PS4′s PlayStation Plus memberships will net Sony $1.2 billion by 2017, says analyst

Thursday, 15 August 2013 11:17 GMT By Dave Cook

PlayStation 4′s PS Plus online paywall will generate $1.2 billion for Sony by 2017, according to analyst firm IHS Electronics and Media.

In a statement sent to VG247 this morning, IHS analyst Piers Harding-Rolls explained that while major companies are set to show-down at gamescom next week, Sony has already taken a significant step towards prosperity by charging all online players a PS Plus fee.

It reads, “While this battle to engage publishers and consumers ensues, Sony has already taken a major step towards a more profitable and competitive PlayStation business with a single but significant commercial decision to place online multiplayer gaming behind the PlayStation Plus subscription paywall.

“IHS forecasts that Sony’s change in strategy will help generate $1.2bn in annual consumer spending on PlayStation Plus subscriptions by 2017 and will give Sony access to an essential and substantial new revenue stream, one which Microsoft has enjoyed since the launch of Xbox Live way back in 2002.”

The firm claims that to-date, PS Plus subscriptions have earned Sony $140 million as it is not yet a mandatory requirement for online play.

“In contrast, Microsoft Xbox Live users, who only have access to online multiplayer gaming through Gold accounts, spent nine times as much – $1.25 billion – on service subscriptions in 2012,” the statement continues.

“And since the launch of Xbox Live in 2002, total spending on Xbox Live subscriptions has reached a very substantial $4.7 billion. Over the past decade, the revenue derived from this spending has enabled Microsoft to invest in and build a world-class online platform and digital content service, allowing the company to stay ahead of its console competitors.”

Overall, the firm believes that PS4 will be a big money spinner for Sony. The statement concludes, “Sony is positioning itself to deliver its most profitable PlayStation business since the launch of the PlayStation 3.

“IHS believes that lower research and development costs for PlayStation 4 hardware, additional revenue streams from online service subscriptions and a more aggressive transition to higher margin digital content sales are combining to strengthen Sony’s games business outlook even in the face of increased competition from cheap Android consoles and alternative devices eating into consumers’ gaming time, including smartphones and tablets.”

Is the PS Plus paywall on PS4 a smart move from Sony? Does it matter much given the amount of freebies subscribers should be looking to receive? Let us know below.

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