Sony not “defensive” or “apologetic” about paid PS4 multiplayer

Wednesday, 12th June 2013 02:15 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The online experience of PlayStation 4 is a significant step above the PlayStation 3′s, SCE Europe boss Jim Ryan told us, and that’s why you’ll have to fork out for a PlayStation Plus subscription if you want to take advantage of it.

“The online experience on PS3 has got better, but at the beginning it was rather rudimentary, and the investment associated with it reflected that,” the executive told us of the change in an interview at E3 2013.

“We are going to make a very significant step-change in the online experience with PlayStation 4. Some of that functionality was spoken about yesterday, and some on February 20, and that’s all great and we’re really happy that we’re able to make our online experience much more competitive, but the flipside is that this stuff comes at a cost.

“When you’re trying to achieve a £349 price-point and trying to deliver all this functionality, the money has to come from somewhere.”

Ryan said adding multiplayer to the very successful PlayStation Plus package seemed the most appropriate way to cover costs.

“I think we’ve done it in a reasonable and fair manner, and I don’t feel defensive in sitting here and looking at the whole package,” he added.

“Yes, we’re charging for online multiplayer, and we have to be quite straight about that and not hide it at all. It is part of PlayStation Plus, and all the good stuff that goes with that. Set that against the competitive offering and the overall value proposition that it’ll provide UK consumers, and I don’t feel bad about it at all. I don’t feel apologetic.”

Ryan was at pains to point out that PlayStation 3 and Vita’s online multiplayer will remain free regardless of Sony’s plans for the PlayStation 4.

“The amount of people that engage in online multiplayer on PlayStation 3 is very considerable, and it’s important that they feel comfort that they’re not going to be charged for something that’s hitherto been free,” he said.

PlayStation Plus costs the local equivalent of about $5 per month and includes discounts, full games and bonus items as well as early access to betas. Most people seem pretty satisfied with it.



  1. mkotechno

    One interview, four web entries, you guys are genius.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. yeoung

    I already got my money’s worth with plus, by having bought a year sub for €33

    Hitman Absolution
    Mass Effect 3
    Quantum Something Something
    Dead or Alive 5
    Thomas was alone
    Ico and SoTC
    Kingdoms of Amalur
    Tomb raider guardian of light
    that one game where you shoot things
    Virtua Fighter 5
    The Cave

    And those are just some recent ones. I honestly don’t mind letting my plus sub run through from my PS3 to my PS4, regardless of the fact that I pretty much only play Worms and Lost Planet 2 (i know, I think it’s awesome) online. Plus server costs, maintenance bla bla, etc.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Francis O

    I’ll pass on multiplayer then. I don’t have the time to play all the games that are offered for free. PS3, Wii U, PC, and 3DS have free online play so I’ll find online titles I like on there.

    PS4 will be for single player games like Final Fantasy 15 and Kingdom Hearts 3 for me. I don’t need online multiplayer from Sony.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. fearmonkey

    As an Xbox owner, paying for a service doesnt bother me, and PS plus seems to give you so much in return. Ms was skimpy on giveaways and sales till now, and I dont trust that they will be so generous in the future.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. YoungZer0

    @2: “Quantum Break”? Are you a man from zhe future?

    And you got Kingdoms of Amalur twice?! O:

    #5 1 year ago
  6. yeoung

    @5: Ah, I meant the other Quantum something something game with the gravity puzzels and shit.

    And edited.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Brenna Hillier

    @1 I’m going to do another one later, too. Not everybody likes reading longer interview features and this news is important.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. oddeye

    I had a feeling paying for multiplayer was coming. I was a Plus subscriber since day one and all the benefits I got from it got me to keep it up.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. GwynbleiddiuM

    @1 And why is that a bad thing?

    #9 1 year ago
  10. backup

    Are PC gamers shamed on creating torrents servers and killing developers ?
    Sony did small mistake but as not as PC gamers who are killing industry
    through piracy

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Legion

    “The online experience on PS3 has got better, but at the beginning it was rather rudimentary, and the investment associated with it reflected that,”

    Really… not even close to what they have harped from day one. Always claiming their service is equal to competitors. And actually going so far as saying offering the same thing with no fee applied to it.

    But NOW they are saying they need money to be able to make it investment worthy?

    And for those that think XBL doesn’t offer sales and such. They must not use it then… Because sales and free games are always showing up on the marketplace.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. The_Red

    Sony, I love the anti-DRM remarks and Used game policies. Heck, PS Plus is great but charging for online play deserves a serious fuck off.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Samoan Spider

    @12 It was inevitable. I’m shocked they held off this long.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. aseddon130

    @12 spoken like a true tight arse, You’re gonna want PS Plus on PS3 and PS4 anyway so does it really matter??? If the online stuff is improved in the PS4 compared to PS3 then it’ll be worth paying for, thats why XBL is better even now.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. CyberMarco

    As much as I like PS+ I can see why people is upset. I would be upset too if I wasn’t a PS+ subscriber already. I still think it’s a cheap justification to tack on multiplayer with PS+ so they can “enhance” the online features/services.

