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Sony again mentions “monthly fees” in relation to PSN

Monday, 14th December 2009 17:00 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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SCE technology platform boss Masayuki Chatani has told Nikkei that Sony will “face difficulties” if it continues to rely on the “sell-and forget model”.

“Servers and the like have running costs… after we sell the hardware, though, we continue to sell products such as content and services,” he said.

“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.”

Monthly fees, eh? Sony said in a presentation recently that subs were on the way to PSN, but SCE boss Kaz Hirai quickly assured that PS3 network play is to remain free.

Thanks, CVG.

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48 Comments

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  1. Michael O’Connor

    Maybe they might be considering a system like GameTap?

    You know, pay a monthly fee and get to play certain titles at no extra charge, but only as long as you’re subscribed.

    I’d actually be really on board with an idea like that.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. DrDamn

    That sounds a lot more like monthly fees in relation to a specific game. I.e. MMO type pricing structure. Given FFIV is coming next year then that would fit in nicely.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Psychotext

    Yeah, I still think it’ll be some sort of game subscription, which could be pretty cool.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. DrDamn

    @Michael O’Connor
    Oh yeah I’d love that sort of system. I’ve started renting games from LoveFilm and that is working out very well, but a more on-demand type system would suit me better.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. NiceFellow

    I suspect PSN online play will remain free as a competitive difference to Live. After all, if people seem willing to pay for Live vs an almost matching free service imagine the reaction if PSN actually cost money?

    On the other hand, they’ve clearly seen via Home, DLC, etc. – and of course Live itself – that people are willing to pay for stuff online and quite a bit too. Therefore they are sure to introduce various ways of charging will keeping the core offering free.

    On demand games / rental could be interesting, particularly for smaller titles and PSN titles. Also, they could look to premium content, etc. for a small fee again without changing the free to play core. MMOs would fir this, particularly FFXIV, and it looks like if they play their cards right that could end up exclusive by default as MS don’t want to allow whatever charging scheme SE seem to want to use at the moment, thereby preventing the game hitting 360 due to licensing issues.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. reask

    So I buy a PS3 2 weeks ago and they start talking about charging.
    Call me Lucky. :(

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Redh3lix

    PSN will remain free reask.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Michael O’Connor

    @reask

    They’re not going to charge for anything that’s already free, most especially online gaming. They have clarified this couuntless times at this point.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. MushroomStamp

    LOL.. it’s coming :) Then what will the PSN fanboys have to thump their chests about :) Nothing in the world is free… if it is, soon someone will find a way turn it into a money machine.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Gekidami

    Wow, some people cant read. And if they can they dont understand what the words mean.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. reask

    Oh right, Thanks folks.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Michael O’Connor

    That was a bit harsh, Geki.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Eregol

    Sony normally aren’t ones to mix their words.
    Normally it’s a say what you mean thing.
    So, why are they being so coy about this?
    At the end of the day, they’ll probably keep schtum until after xmas where they expect sales to be good and then announce a change afterwards?
    But with several MMOs due out for the machine in the coming year they have platforms available for subs models.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Gekidami

    How are they being “coy”? Sony says that theres some sub stuff on PSN (like Quore) and more to come and its taken out of context.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Michael O’Connor

    I think it’s pretty obvious this isn’t referring to things like MMORPGs if you read it all, as easy as it is to connect the two.

    They pretty clearly said that is in regards to usages and features of the PlayStation Network itself, and they’ve made no reference to third-party games.

    Still, no need to berate them for people’s confusion. It happens.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Mike

    Charge me, and I’ll gladly pay. Then I can bitch and moan about not getting my money’s worth…at last! :)

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Gekidami

    You’d pay for PSN yet not actually own a PS3? Why? :P

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Mike

    Well, it obviously stands to reason that I’d have to have one first. But when I had one, I wanted to pay, and if they sort out PSN – by perhaps making a “Gold” style account – then it’d be a huge selling point for me rebuying one.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. NoxNoctisUmbra

    People don’t complain, to play online it will still be free, only the ones that are fans and want most out of the PSN will have to pay. Maybe they will have seperate servers with less lag, and what not..

    Either way, you do not have to pay to play online..
    only Xbox does that shit

    #19 4 years ago
  20. PolyGoneWithTheWind

    It absolutely makes sense to charge for content at some point – but it would be disaster to turn round and charge for whatever is free. There will be new things, new stuff, new ways of interacting with content that they will charge for – and you will have a simple choice – pay it or don’t. No-one will hold a gun to your head.

