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Premium PSN plans for E3 reveal, to cost “less than £50 per year”

Monday, 17th May 2010 13:09 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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VG247 has learnt that Sony is to reveal plans for PSN’s premium services at E3.

According to a highly-placed source, Sony will announce a large-scale monetizing scheme for PSN at the LA show, but we’re assured nothing planned will impact the service’s current free aspects.

A string of features will be revealed, apparently costing “less than £50 per year”.

Sony will confirm plans to give all subscribers one free PSN game per month, from a choice of “two to four” every month.

“If you work it out, PSN games cost an average of £6-9 each, so over a year you’re basically going to be breaking even,” said our source.

A streaming music application similar to Spotify will be announced in Sony’s press conference on June 15. It’s thought that this can run in the background while playing games.

Rumours that cross-game voice chat is being saved as a paid feature are apparently not true, we were told.

“I can tell you now, 100 percent, that that’s not the case,” our man continued.

“There’s nothing in the premium package which will gimp regular PSN users.”

The PSN premium services announcement is thought to be a major part of Sony’s E3 conference, which will also heavily feature Move.

It’s thought that a PSP2 announcement, for this reason, is unlikely, and will be saved for either gamescom or TGS later this year. Get more detail on that here.

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37 Comments

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  1. deftangel

    t’was only a matter of time. I hope it’s not limited to a 12-month subscription only mind because that ain’t gonna end well. Intrigued to see what they’ll add.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. 52pickup

    As long as it’s features packed and less than 50 quid i’ll subscribe day 1.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Blerk

    “Less than £50″? That’ll be £49.99, then. :-D

    The ‘free’ PSN game sounded like a good idea until they restricted it to only the ones that they pick – no doubt it’ll be rubbish ones that you don’t want.

    Still, if they’re not gimping the free service then it’s all good. But if they’re not doing that then this’ll have to be pretty spectacular to convince people to shell out, surely?

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Erthazus

    I’ll subscribe if one free game each month, if not, no way.

    I’m not spoiled child that buys Stimulus packs on Xbox 360 or PS3.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Erthazus

    @3 yeah and if it is rubbish i won’t pay.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. daytripper

    what sony need to do is revamp the whole online ID/customization to make it feel more like a gaming profile rather than business style software, the xmb seems to be best suited to a media player rather than a gaming machine.

    http://www.destructoid.com/ps3-trophies-and-how-they-underachieve-130646.phtml

    that article is pretty spot on imo, give me a job sony i’ll sort it out for you.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Retroid

    One PSN game included each month?

    Hmmm.

    I’d prefer the rumours of included PS1 games but if those count…. I may well subscribe.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Alakratt

    Sooooo, it’ll cost less than $72..hmm.. I’m thinking that they’ll say that it’s less than $60? If this article is right of course…

    #8 4 years ago
  9. OlderGamer

    So I am guessing we will see LastFM and Netflix as premium services. But Netflix is now included in the free stuff, so maybe not.

    But.

    Why would anyone want to pay for anything?

    Save your subscript fee and buy/pick the PSN game you want each month.

    Also I expect to see a “Deal of the week” type thing half off this or that DLC if you subscribe.

    But I just can’t see them adding anything of real value to make paying worth it.

    IMO they should just charge like LIVE and be done with it. Online services cost to maintain. Simple as that, no shame in it. But the way Sony is handling this makes me wonder what they are thinking.

    Looking forward to learning more at E3.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Kaufer

    What happened to the tiered subscription model?

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Johnny Cullen

    I’m guessing that Netflix will remain partially a free feature.

    The disc you need to stream stuff will still work for your PS3, but I’d think that if you want to do it without the disc, the stream without disc feature is a premium feature.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. mojo

    “Online services cost to maintain”
    yeah, but far off 50$ per user per year.
    not even close.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. James91

    “A streaming music application similar to Spotify will be announced in Sony’s press conference on June 15. It’s thought that this can run in the background while playing games.”

    UK ‘unlimited’ ISP’s will love that.

    Plus, streaming music in-game, surely this might bring about some lag issues?

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Aimless

    To me it makes sense to bolster a premium option with tweaks that will appeal to the core audience willing to pay for such things, like being able to set up different friend groups — essentially separate friend lists in personalised folders, so you could sort people by the games they play online, et cetera — or even some sort of overarching clan support.

    Now that Microsoft are freed from supporting the original Xbox it stands to reason that they will be making improvements to Live, perhaps even announcing them at E3, and if Sony are introducing a paid service I can see them wanting to trump whatever it is their competition are offering; PSN has come a long way since launch, cross-game chat being the only real differentiator between it and Live these days.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. theevilaires

    hmmmmm this sounds kinda ok. I might start paying for PSN which then I have to shut up about Xbox live and start paying for that too :(

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Retroid

    :D

    #16 4 years ago
  17. SplatteredHouse

    If people do pay for PSN, then there WILL be a greater focus on quality of service, and frankly, where’s the community equivalent of Nelson of Microsoft, for Sony users? Talk about a poisoned chalice, for whoever takes up that role!
    Because otherwise, the complaints will be found posted to the likes of major gaming news blogs (who also would state ‘public interest’ for increasing their scrutiny/baiting), and those comments are just such an order of magnitude more visible there.

    Can they offer a level of service and reliability, to match the price? Who’s culpable, if there’s a problem on the server side – the publisher? I think paying for PSN raises questions that will need answering.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. OlderGamer

    It really does seem like a no win at this point for Sony.

    Can they offer a quality service as good as LIVE?

    Easy to tout “ok LIVE is a bit better, but PSN is free!”

