Rumour: Sony looking at multiple sub tiers for PlayStation Plus

Wednesday, 2 May 2012 11:52 GMT By Johnny Cullen

IGN‘s rumouring Sony is set to introduce a multiple sub-tier system for PlayStation Plus.

A Sony-led survey suggested the service could introduce three tiers to the premium service, introduced in 2010. A multiple array of options are on the survey depending on the tier picked by the person taking part.

Options include how often games are updated to the catalog, number of new games per year, quality of games and more.

The most interesting part is the option of free access to Call of Duty Elite in the survey, although all options shown in the survey point to a no answer anyways.

“We have nothing specific to announce at this time, but PlayStation Plus continues to delight gamers with free games, huge discounts and exclusive gaming features that can’t be found on other platforms,” said Sony in a statement.


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  1. WFMMK

    I read that earlier on IGN. I’d like one where you get all 3 tiers.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. AHA-Lambda

    i’d definitely be interested in this for the Elite subscription. A PS+ sub and an elite sub are already the same price so i’d like this to be true.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. OlderGamer

    Only a matter of time really.

    As is PSN is great. And PSN+ is actual value you can see and play.

    But most likly, because MS does it, Sony feels they are missing out on “lost” revenue by not charging like MS does.

    If PSN/+ changes too much, I doubt I will be interested anymore.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Clupula

    As long as they never charge just to do multiplayer, I’m fine with them doing whatever they want for Playstation Plus. The day they start charging to play online is the last day I own a Sony console.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Deacon

    @3 – Fast forward 10 years and platform holders & publishers will all be adding their ‘cut’ for you to play online. Very sad indeed.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. WFMMK

    @Clupula Then you’ll buy an xbox to enjoy the free online oh wait.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. TheBlackHole


    Not really surprising though, given that they ARE paying for the bandwidth for you to do so.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Deacon

    @7 then they should roll this cost into that of the product (as they surely do with other overheads/operating costs).

    Not all games have dedicated servers. Not all games require bandwidth beyond that which you already pay for through your ISP.

    It doesn’t bode well is all I’m saying.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. OlderGamer

    I agree Deacon.

    I heard it said before that if the music industry could charge you everytime you listened to or heard a song, they would. Not once for “owning” the song, but everytime you played it.

    No doubt the game industry would feel the same way.

    Prolly why MS are exploring adverts/commercials the way they are. I can see it now, after every CoD round(maybe after each death before you spawn) your screen displays a McDonalds or MNT DEW advertisment.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. TheBlackHole


    Really? So how exactly does that work… Everyone pays the cost of the product + the lifetime average bandwidth cost per user from the previous generation? what about people who don’t play online very much?

    No, the only way to do it well is to have a pay-for service. While it remains very affordable I’m happy to do it. Xbox live is pretty robust and easy to use, and I’m not fussed about the odd dashboard ad. It’s not like I’m forced to look at them.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. OlderGamer

    If your screen shifts into a TV style comercial you will be forced to look at it. Plus how much are you willing to pay? What is affordable for you may not be for someone else. If your willing to pay 50usd for Live Gold/year, would you pay 60usd? MS felt so and raised the price from 50 to 60. But a lot of people are willing to pay that. So should they raise it to 70usd for next gen? How about 80usd?

    But MS don’t make CoD, so I guess we need to pay activision too? Wait gamers already do, hello CoD Elite and map packs. Infact DLC(often in the form of withheld contnet) has been funding online play for awhile now.

    And yes it is withheld content in many cases. Take EA sports NCAA Football. It used to be that your dynasty players could max out their states(like training for example). But in todays world those players are caped, and you can pay for DLC(a code) to unlock that “extra” feature. Look at the fighting games that add extra chars for DLC. MVC2 had 56 chars included in the retail box when it came out. MVC3 wants you to buy them as dlc. The list goes on and on.

    The bottum line is that game pubs look for every chance they can exploit to make more money. Games are already too expensive. And as long as gamers don’t stand up and tell them NO, they will keep doing it. And they will push it to the absolute most that can be made. Its what happens when an idustry is run by suits. All they care about is money.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. TheBlackHole

    Okay, here’s a reality check for you.