    I’ll be buying the PS4 nevertheless and renew my PS+ sub, so I can benefit from the PS3 and my future purchase of PS Vita offerings. But still, it’s a bit hard to swallow it…

    #15 1 year ago
  16. karma

    Sony’s current policy on not charging for online play was one of the reasons I was going to get a PS4 next gen, but not now. I can’t believe they have gone and done exactly what microsoft did last gen. And I don’t believe for a second that a basic online MP cannot be given free of charge, even if they want to also offer a premium online MP. And thats all I ask as a very infrequent dabbler in MP. Just a very basic (same as on PC) ability to access content on the disk that I have purchased. I pay my ISP for connection to the net, I pay publishers and developers for the actual game, and I pay the console makers for the machine to play it on. I think i’ve forked over more than enough for the right to play my game online if I so choose, regardless of whether I also want to subscribe to PS+, which if it is doing as well as they say it is, then they don’t need to pull this dirty little trick do they?

    So while I’ll give Sony huge kudos for sticking to current gen policies regarding DRM, game ownership and used games, this little move does feel pretty sneaky, because they know they can get away with it at this point in time. Its convenient to say the least given the positivity they have been getting from gamers due to not changing.

    I myself will be going PC next gen though. Too bad because Sony almost won me over too.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. xino

    i knew it that if they had to drop DRM, and always online, used games etc
    i knew for sure the online will not be free.

    the question is:
    will many features from PS+ on ps3 like free online hdd storage, automatic updates etc. will they be free on tact with ps4?
    or will we still get those features along with ps+?

    what happened to those ‘wanted’ features people talked about before PSN+ came out? i remember Sony wanting to add so many stuff, even like crosschat.

    People should not complain about PSN+ for PS4.
    Just get a ps4 and get psn+, then you don’t have to buy any games, since the next months you’ll get free games all the time.
    I can understand it sucks to play online, it does irritate me. But after trying PSN+ for 3 months I had to get a year package.

    *free games every month for ps3, vita and ps4 (you CAN’T go wrong)
    *exclusive stuff such as dynamic themes, avatar and wallpaper

    i just hope Sony can add more features for PSN+ for ps4

    #17 1 year ago
  18. viralshag

    Welcome to the world of paid MP. I remember the days when people use to complain that MP should be a feature that is free to enjoy with the game…

    #18 1 year ago
  19. CyberMarco

    ^ People still complain. I do, I don’t like to be forced to choose something but voluntarily doing so. Only reason I’m “fine” with that is because I already have a PS+ sub.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Deacon

    @12 – you have MS to blame for that!

    Latest comments see you popping up in all the expected Sony articles DM. Spreading the love as always :)

    #20 1 year ago
  21. semitope

    The money would come from all the plus subscribers who go plus because its such a great value. There is no need to build ill will by making multiplayer limited to plus. Were they making NO money from plus before or something?

    This now is just one reason less to get ps4 over xbox. If xbox wasn’t such a dud it would be a big deal.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. machy

    and let me add that @yosp said that game such as planetside2 or any free 2 play won’t require a plus .. and u only need one account with + and other account will enjoy MP

    for me i doesn’t change anything and 99% of my friend list are +

    #22 1 year ago
  23. intelligentperspective

    ^ 99% of my friends are not Playstation + plus subscribers. Honestly ill stick to my PC. I first purchased Xbox 360 and enjoyed it, my brother had the PS3 and eventually I got one as well. I never payed for Xbox online and appreciated that Sony didn’t charge to connect to the Internet that I was already paying for, definitely made me choose PS3 over Xbox 360.

    Lately with news coming out saying that the Xbox One had redacted its previous statements about used games and such, the PS4 seems to be In line with the Xbox One, before the news PS4 was without a doubt #1.

    Now this coming to light about PS4 now to going to charge to connect to the Internet to play MP is ridiculous. I don’t want to be forced to get P+ even if it is a good deal with discounts just because its an extra fee, I will only play a few games which will be multiplayer. Like The Division from Ubisoft, so paying 60$ a month for Internet, and a $400 console along with a P+ subscription to play one game sounds pretty bizarre.

    People can excuse fee after fee based on their like for a company but eventually people will realize that what they call acceptable and necessary fees are just a means to fill the coffers.

    Not to drift to far off topic but looks at where everything is going, humans get charged the most for communication, audial with cellphones, I formative through TV, and entertainment with online play. Only because that is the majority of human consumption. Kinda supply and demand tactic, charge a lot for a product because they know people want that product.


    #23 1 year ago

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