PlayStation Plus launches June 29

E3 2010: $50 annually for Sony's online service grants free games, early demo access, beta invites, themes, and more; content accessible only as long as subscription is active.

LOS ANGELES--For this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, Sony did a much better job of keeping its big announcements under wraps than last year. However, some info still slipped out early, as the company today announced a PlayStation Plus subscription service very much like one described in reports last month.

Wipeout HD will be the first month's big freebie for PSN Plus.

On June 29, Sony will launch PlayStation Plus worldwide, a subscription service that offers gamers access to free games, early demos, beta invites, discounts, free themes, and more. The first month's slate of freebies include a free copy of the downloadable racer Wipeout HD, two PSP mini games, and a handful of premium avatars.

Gamers will be able to subscribe to PlayStation Plus for $50 annually, although those just wanting to try it out can get a three-month subscription for $18. However, all of the content will only be accessible to gamers who keep their subscriptions active, so if players stops paying, they won't be able to play those games or demos any longer.

The current level of PSN service--including online multiplayer--will remain free, just as Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai promised last November, when the premium online plan was first revealed.

For more of Sony's E3 announcements, check out GameSpot's live blog of the publisher's press conference.

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Discussion

91 comments
montross42
montross42

playstation plus is another way for the CEO of sony to remain rich in my opinion and since he's so doing this playstation plus anyway why don't he just buy me a 250gb ps3 slim so i can play games to?

zinc123
zinc123

If i have some spare money. Yea sure im in, but thank god its optional and doesnt sound that bad of a deal.

theKSMM
theKSMM

Of course people are immediately going to compare the (as yet unknown) offerings of but that misses the point. Sony has realized that running an online service costs money (duh) and that you cannot take a loss on sale of the console the service that supports it without some revenue taken in. Microsoft realized that there was an operational cost associated with XBL up front and just charged people for it. No, it doesn't generate as much good will among gamers as a free service would, but it was probably a better business decision. Now Sony is in the same position as newspaper web sites--trying to charge for something that people have expected to be free for years now--and it just won't work. Paying a flat fee for additional perks sounds good if the perks are what I want. But what if I pay $18/quarter or $50/year and only get one freebie that I really like? Maybe I'm better off just buying that one game standalone rather than subscribing to it year after year. My guess is that most PS3 gamers will decide "Meh, I'm good with what I have now on the free plan. No need to upgrade." Giving away ice cream and charging for toppings just isn't a viable business plan.

Darth_DuMas
Darth_DuMas

I'm confused, you pay $50, help Sony or whoever with beta testing and you get the occasional free game (sounds good) and discounts. But in order for that to be worth it you'd have to really make use of it and download all the free games and buy loads of stuff to make the discount pay for itself. Demos... sure, never cared for them myself, but what ever floats peoples boat. So in essence, is this not just an elaborate loyalty marketing scheme to make those people who buy it spend more at the PSN store?

kamizuka
kamizuka

great deal Sony (good thing it is optional)

aswas
aswas

sony should consider increasing the number of countries that support PSN services rather than doing these..

sehven
sehven

Did I read that last bit right? If you pay for Playstation plus, get your free Wipeout HD, and then some time in the future, you cancel PP, your Wipeout HD doesn't work any more? Um... screw that. Oops. Just found out that's not the case. Guess it's not so bad then, but I still won't be getting it.

soilface
soilface

How are the games free? It sounds to me like you're paying for Sony select titles, demos, beta invites, and themes. They aren't free if you pay for them.... and beta invites and demos were always free in the past anyway, so all you are getting for the 50 bucks is a monthly "free" game and discounts (but not really a discount since u paid 50 dollars for the discount). Am I totally off or does this sound like a really bad deal