    Again need to keep in mind that we can still play games and use the PS3 Online w/o paying. They aren’t forcing us to pay to play.

    I just can’t understand what they can offer that would make me want to pay them to use.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. The Hindle

    I really hope E3 still has some suprises in store now that this has been leaked :(

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Aimless

    SplatteredHouse, I’d argue that Sony actually have a much stronger internet presence than MajorNelson: the PlayStation.Blog and its regional variants. They field store refreshes, announcements, service updates and get developers in for video interviews or walkthroughs. It’s easily one of Sony’s most successful ventures in recent years.

    To be honest I don’t really understand why people seem to think Live is a more reliable service than PSN. In my experience — some thousand hours spent using both — I would be very hard pressed to place one above the other in that regard. Not to say that my experience has been problem-free with either, but I really don’t see the divide on a service level.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. The Hindle

    On topic, if Sony do start seriously taking on live its gonna force Microsoft to up thier game as well its good news for everyone.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. xino

    i truly wish this Premium service is true and real!

    because YOU DON’T have to pay for it!
    Everything PSN has to offer is still good and better yet you can play for free!
    If you want to get MORE out of PSN, then pay for the service!

    #22 4 years ago
  23. Erthazus

    @22 the question is: Is it worth it.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Quiiick

    @ 23
    Your milage may vary.
    For some it will definitely be worth it. For others not at all.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. KAP

    “You get a FREE game”

    It’s free, if you pay for it. I love my PS3Slim but sony; Your a damn rip off.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Quiiick

    @ 25
    Their logic is: By subscribing to the service you pay for some of the features & you get a few things for free.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. get2sammyb

    This is the way to do it if this rumour is correct. More features for the hardcore Playstation community to enjoy, while taking nothing away from those who just want to play Fifa online, etc.

    Sounds good.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. Redh3lix

    I’d would possibly subscribe given the options outlined by comment 14 (Aimless). For myself and friends who are on most nights organising matches, life would be much easier from a clan perspective if party chat was available.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. Zekeban

    I think it´s a good thing if the PSN gets a premium service. Competition is always good, it means better pricing than the rival and all the consumers win

    #29 4 years ago
  30. heyheyhey

    “PSN has come a long way since launch, cross-game chat being the only real differentiator between it and Live these days.”

    Nah, there’s still tons of differences. For example, Live has: -

    Cross-game chat
    Private voice chat
    A party mode for up to 8 players
    Demos of ALL downloadable games
    Live status updates for all games
    Indie Games
    Appear offline option
    “Friends only” communication options
    Title updates limited to 8 MB
    Full 1080p streaming movies with 5.1 audio
    1 Vs. 100 with real prizes
    Cross-game invites that work in every game
    Voice chat in every single game
    Reputation system
    Reporting system
    True Skill matchmaking system

    Plus a few other bits and bobs. PSN is still waaaaaay behind, but hopefully with Sony planning to charge twice what Xbox Live costs per year for their premium tier, they’ll catch up a bit.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Aimless

    A lot of that list is rather… dubious. Some of those points are like me listing Home as a pro of PSN, which I’m obviously not going to do as most people aren’t going to be interested in it.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. Boris Fett

    “Why would anyone want to pay for anything?”

    Because you can’t keep a service running for free? Talk about a false sense of entitlement.

    Just look at the PlayStation division’s financial losses recently and you’ll see that this is a necessity more than anything else.

    @31 There’s nothing dubious about that list in the slightest. I for one use 90% of the things mentioned there on a regular basis with Xbox Live, and I imagine so do most users.

    The PS3 is an awesome console with some amazing exclusive, but it’s interface is archaic, extremely limited, and dull to boot.

    I’m interested in this subscription model, but I remain apprehensive until I see what comes as part of the package. It’s going to have to be good.

    #32 4 years ago
  33. Aimless

    I’m not saying the list is wrong, per se, just there’s a certain amount of tautology in it and features which are a bit of a stretch from where I’m sitting.

    Were I to create a counter list — and let’s be clear, for all our sakes that will not be happening — it would be easy to bulk it out with things like Home, VidZone, iPlayer support, et cetera, but to my mind the one important differentiator between the two is cross-game chat/the party system as that makes a fundamental difference to online play. I appreciate that is something of a value judgement, and I’m not denying Live is the more standardised and better service, but considering I pay for one and not the other, Sony’s solution has come a hell of a long way.

    Then again, and as I mentioned earlier, I’m hoping that Microsoft are going to give their service a nice boost in the arm now that the original Xbox is no longer hanging around their necks. Eradicating the need for dummy Gamertags would be a good start!

    #33 4 years ago
  34. Galactic_Barret

    Make KB Sony’s MN?

    Thats all, really. I have no interest in paying for online services.

    #34 4 years ago
  35. heyheyhey

    “to my mind the one important differentiator between the two is cross-game chat/the party system as that makes a fundamental difference to online play”

    So does having cross-game invites for all games, voice chat in all games, live status updates for all games and being able to join a session in progress wherever possible in any game. The reporting system, reputation system, 6 communication channels that you can swap between at will, friends only communication option, appear offline option and the ability to send/receive messages from/to a PC are handy too.

    As for the list I posted, you didn’t mention that you were only talking about online play, but even if we just single that out, clearly there are more differences than just cross-game chat.

    #35 4 years ago
  36. lirky

    make it mandatory sony so i can go back to single-player gaming i miss those days :D.

    #36 4 years ago
  37. Rene-Nurido

    Less than £50 per year is a fair price I think – and I would love more features for the psn like a clan chat or something like that.

    I would buy it – and you?

    #37 4 years ago