Premium PSN to cost under £50?

Report says Sony's new online service would include one free game a month, access to streaming music service.

Source: A report on VG247.

What we heard: The VG247 article cites "a highly placed source" with the tidbit that Sony will unveil a PlayStation Network subscription plan at next month's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. According to the article, the service will carry an annual cost less than £50 ($72). For that money, subscribers will get a premium package apparently centered on one free PSN game per month (from a choice of up to four different titles) and access to a streaming music application that will also be unveiled at E3.

A subscription-based premium service could significantly change the PSN landscape.

Speculation in the article suggests that the streaming audio service would be able to run in the background while users played games. One feature that will apparently not be exclusive to subscribers is cross-game voice chat. The VG247 source emphasized that Sony won't "gimp" its free PSN service in order to attract subscribers to the premium offering.

Sony first revealed its plans for a subscription-based PSN service last November. At the time, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai released a statement confirming that the current level of PSN service (including online multiplayer and connection to services like Netflix and Facebook) would remain free.

So if Sony isn't charging for online play, what can it expect gamers to shell out for, especially with an annual £50 fee? At a price like that, something amounting to a Game-of-the-Month club might be the only real option Sony has. Even then, without must-have features and assurances that gamers will get their money's worth, a premium PSN subscription sounds like the sort of option that's easily ignored. And if Sony actually comes through with those killer features, won't standard PSN users feel like their service has been gimped regardless?

The official story: "We don't discuss rumors or speculation."--A Sony representative.

Bogus or not bogus?: Not bogus that Sony's already said it would have a premium PSN subscription and that it will be less than £50 annually. As for the rest, Sony should shed a little light on that at E3.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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573 comments
MagicOneUp
MagicOneUp

it is 'Optional' ????? what kind of F'd up business model is that? why would anyone want to paid for something that they have the option of not paying????? of course only Sony would think that all their PSN subscribers would and willingly pay for it....

thingta42
thingta42

50£ is abit much. Paying 40£ each month wouldn't be too bad though.

FabledVeteran
FabledVeteran

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

FabledVeteran
FabledVeteran

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

aryanbrar
aryanbrar

hopefully it has voice message ability.

TheDarkCrucible
TheDarkCrucible

Agreeing with penpusher, sounds pretty good and I hope it is worth it I will be watching the E3 closly, as for the non sub. feeling "gimped" well you get what you pay for right? your still getting alittle above the basics free so they better not complain! lol I just hope it will be worth it, heres hoping!! :) (erm... I still have to get a PS3, haha should have it within the next few months)

blackace
blackace

No one will pay for this. I see more quarterly losses in Sony's future.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

You get what you pay for.

penpusher
penpusher

hmm,,,sounds reasonable for me, long as the original functionality stays free thats me happy :) but their had best be a LOT of premium content available for that much...

Frenoir
Frenoir

if you get lag its not the psn its your own internet connection heck iv had more lag on my 360 then my playstation 3 and its been due to bandwidth people shut off your computers and other things that are connected to your router and internet and you will see its not the compony its your internet provider and how much bandwidth you have

supdotcom
supdotcom

Best thing about this is that its OPTIONAL.

infestedcyborg1
infestedcyborg1

It was only a matter of time before they did do something like this. Not all bad though, i agree with you Dominicobaggio there is alot of hate i have both 360 and ps3 and the psn is fine online you might get some lag but then again you get lag on the 360 it happens...and they are both good online service's

Dominicobaggio
Dominicobaggio

So many confused people. The ongoing legend that psn is laggy and bad because its free spouted by xboxers to make them feel better for their paid service. PSN is fine for online games, modern warfare, red dead street fighter it all works. Even now we have free music videos of pretty much every major artist to watch. BBC i player to watch tv. Internet access to watch utube or any other streaming source. ALL FREE! I disagree with a paid service but this is optinional so for people who like what they offer good onthem, buy it. If they offer something amazing even i may subscribe! Offering new services for a charge is no bad thing they do need to make money too. Stop complaining, stop spouting lies about psn and stop the hating. These boards are so xbox centric...

valcrist09
valcrist09

as long as the current PSN doesnt change and they add more services that you can pay for then I would be all for it.. but if they start taking away what is free then sony will pretty much turn there backs on there whole PSN is free aspect.

jeremiah06
jeremiah06

@2eachhisownmask I agree completely.