    1) MS will look at price vs conversion rate, and whatever works out best from a revenue perspective will be the chosen rate. It’s the same way MMOs work. Not everyone can afford it now, but that doesn’t stop it being charged for. And you’re right, what’s affordable for me might not be for somebody else, but it all depends on what the level is ‘most people’ can afford (or WILL pay regardless).

    Also, ElITE is a service, not part of the initially purchased product. It’s not forced on you, and it’s not essential to enjoy the game. Like any ongoing service, there is a cost attached. Again, DLC is NOT part fo the initial purchase (unless included in the box). It’s new content that has it’s own dev budget. Which brings me nicely onto:

    2) Withheld content…

    When a game is developed, a budget is assigned to development costs. A SEPARATE budget is also assigned to additional (DLC) content dev costs (man hours, resources etc). Each of these things have their own ROI and will often be developed alongside each other.

    Sometimes, this content is ready before launch, so, for the ease of distribution (and because it’s cheaper than getting the game certified and tested separately by 1st parties), the content can be put on the disc (remember it still has it’s own ROI), but is not ‘withheld’ in the sense that the developer simply stripped the content out.

    It’s less easy to argue the case when sequels charge for previously included content (e.g. MvC3), but they are the exception, rather than the rule.

    3) ‘Games are already too expensive’
    As an ‘older gamer’, I’m surprised you don’t remember the time when mega drive games had a UK RRP of £59.99, on the back of £10-100k dev costs (not £10-30m). Games are cheaper now (even EXCLUDING inflation) than they have ever been. In fact, they are one of the few things that in real-terms, decrease in value over time.

    Also, common sense alert – All EVERY company cares about is money. Just because gaming is entertainment, doesn’t mean its any different.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Deacon

    @10 No. Those games with dedicated servers, sure. Give people the option to pay to play on those, or a free option assuming you’re hosting your own game etc.

    I’m totally against this whole ‘pay extra simply to play online’ bullshit. Fair enough if you’re hardcore and play CoD 100 hours a week, knowing you’d want the fastest responses and better ping one would be unlikely to cry at a small fee. But in general, most console games don’t use dedicated servers (correct me if I’m wrong) and as such this ‘bandwidth’ you speak of has already been paid for to your ISP. I’ll be damned if they make me pay for something I’ve already paid for elsewhere!

    @OG – completely agree.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. TheBlackHole

    (correct me if I’m wrong)

    You are, so I will.

    PSN is free because Sony charge the publisher for bandwidth costs. MS don’t, but charge the consumer instead. ISP costs cover your bandwidth for downloading it, but doesn’t cover 1st party costs of distributing it. Both cost. Incidentally, this is also why digital sales cost as much (or more) than boxed – there is a significant bandwidth cost on the part of the distributor, that increases based on the size of the game.

    EA are the exception, as they insisted on having their own servers as a deal-breaker for bringing games out for the Xbox. Still, from a consumer perspective this deal isn’t very relevant.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Ge0force

    #14 You’re talking nonsense. Both MS and Sony ask money for game distribution in their stores. MS charges for each month the game is in the marketplace, while Sony calculates the cost on the used bandwidth, allowing smaller devs to release games on PSN for a limited audience.

    For online gaming 99% of the console games with multiplayer use p2p. Meaning one of the players is hosting the game, there is no dedicated server. Of course Sony won’t charge publishers for bandwidth between users. But Microsoft DOES charge x360 owners for hosting their own games.

    Also, both on x360 and PS3, most (if not all) publishers use their own servers for stats etc: Valve, Rockstar, Ubisoft etc… But as far as I know they don’t recieve a single cent from what you pay for your Gold subscription.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. OlderGamer

    What company do you work for again TheBlackHole?

    “Again, DLC is NOT part fo the initial purchase (unless included in the box).”

    The thing is if it is a on disc code, it is included in the box.

