Pachter: PS Plus needs 2-3 million subscribers for PSN to profit

Sunday, 1st August 2010 14:46 GMT By Joe Anderson


Sony may see some profit from PlayStation Plus initially, but the company will need 2-3 million subscribers before it sees black from PSN as a whole, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Patcher has claimed.

Speaking on the latest episode of his Gamestrailers show Pach Attack, the analyst compared the service to Xbox Live, which he also described as a slow starter until new services such as Netflix were introduced.

“Sony is already spending the money on PlayStation Network, so layering on a new group of users paying it for a service will be profitable,” said Pachter.

“PlayStation Plus will take a while to get up to the same level as Xbox Live and I think you will see around 1 million subscribers early on, which amounts to around $50 million in profit.”

Pachter continued: “What this means is the PlayStation Network as a whole will not become profitable, as I’m guessing it costs Sony about a couple-of-hundred-million a year to maintain. What Sony will be hoping is the new service drives people to download more movies and games and therefore bring in more money.

“I think for Sony to make a profit on the PlayStation Network, it will need at least 2-3 million PlayStation Plus subscribers within the next two years.”

Sony has so far only announced Automatic Updates as an extra service for PlayStation Plus, although there have previously been rumours of Cross Game Chat becoming a feature of the service.

PlayStation Plus was released at the end of June.



  1. humanfish

    I won’t be subscribing until there is a real reason to do so. There really is nothing, absolutely nothing worthing paying for at the moment.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. sg1974

    Have approaching 100 PSN friends, two have PSN+. PSN Fail.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Razor

    Sony made such a stupid mistake by saying things like free multiplayer was a “right” and such, as it would have been so easy to shift multiplayer to the paid service without breaking a promise you never made.

    Sony should have just said “multiplayer currently remains free on PSN” for these last few years and just left it at that.

    I think Sony are going to find it hard to find a feature that gets people to pay for, and makes the distinction between PSN+ and the normal service.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Joe Anderson

    @2 loads of my friends have PSN +, this week the offers changes again.

    I think this is what’s on offer this month:

    * PSN PS3: Zen Pinball
    * minis: Blast-Off, Alien Zombie Death
    * PSone: Medievil
    * Full Game Trial: inFamous, Mushroom Wars
    * Discounts: Zen Pinball Earth Defence Table – 20%, Warhawk Triple Combo Pack – 50%, Super Stardust HD – 20%, WipeOutHD Fury – 20%
    * Premium Game Elements: Motorstorm Pacific Rift: Adrenaline Pack
    * Push Demo: Flower, Pixel Junk Shooter
    * Themes: “SCEE produced: PlayStation Plus Dynamic Theme, Heavy Rain Crime Scene Theme
    2 x Heavy Rain Avatars (Bird and Butterfly)

    #4 4 years ago
  5. sg1974

    It doesnt help when one of the things you boast of in your introductory offer is free Fat Princess avatars. Yeah, that will get people opening their wallets by the hunderds of thousands.

    It also doesn’t help when you boast that people whove paid for it get a demo of K&L2 two days earlier than everyone who pays nothing. Wow, two days head start on a free demo. What an awesome benefit.

    Whoever came up with the design of PSN+ should be fired.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. sg1974

    @4 thats better I suppose.

    PSN+ subscribers who already have what’s on offer should get their money backon the original purchases.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Gama_888

    are u mad?
    im guessing you have xbox live?

    I do not think we should have to pay to play ANY game online?

    im not entirely sure how an online service for a game works but i had always thought it was that the people who make the game, have the servers to run it. if that is true then im sure they make plenty of profit just from selling the game to host them for a few years.

    as for an online service like psn and xbox live well both companies are making prophets from console sales so there shouldn’t be a problem their either?

    i cant understand why anyone pays for xbox live tbh?

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Anthorne

    @7 its not hard to understand why people pay for xbox live. Its to play games online, what cant you understand about that.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Crysis

    @7, both companies have made measly (if any) profits from their consoles, most comes from the software developed for the consoles, tho i do not know the % sony & ms take, also, it’s not so much the content people are after, it’s services, some people may already have this content, others do not care for this content, i have no idea what services would make me consider getting PSN+, but nothing has shifted me yet.. maybe unlimeted psone games after establishing a much larger catalogue? that would ALMOST do it for me, a PS2 emulator would be an instant sale to me, but that won’t happen, maybe 1 free movie download each month out of a smallish selection? free Hulu plaus mabe a good seller, though they would have to bring it to Europe & Australia first =\ any other good ideas floating around?

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Redh3lix

    Doesn’t help that our US cousins get a fuck load more content on PSN+. Not that ANY of the content is worth it. Fuck mini’s. Fuck PS1 classics. We want PS2 classics and further functionalty (party chat?) etc. Fuckety fuck btw.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. OlderGamer

    I think that Sony shot themselves in the foot by pitching this idea that Online Play was a gamers right and that it should be free.

    Online networks cost alot of cash to run. And the scale at which the PSN and XBL networks are at is off the chart. On the PS2 the amount of gamers playing online was very small % wise. And the scope of service and conetnt being offered was also small. Thus the overall expense to maintan was no where near what PSN is now.