    Everything you have now will be and always will be free – any new things, whole new innovations and platforms may well come with a price. They are not going to suddenly turn round and make you pay for things that used to be free.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Khanivor

    Aye, I can see no reason that a company losing money hand over fist would even countenance the possibility of charging for something it is ‘current’ly giving away for free. None what so ever.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Bleak Harvest

    All I will say it that you all don’t have to worry =) This isn’t what you think.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. PolyGoneWithTheWind

    A customer with a PS3 using your service for free is far more commercially viable than a PS3 customer who has the box unplugged and collecting dust as a piece of front-room furniture. Platform building is always better for any company than loss-aversion model switching.

    Imagine the abuse Murdoch is getting for pay-walls on news sites to the power of a 1,000… the commercial damage of that would outweigh infrastructure overheads for Sony.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. MushroomStamp

    I don’t think people misinterpret what this article said. I think some of us just have further vision. RIGHT NOW they aren’t charging… but this like most things, is just the start. EVENTUALLY, they WILL charge to play. Start charging for little things now and as execs see the money made and the costs to keep up network, it will of course only make sense to go to a paid service like XBL. This is just the beginning…

    * for the record, I have PS3 and 360. I gladly pay for XBL because I have a MUCH better user experience with games on XBL than I do on PSN.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Gekidami

    Want to add a “My words are solid” to that Mushroom?

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Michael O’Connor

    MushroomStamp deserves his very own tinfoil hat right about now…

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Mike

    I don’t understand why everyone sees it as a problem. I really don’t. Why not pay £2 a month if it’ll make it a better experience?

    #27 4 years ago
  28. Goliath

    @ MushroomStamp

    There is no way Sony will ask gamers to pay for the services they already enjoy for free. That’s a backward step.

    Edit @ Mike

    They would lose more than they would gain. The worst thing for any growing community is to be disgruntled. Not to mention the media backlash and negative publicity.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. Mike

    No it’s a forward step financially. Sony needs money. What part of 2 and 2 making 4 don’t you get?

    #29 4 years ago
  30. MushroomStamp

    Yes, agreed it is forward. They will offer both at first, enticing those that want more but eventually phase out the free side or make is so that it doesn’t offer much because majority will be on paid service because all the benefits. This is BASIC BUSINESS! some people are just so short sighted. Free goes by the way of the doo-doo bird, just like Redhat.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. theevilaires

    mushroonm there’s nothing wrong with PSN to its regular users. You prefer 360 so of course PSN won’t suit you well. The only thing they need to add is cross game chat and people will shut up.

    You can pay for your party club thing if you want but once PSN gets that (if ever) then all the drama will stop. Can you share games on live? can you play for free? ….Whoa I just realized who I was talking to lol, its you Mushroom of course you don’t mind paying $50 a year because you….well you know what you do :D

    #31 4 years ago
  32. MushroomStamp

    :) I was merely taking the stance from a business perspective. That is completely makes financial sense, especially for an ailing company. :)

    Personally I don’t see why people cry over $50/yr fee. oh and it IS mostly the voice, yes.. but I also find more lag free games on XBL than PSN. for instance this past weekend I play MW2 for about 12 hours on PSN… of which I experienced lag in easily HALF of the matches… I never experience lag on XBL… well ok maybe once every 4 months.

    ** just for you Tea, while I was playing Bayonetta this weekend I thought about you :)

    #32 4 years ago
  33. zoopdeloop

    Everyone says that LIVe is far superior to the PSN which is true to some extend.
    Do you expect Sony to evolve PSN so it could be in the same level with LIVE (or better) while it remains free?
    Deal with it.If Sony wants to evolve the PSN they need some resources specifficaly from the PSN and some monthly incomes to keep them going
    If they ever gonna charge almost every online features.

    LIVE wouldn’t be as good and steady as it is if it was free

    #33 4 years ago
  34. McLovin85

    Doesn’t Xbox Live have a couple of years more experience behind it than PSN. I’ve not had too much experience with Live but from what i’ve seen of it at my mates house it’s pretty impressive and cross game chat is cool.
    On the other hand, i’ve never had any problems with PSN, and it also has a good set of features on it. I would have to say that the UI is better on PSN, as Live just feels cluttered.
    Anyway, considering PSN has been out for just under 3 years i’d say it’s doing alright and i’ve personally got nothing against it.

    #34 4 years ago
  35. theevilaires

    there’s only one game (well two) I’ve seen lag and that was COD4 and MW2 and that’s because those games are P2P. Because PSN is free and most of gamers now a days just want to play stupid mindless shooters you get a lot of people in the country who have shitty internet connections.

    Most of them stem from the midwest with the farms,corn fields,and cows. The next door neighbor is 10 miles away :D They slow down games like COD when they get picked to host. I live in a city metropolis where a 4GB 1080p (terminator salvation file that can be played on your PS3 :D ) can be downloaded in 30 minutes. I carry the max players that can join with me anytime, in any game, on P2P server online games with NO LAG when I host.