    “2) Withheld content…

    When a game is developed, a budget is assigned to development costs. A SEPARATE budget is also assigned to additional (DLC) content dev costs (man hours, resources etc). Each of these things have their own ROI and will often be developed alongside each other.”

    If I go to my fav place to eat dinner. And I get my usual meal that costs me 50usd. The meal normaly includes an apeatizer, entere, drink, and desert. But when I walk in I notice that the meal still costs 50usd, but no longer includes the apeatizer, drink, or desert. I ask the waiter why, and he explains that each of those iteams have their own costs and the diner now has a seperate budget for each of those iteams.

    What do you supose my reaction to that would be? I would see it for what it is. They are charging me more money for something that used to be included in my purchase price. That is EAXACTLY what you just tried to push.

    Now I can leave and find a new fav place to eat(would be my choice). Or I can pay more for the same services. I don’t need complex reasoning to explain to me that they raised their prices.

    Thats the way gamers feel.

    “but is not ‘withheld’ in the sense that the developer simply stripped the content out”

    In many cases that is exactly what it is. Withheld content, sold in addition to the price of the game. Alot like my meal example. Only instead of salads and drinks, we are talking about number of chars, number of playable maps, weapons, cars, etc.

    There are some great examples of dlc. Games like Rockband, for example. Games that put out expansions digitaly(could be considered dlc).

    “As an ‘older gamer’, I’m surprised you don’t remember the time when mega drive games had a UK RRP of £59.99″

    Right and if I remember correctly the production costs of carts in those days took were near 17usd of that cost. And I am an American. The most expensive carts were Neo Geo(their biggest carts had 1000ram compared to the bigger snes/gen ones containing 32/64). The most expensive MD cart I can recall was Phantasy Star 4, it went for 90usd. Ram was expensive.

    The industry greatly reduced manufacturing costs when they moved away from carts to CDs. A savings that was NOT passed on to the consumer. The samething will happen again when the industry moves from physical media to digital downloads.

    Your a scary dude TBH.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Deacon

    @14 appreciate the reply but I think you got me wrong.

    I’m not talking distribution or download, just to play p2p online for a game I have physically bought from a shop.

    I pay my ISP for the bandwidth. Where does anyone else take a ‘hit’ from this?

    #17 3 years ago
  18. xxJPRACERxx

    @14 BS. Do you pay when you do a Google search? Do you pay when you download a program from a web site. I can download gigs and gigs of data from Steam for free.

    Like #15 said most multiplayer games are p2p so it cost $0 to MS. MS is a greedy bastard.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. TheBlackHole

    “The thing is if it is a on disc code, it is included in the box. ” I was referring to free DLC, not locked content, but I think you know that.

    The ‘meal’ analogy actually works against your argument.

    Other than an ‘all you can eat buffet’, where do you pay a single price for an entire meal, including drinks and extra side dishes?

    The main meal is the core product, clearly. But if you want side dishes, drinks, or optional extras (which complement, but don’t remove anything from the main meal), you have to pay extra for them. That’s normal!?

    In any case, who decides what DLC is an ‘expansion’ and what is ‘removed’, when from a business perspective they were funded, planned, built and sold in the same way?

    I’m sorry, but £59 in 1990 (when the mega drive/genesis was around) would be £115 in today’s money. How can you argue that savings haven’t been passed along, regardless of production costs?

    #19 3 years ago
  20. TheBlackHole

    “I can download gigs and gigs of data from Steam for free.”

    That’s because Steam has agreements with some ISPs so users aren’t charged for data downloads from its service. Most digital distributors are charged per gb for selling a digital product.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. TheBlackHole

    Also. “Do you pay when you do a Google search? Do you pay when you download a program from a web site.”

    Yes, if it goes over my allocated data limit. so does everybody.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. DrDamn

    $0.16 per Gb is what was charged in 2009. So for a full retail release of say 6Gb then the charge is $0.96. That is why digital is more expensive than retail? Really?

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Deacon

    @ TheBlackHole, you were wrong to correct me there. Dedicated servers are definitely the exception, and so what other bandwidth am I using other than that paid for already to my ISP?