    Gamers need to understand that. And in the end, Gold and PSN+ do not cost a lot of money, about 50/yr each. Less if you know where to look.

    And as far as Sony goes, you and I know that the only feature that will convert the masses to PSN+ is Online Gameing. Thus the foot shooting. The very thing they convinced their users should be free.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Nozz

    As soon as cross game voice chat drops i’ll be getting PS+

    The only reason i haven’t got it yet is because i have most of the stuff on offer already.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Crysis

    well for many people, including myself, the free online play was the biggest sales point for the ps3, it needed to be after that initial cost

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Lord Gremlin

    Right now, there is no reson to subscribe. But people who suggest that Sony need to make online gaming itself premium are wrong. This will kill their business. There are numerous ways to get people to subscribe with free basic online gaming. Imagine:
    PS Plus users earn 3x XP in MW3.
    PS Plus users may use any car in GT5 online even if they haven’t unlock it yet.
    PS Plus users can buy and run PS2 classics from store. when your subscription expire PS2 classics stop working. PS2 compatibility is premium.

    Hey, GT5 fans! Wanna pink Ferrari online? PS Plus exclusive.

    Also, remember that Sony is not Microsoft, Microsoft are fuckers, nuff said.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Crysis


    #15 4 years ago
  16. NiceFellow

    He’s just guessing based on his estimate of the cost of keeping PSN going, which doesn’t seem to include revenue Sony might get from other sources to cover PSN, such as micro transactions on Home and revenue from the titles sold digitally via PSN.

    For all we – and he – know PSN is already profitable or breaking even and PSN Plus is just adding more on top.

    PSN Plus, while not appealing to me, I think makes sense for Sony right now. Having PSN free for online is necessary right now as a difference to Live particularly as Sony continues to play catch up in US/UK.

    No matter what they say now Sony can quietly change PSN Plus to cover online later if they want, or offer a two tier online.

    Free gets you basic online and friends, PSN Plus online gets you cross-game chat and other perks.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Lord Gremlin

    @Crysis, there are actually people out there who will pay for triple XP in their favorite online game.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. ivycrew707

    I’m a plus subscriber, and its honestly not worth it……I still have to sign up for beta’s on separate sites which was one reason I really wanted to try it…..but once again Sony’s big down fall is advertising and promoting it….I have only 32 friends on my list, me and one other subscribing, but about 15 others had no idea what it even was

    #18 4 years ago
  19. DigitalEnemy

    The only way they are going to sell more subscriptions is simple – add features like cross game chat and other perks like auto sync trophies and maybe even PS2 emulation.

    Subscriptions would rocket if they implemented those 3 features.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Joe Anderson

    @19 your right. I think Cross Game Chat is coming personally. I also think I weekly Kevin Butler show would swing it :)

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Robo_1

    I’ve always thought the fairest way to do it, would be to offer every gamer 4 free hours per week online, which would nicely cover casual online players like me.

    For unlimited online play time, Sony could charge a small 15 – 20 euro fee, which would significantly undercut Live whilst likely paying the bandwidth costs for all users.

    Free online is important for me, but only to dip my toe in now and again.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. The1stMJC

    PSN+ has been a plague on my friend list. I have around 65 people from around the world on it and 20 of them have PSN+ and each week it seems one more person gets PSN+.

    I am still waiting for PSN+ to offer a game I don’t own before I jump on PSN+. Also an actual useful feature would be nice automatic download seems like something that would piss me off.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. LOLshock94

    sony made a mistake by saying PSN was free

    #23 4 years ago
  24. sickpuppysoftware

    The problem for me is the age of the games on offer. Month one I had most of the games offered, certainly all the ones I wanted. Month two exactly the same. I’m not sure if month three is the same but if it is I still won’t bite.
    I know they won’t give away brand new stuff but they should at least offer discounts, more themes, avatars, in-game trinkets and baubles, movie rentals, firstplay etc.

    It doesn’t help that the US version has been massively generous either. It just smacks of the same old console trick of treating europe like dirt.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Crysis

    The only was PS+ will become a success is if they start to add features & services, content is fine, but many of the core gamers which would be likely to get this service would also likely to own most of the offered content, maybe arrange it so every single preorder exclusive item is available to PS+ subscribers for a start, that would sway quite a few people, heck, just offer in-game content, cross-game chat is definately very wanted, i could not care less myself cuz i lost my mic :( PS2 playback would likely make every single core gamer sign up, though i do not know if it’s even possible, maybe also a larger store content selection, like adding to whole psone catalogue, there are many gems missing on it right now which ppl would absolutely love, maybe a free movie a month out of a selection would be great, or atleast a discount, also would love to see a largber catalogue of downloadable ps3 games, if the future of gaming is download only, why not give us that alternative now, & offer frequent discounts in the same way steam does

    #25 4 years ago
  26. LOLshock94

    @25 you lost ur mic :0 buy SOCOM………… and then bin it

    #26 4 years ago
  27. sg1974

    PS One games were good 15 years ago. Now? Not so much.

    And a bit patheic that one of the benefits of the service is being pushed demos of things available free on the store which any gamer worth his salt has already tried if not actually bought anyway. Its one giant clusterfuck. Only a mug would pay for this.

    #27 4 years ago

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