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

That's what I'm talking about. Actual content as part of the pay-for service. It sucks that Sony picks the games, though. Still; it's better than making gamers pay for online multiplayer and other services that are free on many other devices. At least there is a "reward" feeling for being a part of this program. I'm probably not going to join this right away. But I'm definitely keeping my eye on this one. I might do the free 3-month trial that they mentioned in the press conference to see if I like it. I'm hoping that this turns out better than Qore (which is part of the service subscription) with its offerings. People are going to sign up for the free games and discounts, not Qore or themes. They need a good balance of both to keep people paying.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Free Gamezez??????? Now THAT'S the way to serve your customers when they're paying for service! :D

OhMyCrabcakes
OhMyCrabcakes

i havent seen any prices for the uk, but im assuming it would be about £40-45 a year. Why should we have to pay the equivelent of our US counterparts if we dont recieve services like netflix. Granted we have bbc iplayer, buts thats a free service!

Rysuken
Rysuken

$50 bucks a year.. same as what I pay for the x-box live service. might as well try it for a year $50 it's only 50 dollars not like its going to break the bank or anything

atopp399
atopp399

Gamers are doing developers a favor with Beta testing. It should not be a paid service.

jdale38
jdale38

paying for beta access??? not able to keep free demos and games if you're not active??? this sounds like something for the hardcore gamer...THANK GOD sony has included the hardcore gamer in their equation, unlike the other 2 (well nintendo has really shunned the hardcore gamer a long time ago)

marcuspkz
marcuspkz

dammit people support sony!!

coruscant
coruscant

If you read the EU's PSN blog on this you will find in the comments that they've clarified that IF YOUR SUBSCRIPTION EXPIRES THEN YOU STILL KEEP THE CONTENT YOU'VE RECEIVED.

agentmclovin
agentmclovin

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

richioso
richioso

I like the Beta access but besides that not really interested for now. I'll stay with the free service.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

I player will still be free and on PSN =^) ... they still need to have something to make it better. They should have it so its faster and better conection

thegrouch666
thegrouch666

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

amaan4ever
amaan4ever

how is the free stuff free if u stop paying for it.that's just dumb

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

Does this mean iPlayer will no longer be available on PS3? The reason the 360 couldn't have iPlayer was because of the fee you had to pay for Xbox LIVE, even though 360 also has the free silver service. BBC services are supposed to be free.

Gigas_Yuu
Gigas_Yuu

Bringing up "owning" someone on a video game website during e3 sounds like "self ownage" to me. Gamespot is srs business :3

Flint247
Flint247

@zzamaro I didn't own myself. I just mistyped that. Even if I did make a mistake, why do you care?

zzamaro
zzamaro

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Flint247
Flint247

@zzamaro I noticed most of your comments are replying to whenever I post... o.o

Fz1994
Fz1994

smart not to take away the free service but if you stop paying the games wont work anymore which is a little too much of you ask me

akiwak
akiwak

Sounds good, this will only make it harder for me to take breaks from gaming. Sometimes I go months without playing but now with the premium content I may not put the controller down....

mitchmacca92
mitchmacca92

I was a bit hesitant toward this Premium service, however it seems like a good deal. What Sony is offering is very enticing as well as not taking away from the free service already available. For those who just wish to play their favourite games online you can still do that as you wish for free, yet if you wish to have all that extra content $50 doesn't seem like too much to ask. Considering you could potentially make that money back in free content and discounts.

HappyZombie
HappyZombie

Oh and yeah, the rental type of service on Plus seems to be kinda sucky and truly greedy.

Henninger
Henninger

So let me get this straight, u pay 4 the services & u get better stuff. But u have 2 keep paying 2 keep playing all the stuff u bought while paying!?!?!?! Im sorry but thats not a good deal. If i bought it than i should b able 2 play it whenever & not just when im a "Plus" member. I'll pass Sony!