    #23 3 years ago
  24. TheBlackHole

    @22 It’s all about scalability. Sony’s costs will be lower on PSN than an independent distributor because they sell more and get better rates.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. DrDamn

    My point is RRP = £50 for an EA title. They sell in shops for £40 and online boxed for £37-£38. How does the extra $1 cost of PSN distribution justify the the £10+ price difference as you implied above?

    #25 3 years ago
  26. xxJPRACERxx

    @21 Google or other web sites don’t charge you for THEIR cost for bandwidth. That’s what MS is doing and their cost is even less, since multiplayer is p2p.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. deathgaze

    What what WHAT? They’re monetizing my platform? Say it ain’t so! (sarcasm!)

    Like it or not, services like PSN and XBL cost money to maintain and run. Whether or not something is actually worth it’s asking price is irrelevant. All that matters is that people are willing to pay for it. Personally, I don’t pay for PSN Plus and I have yet to see anything about the service that makes me think I need it enough to pay for it. Sooner or later, they may gimp PSN and force everyone on to a Plus subscription like XBL. I won’t be happy about it, but I’ll probably pay for it anyways since I value convenience.

    At the end of the day, it’s still their platform. They can do what they want with it. If you don’t like it, you can not pay for it or go somewhere else. Good luck with that, BTW.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. OlderGamer

    TBH, your not getting it. And I doubt you will. You sound like one of those suits so many of us complain about.

    In my analogy, you were breaking things down to twist them.

    In simple terms: you are used to recieving all of the content included in the game. Now you recieve less content for the same price. And the missing content is now an aditional free to be extrated on top of the purchase price.

    I would rather the price of the game increase by ten usd then have dlc. But dlc makes the big boys more money then that.

    My last purchase of NCAA Fotball(2012) was a 90usd purchase. I said last, because I will not buy another one.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. OlderGamer


    “At the end of the day, it’s still their platform. They can do what they want with it. If you don’t like it, you can not pay for it or go somewhere else. Good luck with that, BTW.”

    Spot on.

    Thats why for now I play on PS3, Wii and mostly PC.

    If Sony pull a MS I will drop them too.

    I actualy am a PSN+ member right now. I think it has real value. The games I get to download make up the cost of subing to it. What I am worried about it losing that value. But again, if it happens. I will just move on.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. speedxl01

    @16,18,26 I couldn’t agree more with you guys,

    MS is ripping off consumers (and affecting all gaming community) charging for online play, they could offer free online play it’s just that they do not want to, because it’s a lot of extra revenue for them. (screw gamers, they even like it, ha, so they say..)

    @21 The only company charging for online play is MS, and if no one stands against that, I could see others implementing that..

    Some gamers don’t care to pay for playing online, but it doesn’t mean it’s right, we need to be active against it.

    #30 3 years ago
  31. mojo

    “because they pay the bandwith for you to play”
    and that is entirely their problem.
    Do u see valve paying for the bandwith people use to play any of their games on PC?
    and why is that?
    Because they provide a server application anyone can install on their own machine.
    Shouldnt be too hard doing such things with a console as a client.
    In fact, it should be even easier.

    So its their will to do so, so its only fair they pay that bullshit.

    i will never pay a penny for just doing online gaming.
    therefore im playing games long enough to know how things haven been for the better part of my online gaming expierence.
    when they suddenly start to charge for it they can fuck off.
    they can do that, but then im out of the game.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. DSB

    It’s a cool story bros, but bandwidth has never been cheaper than it is today. So suddenly publishers and console manufacturers wake up and find that it’s been undermining their business for more than a decade?

    Very fucking likely! I’m sure they never saw the internet as a factor in their business models for their online multiplayer games. Cost/benefit is truly a lost art.

    And even if that wasn’t true, there are plenty of ways to alleviate the costs of maintaining an online service. Both P2P and private hosting options will bring the requirements way down, really depending on how paranoid you are when it comes to pirates.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. absolutezero

    Oh this again.

    #33 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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