    So it depends where the host is from. Not PSN. RFOM 30 players online LAG FREE. R2 60 players 30 vs 30 online LAG FREE. Gears of War2 5vs5 LAG CENTRAL…So lets take business bub…..

    /spits out cigar…scrapes Adamantium claws together.

    #35 4 years ago
  36. MushroomStamp

    Maybe it’s the matching up and the way the host is picked that the XBL service does better than PSN.. I dunno.. All I can talk on is my real world experience.

    Tea, for the record. My #2 reason is the controller. For me, quite simply, I have always disliked the tiny cramped PS controllers. If there was a SIMPLE way to make my 360 controller work with PS3 I would probably play on it more. As it is, I play ALL my pc games with a 360 controller.

    #36 4 years ago
  37. zoopdeloop

    That’s odd…most people prefer Ps3′s controler over 360′s everyone is more familiar with it since the Psone days.
    To me…as i have both,i can say that 360′s controler looks like a cheap Fisher price toy

    #37 4 years ago
  38. Blerk

    I don’t think you’ll find many people who’ve used a 360 pad who still say they prefer the Dual Shock, tbh.

    #38 4 years ago
  39. Hunam

    I just don’t understand why the Dual Shock 3 isn’t as good as the Dual Shock 2.

    #39 4 years ago
  40. Blerk

    Is it not? I haven’t noticed much difference, apart from the sticks being slightly different (better, even… maybe) on the DS3.

    #40 4 years ago
  41. Armitage

    Well, my opinion is NO to fees for these services. Steam makes a LOT of money without charging, PSN makes a LOT without charging, no doubt XBL does as well, without the fees even taken into consideration.. And NO to ads on these services as well.. It seems that what happens here will set forever what is to be the standard in gaming.. And given the already profitable nature of these services, I hope that as customers we should say we want high quality, no-fee, advert-free networked services.

    These reports though seem to be, or at least certainly could be, in relation to game specific monthly fees, such as for the Sony MMOs, as opposed to fees to use the network itself.

    #41 4 years ago
  42. Quiiick

    @ Blerk

    Actually I prefer the PS3 controller over the 360 one.
    (although I first owned a 360 and bought my PS3 2 years later)

    Yes, the 360 controller is more ergonomic but what I really hate is the asymmetric analogue-sticks and the overall weight.

    If there would be a less heavy 360 controller with both analogue-sticks in the lower position I surely would prefer this over the current PS3 controller. But unfortunately this is not the case.

    #42 4 years ago
  43. Hunam

    It’s those damn L2 R2 triggers I hate. And the new sticks. I play on the PS2 a fair amount still and I loved the pad, but the PS3 pad just doesn’t match up.

    #43 4 years ago
  44. Quiiick

    Yes, those L2 & R2 triggers are fucking terrible on the PS3 controller, but so are the LB & RB thingies on the 360 controller.

    Still prefer the secondary-weapon or grenade mapped to R2 (PS3) than to RB (360) in shooters though. Feels more natural IMO.

    #44 4 years ago
  45. Blerk

    Blimey, Quiiick – I was a PS gamer for two generations and spent both of them wishing they’d move that damned left stick to a better position. I knew there must be a reason they didn’t do it, and apparently that reason was… you! :-D

    #45 4 years ago
  46. Armitage

    And me! :D I like it where it is! I like symmetry! I have to ask though – if the right stick is in an alright position for you.. But the left isn’t.. I mean.. Well, there’s no polite way to put this – are your hands asymmetrical?

    #46 4 years ago
  47. OlderGamer

    “That’s odd…most people prefer Ps3’s controler over 360’s everyone is more familiar with it since the Psone days.
    To me…as i have both,i can say that 360’s controler looks like a cheap Fisher price toy”
    Nope.
    No such things as an exeptionless rule. But most of the people except for the die hard PS3 fans, tell me that the xb360 pad is the pinicale of comfort. I would almost agree with that if not for the fact, the FACT mind you, that the best controler ever made is with out a doubt the Classic ColecoVision controler. This thing had it all, solid rectangle design, huge nob like joystick(nevermind what that sounds like youngen), lots of buttons, and to top it off an insert with graphics over the button pad! Now that was top teir right there.
    What?
    Oh.
    Sorry, yes I am old. But I prefer Classic!
    Retro is ok too, really.
    Ok.
    Yes, leaving now.

    #47 4 years ago
  48. Psychotext

    Seems there have been some developments on the “what could the subscriptions be” front:

    http://kotaku.com/5429592/survey-sony-considering-premium-playstation-network-subscriptions

    Looks like we might not be getting cross game chat without paying. :( Still, there’s some quite cool ideas in there as it goes.

    #48 4 years ago