GBPackersrule
GBPackersrule

Sony is gonna have to up the ante if they want to get people to buy this. Even then, Xbox Live would still be seen as superior, simply because MLG uses the 360 as their breadwinner, and avoids the PS3 like a disease. Sure Xbox Live is more competitive, but if Sony does this right, maybe people won't assume that PSN is laggy, broken, etc. simply because its free. Here is what I ideally would want to see in a paid membership: Early access to betas before free members Early access to demos before free members A functional friends list (so that I can see my friends friends list) A bio that is actually a bio, not just a few words Some kind of marker that shows you are a premium member (like the PS logo next to your id or something) Stream music from Sonys music catalog (like rhapsody, but on the PS3, if you like the song, buy it) Discounts on movies/games Longer movie rental times for paid members Cross Game Chat (should be free for everybody) Ability to report or and rate users (like Xbox Live, so we can avoid the 13 year olds) The list goes on. If I am going to spend cash on this, I want it to be worth it. I don't want the freebies to get the same experience a paid user gets. Sounds cold, but if the difference between free and premium subscription isn't large, than the paid members will feel like they are getting jacked and this idea will never take off. If sony wants this to work, they need to convince the free users that this is worth your money.

mike468
mike468

Depending on what type of game or content Sony is offering I may consider it. If they started offering full PS3 games as digital distribution, and offer a choose between say 1 of those games a year, or a handful of PSN games, or music/movies content it might be worth it. I definitely don't want a limited choose though. Like being limited to games that just aren't selling or are 6 months+ old.

Darryl_Green
Darryl_Green

If the premium service is optional what's the point if you get all the features you need with the free service? This feels more like a desperate gamble by Sony to find something that can knock Microsoft off their square finally. If they wanna do one thing right bring all their PS2 classics back on PSN would be a nice start and show more kick ass games at E3 for the PS3 only.

tbs76
tbs76

Just remember that Sony has access and owns its own movie and music division. If they can bring over some of that content and be given to PSN users for that fee, I can see this service being worth the money. Maybe this service will let users access betas, or demos earlier than that of the free service. Hopefully it will include cross game parties and game chat and other cool features. I am sure Sony will want to entice its users to switch to this service but not force it down your throat. This could be a good move if done right.

2eachhisownmask
2eachhisownmask

Have absolutely no interest in paid subscription. One of the reasons why i went with Sony and not Microsoft was the free PSN access. I am really sick of the attitude that every single thing needs to be milked as much as possible, to rake in the $$$! Enough! When is it enough? It is the sheeple that are to blame for this corporate mentality too. The sheeple are the ones supporting and okaying this every time they endorse a corporation by purchasing their services and products. Grow some balls (yes you too ladies), and stand behind what you want. Don't be sheep(le).

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

they might actually make psn half decent now lol

Albenuova
Albenuova

Ah this is ganna burn a hole in my wallet. LIVE and PSN thats like 100$ a year. Idk if i would pay if the NEW service tho fee tho. The only thing i play on xbox are shooters, but everything else in on my PS3....the only problem is shooters requires good internet connection.

AStriegel75
AStriegel75

Everything starts this way. Eventually they'll be like "Well we aren't making any money from this so we'll take (insert feature here) so more people will want to pay." I say just pay up now to make them happy. I know they don't want to piss a lot of people off.

Spike_Cloud
Spike_Cloud

@poopinhammer: you don't get it apparently... for 72 dollars a YEAR, you get a free game a MONTH...

