging this late in the lifecycle after advertising the PS3 as having free online play .

    Avatar of El Chaos
    Comment by El Chaos
    02:16 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Exclusive trailers/demos/news"? That's not precisely fee-worthy material... all that stuff is always free on Live (literally free, you can access all that with a silver subscription and without paying any other fees at all), save for stuff like multiplayer betas of Halo games.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:23 17/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well i'm certain that people would have eagerly payed 5$ a month to get theyr hands on GoW3, MAG, uncharted 2, MGS4, LBP demos

    That expanded with exclusive game footage available nowhere else (till its ripped from PSN afcourse :P)

    I would be interested.

    Avatar of El Chaos
    Comment by El Chaos
    06:47 18/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    But you should have it for free... and I take it that indeed, game demos are free on PSN. Maybe you could pay four or five bucks a month, then have downloadable contents free of charge (but requiring the paid subscription) rather than free "basic online" and having to pay for every goddamn disc contents fuckers like NBGI lock in their games until you've paid them the extra.






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