HappyZombie
HappyZombie

Im gonna go with the "now PS users, you dont think its that bad to pay" thing. You now have a glimpse of what Xbox LIVE users have willingly paid for, for years - a superior, diverse and fun online service on their console. Yea, you can still play for free but my guess is that most gamers that do play online would rather pay and have access to a better service (at least considering the stuff on XBL gold). Not to mention the potential savings in other (super expensive) games, when your busy having fun with Xbox live stuff, at least this happened to me. Yes MS wants money for it. but its sort of fun that people (PS gamers) are now agreeing to XBL when you say Plus seems like a good deal. The "zomg we haz free online play" thing falls flat, as it always felt flat for the XBL players - who use and know a quality online service for years.

MOwens9512
MOwens9512

Pretty weak that you can't keep your free content. LOL I love my PS3 but I'll be damned if I get that until they readjust their rules. The cost is cool, but if I can't keep what they gave me for "free" then I'm not trying to mess with it. I mean really, think about it, IT AIN'T FREE! LOL You paid $50 for it. At best it's a really good discount on prices LOL And while Wipeout is cool, there's no garuntee that the "free" games will be games that most people would really want. In fact, I am almost willing to garuntee that all the freebies will be games they can't really move for a fee.

tsep23
tsep23

AlienOverlord, Qore gives you access to early demo's and of course the show. It's different in that you'll get free games every month. On top of that you'll get priority for beta's. I'm sure there will be a ton more down the road too. Word is Google TV is coming to PS3.

guynamedbilly
guynamedbilly

I think Gamespot got that wrong in translation between what Jack said and what they heard. To me, it sounded like you got access to the free stuff for as long as you had the Playstation network account, not necessarily the Playstation Plus subscription. Sony needs to clarify this pronto.

AlienOverlord
AlienOverlord

How is this different than Qore (or whatever that paid subscription online magazine type thing is called)?

iceberg082002
iceberg082002

lol thats funny ull lose all ur games if u dont pay anymore lol unlike Xbox Live where u download it and can play it no matter if ur Gold or Silver lol

ScreamDream
ScreamDream

I'd like to see a few months schedule on what we get before I put down $50.

GBPackersrule
GBPackersrule

No cross game chat, and I am forced to keep reissuing my subscription if I want to keep the free stuff? Sony really had a chance to do something great, but dropped the ball. Well find out how this goes.

Death_Knight9
Death_Knight9

that really sucks its gonna be free again cuz lots of people wont pay anything why you dont have to pay for online like playing cod mw2 online thats free so yeah waste of time

CellAnimation
CellAnimation

How is a game "free" if it becomes unusable if you stop paying for the Plus service? Um... I'm pretty sure that means you're renting the games. DODGY AT BEST!

shkar
shkar

as long as I can play my Games ONLINE for free,,,,then I will be good...

kiriyama2
kiriyama2

cool idea, i like xbox live, and im glad PS3 is giving this option, but the thing i dont like is the fact that if you dont pay for it, you dont get your games / demos/ avatars etc. i think that as long as you paid for it during the time it was free then you should be able to keep it even after the fact. just my opinion though.

dddhouse
dddhouse

ok, i see now. all these sony boys are ok with paying $50 for the year to get the same thing that Live have had for over 5yrs. sefrig: PSN multiplayer have always been free and it was nothing close to Live. What make you think that this make the psn any closer.

amaan4ever
amaan4ever

I might the buy 18$ subscription to check if it sucks then im done.Still the multiplayer is free making it better than the 360

5j3553
5j3553

but they should let us keep the stuff we paid for, not rip us off if we decide to end our subscription :/

MERGATROYDER
MERGATROYDER

$50 a year is waaaaaay too expensive. I pay $50 on XBL and gain multiplayer and exclusives and a better Netflix experience and more Demos and Indie titles and Zune integration. One free game and theme and maybe discounts and betas for 50 bucks... hmmmm!! Online play is still free though, so I think I'll pass on the subscription for now.

zzamaro
zzamaro

@Flint247 LIVE 50x9years= $450 PSN= FREE while those 50 dolares are OPTIONAL.

Sefrig
Sefrig

I admit that this was a very smart move on Sony's part. Now that PSN offers free online multiplayer and Microsoft doesn't, it's going to give them an upper edge.