Poopinhammer
Poopinhammer

So, basically, for $72 i get a free PSN game? what kind of logic is that? I can get a "Free" game from gamestop for $60 using the same logic

maesterangelo
maesterangelo

its about time Sony caught up with the program of charging people. Now I can get a decent sony online service for a change. They better be putting that money to good use

getyeryayasout
getyeryayasout

The "Game of the Month" idea is sound, but I'm already paying for XBL, it would take something really special to get me to pop for a premium PSN service

nedrith
nedrith

seems to be too many people freaking out about sony making online cost money, doubt they will ever make online gaming that they currently offer not free. the game of the month thing sounds interesting, might be a nice way to get a discount on games depending on what they offer, lots of good PSN games also. Will also be nice for the kids who parent's pay for their games. just ask the parent to pay $72 a month and the kid can choose 12 games a year. Overall looks like a nice move.

icekids
icekids

I have good news,,I made 2 NUKES today on MW2 ^_^

moe725
moe725

is this a yearly fee or monthly? but i do like cross game chats and music hile playin

mf1986
mf1986

@Brennios free online is gona remain the same.

Brennios
Brennios

Personally I don't like this at all. Free online is one of Sony's strong points right now..

MaxPower15
MaxPower15

This is bad on the ps3 fans who swear by free online play. If the bonus paid material just comes in the form free games, then it's not much of an upgrade. If it is more of an improvement of features, with games added as a bonus then people will eventually ask for these added features to be included in the basic service. Either way, sony made a huge backpedal on their stance. Remember when backward compatibility used to be a selling point?

brad12d3
brad12d3

@edwise18 Pretty much. I wondered how long it would be before they created a paid service. The work it takes to keep something like that running, especially considering all the new features that are being adopted i.e. downloading movies, tv shows ect.. is a lot. They can only be losing money on a free service.

lbptoady
lbptoady

Glad it's optional, even though I will probably do it for at least a year. If the first months free games are good then definitely but if they suck then no. Can't wait to see it at E3.

edwise18
edwise18

@DredWulf. I gotta say I agree 100%. It just costs to much to keep a service like that free. Eventually they will charge just like live. It's pretty much inevitable, just a matter of time.

calvinsora
calvinsora

I don't see the point in paying up, I love free online because it's, well, free! But it's cool that they are offering Premium service for those that are willing to pay.

eal-zubieri
eal-zubieri

it will better then live because you can get the free account and play onlline or get Premium with special stuff just like live.

Burning_Typhoon
Burning_Typhoon

@ DredWulf But, no matter how you look at it, free accounts will still be able to play online, and do everything they've always been able to do. @ everyone else. EVERYTHING....

DredWulf
DredWulf

It's a bait and switch..in time they'll charge just like Xbox Live.

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Wow lots of comments. As long as I can still play on-line for free with no restrictions then I can choose whether the extra features are worth it! Cool :D

Dragonknight0
Dragonknight0

THEY BETTER HAVE PLAY GAMES ONLINE FREE!!!!!! THATS ALL I CARE ABOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

grant4500neo
grant4500neo

@bossmon19 this isn't required, it is a premium PSN, so it just has added features.

ctburesch
ctburesch

keyblade..that is the one feature I want also. Cross game chat ability. It is the 1 factor that has me iffy on coming over to the PS3 fulltime. I love the ability to talk to some friends in Canada where it costs a fortune to call them on the phone. much easier to talk to them while playing some games.

ctburesch
ctburesch

The PS3 still has a long life left in it. You won't see a PS4 for about 6 years...at least

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

There will be a PS4 by the time this damn thing gets released!!! What the Hell!! Stop playing with your customers like that it aint right!!

bossmon19
bossmon19

sony i dont want to pay for psn im already paying for xbox live

keyblade42
keyblade42

Whoa whoa whoa, read some comments and saw that some of you don't really understand that this is a RUMOR. Sony is not going to charge you $72 a year so you can get a "free" PSN game each month. Obviously they're going to be adding more stuff than just that. If you think that that's all they're throwing in with the music streaming I can only assume you're nothing less than a complete idiot.

keyblade42
keyblade42

Cross game chat being on the free PSN accounts is all I really care about.