PS4 could allow multiple subscription levels

President of Worldwide Studios says Sony could act like a cable TV company and offer gold, silver, or platinum levels of membership.

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The PlayStation 4 could offer gamers multiple subscription levels, Sony president of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida told The Guardian. The executive said that because services and content have become available digitally, Sony is in a position to act like a traditional cable TV company and offer multiple membership tiers.

"As more and more services and contents become available digitally, we'll have more of an option to create attractive packages. So hypothetically we can look at different models--like a cable TV company," Yoshida said.

"We could have gold, silver or platinum levels of membership, something like that. We can do subscription services when we have more content--especially now that we have the Gaikai technology available," he added. "With one subscription you have access to thousands of games--that's our dream."

Yoshida's comments are purely hypothetical at the moment, as Sony has not yet detailed full plans for PS4 pricing. The only mention of firm pricing plans thus far came from SCEA CEO Jack Tretton, who said last week that PS4 titles will range from 99 cents to $60.

Digital software support will be a major component of the PS4, Yoshida said, noting Sony is taking a similar approach to that of the PlayStation Vita.

"We're shifting our platform more and more to the digital side--PS4 will be similar to PS Vita in that every game will be available as a digital download, and some will also be available as a disc," he said. "The Witness will be a digital release and because of the flexibility of the digital distribution scheme, we can have more small games that might be free or available for a couple of dollars, or different services like free-to-play or subscription models."

For more on Sony's vision for the PS4, check out Yoshida's thoughts on used games, The Last Guardian, and support for legacy platforms .

Discussion

316 comments
experience_fade
experience_fade

Did anyone notice how this article never got 10k comments?

milomell
milomell

gamespot is a bunch of sony haters don't believe this shit this websight is known to spread falls rumors when it comes to sony

junglist101
junglist101

Can you PLEASE stop trying to think of new ways to charge us up the ass for stuff?!

This makes me want to punch Sony in the face.  I have plenty of money for this crap but dammit I am so tired of them depriving me of functions on my ps3/4 unless I pay up.  Does anyone else realize that this is not how things were in the early days of the ps3?  They would come up with new stuff and it was part of the purchase price, or in other words---free.  I log onto the psn store these days and there is so much crap on there that costs money I don't even know where to begin. And all of it is costing more and more... 

What do they expect me to do budget 10,000 dollars a year just to get my games and ps3/4 fully functional?  This is bullshit and I blame all you hose bags who buys all this crap on psn.  

longy07
longy07

So r we going to be paying like Xbox?if we r I'm out and u will be better of staying with your ps3 for free

munkeypoo45
munkeypoo45

i like the idea but if it is mandatory then that could be a problem. it should be like PS+ just with more content. unlimited games for a subscription sounds intriguing but if implemented incorrectly, it could be devastating. 

CP2077
CP2077

I just hope they start copying what steam is doing for online game sales Gabe Newell is stinking filthy rich so its not like they wont turn a profit for selling games cheap. I only buy games when they are on sale off steam. I pay way less the you do for a console game, most the time I don't spend over $20 on a game, some times I spend $40 if I really want something and can't wait any longer. If i don't have a big interest in a game I wait for the price to drop to $20 then go on sale for $10.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Totally called this.  I'm expecting a free PSN with cross-game chat.

Then there'll be PS+ (with its new name) allowing for video chats as an addition, and also a whole host of bonus features game-wise on the store.

Providing online is free again i'll be happy, that said however I am seriously considering a subscription for PlayStation given the amount of free games on offer for the PS3. Sleeping Dogs was a quality game!!

jark888
jark888

Hello everyone!, Let's check out PS4 Specifications on my blog. Just click on my profile picture. It should take you guys there ;D

jark888
jark888

I probably get PS4 some time if Sony's business practice continue to behave kindly in favor of gamers (Meaning Sony try their very truly best to avoid charging on online services associated to gameplay). 

Free online gameplay is one of the major selling points of both PS3 console and its games over Xbox 360. Sony generates more income on those sells, while Xbox 360 generates smaller market share from Xbox Live.

jark888
jark888

"We're shifting our platform more and more to the digital side." And now I ask you to look at PS vita memory cards' prices.              

It's such an obvious scam to me. Even if people get PSvita at a good discount rate, Sony still make that up from selling proprietary memory card. I basically don't believe that the card is any better than the cheaper micro SD card.            

Samparksh
Samparksh

Now I'm gonna go buy the Xbox 720...........I mean,seriously???That's what Sony has for us gamers???

SiLenTWarrior29
SiLenTWarrior29

I can see the good old days of gaming.. starting to fade away.

Slyster1181
Slyster1181

Just give me the ability to play my games online for free and the OPTION of picking up a sub service to use the Gaikai and the social aspects the PS4 will offer and I will be fine.. I really hope I do not have to pay a sub to play online.. That was the main reason I bought a PS3 over a 360..

blackace
blackace

Get ready for XBox Live type services on the PS4. I told you cows this several years back, but no one believed me. They are going to combine PSPlus with all those online services and feature and charge different levels of fees to use them. Sony wants to be profitable again and then are envious of Microsoft and their XBL service which makes millions every year to help keep them out of the red. I knew this would happen eventually. I'm just wondering how much Sony is going to make everyone pay?

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I don't get it. Why would a console that I buy have subscription levels? How does that even work for a physical device? PSN is already a tiered service, and I expect that to expand, so three or four tiers instead of two is unsurprising. If, on the other hand, a future PS console like PS4 incorporates mandatory net connection, becoming effectively nothing more than a client device for Sony's online services, then it will be a great time for many of us to retire from console gaming.

kennythomas26
kennythomas26

I remeber hearing about this some time before their anouncement and up until now it was just a rumor.

bouff
bouff

I hope that if they do a system of subscriptions then it be like the PS+, the higher the subscription the more (time)exclusives will be available

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

silver is free online mp tks...

BloodyAura
BloodyAura

I find it very interresting how so many people are willing to just bend over and take it from Sony who are clearly saying there'll be subscription's out of the a**, it''ll start out half digital (to be forced down throat's as the ONLY option later,they seem to imply)and the fact that digital games will cost the same as physical copies?!Yet suddenly NO one has a problem with this,jit ust dumb-founds me. Not long ago,people were saying they WONT go digital unless it cost's less ...where are these people now?Anyway, the future of gaming look's so bleak,I fear the industry IS dying...but this is just my opinion,though....so who cares.

jecomans
jecomans

@junglist101 So they gave you a few things for free, and now you think everything should be free? Because they don't need to pay the devs or staff at all do they? 

I can't think of a damn thing to do with basic functionality that I've had to pay for in the last 6 years. So, what are you talking about?  

Facelord
Facelord

@longy07 Nah, I think it's more along the lines of them offering more value for the subscriptions. The Silver subscription could give PS+ benefits, Gold could offer PS+ and cloud gaming support and Platinum could give you PS+, cloud gaming and a selection of a ton of games to play while you're subscribed, like Onlive's Playpass service. I'd totally be a Platinum subscriber if that's how it worked out.

If they did start punishing players who don't pay the monthly fee, though, I'm out. I think I'd just start playing legacy systems if that were the case, buy up a ton of classics. I quit PC gaming a little over a year ago because of the DRM, I quit Xbox gaming when the 360 launched because of Xbox Live Gold and the increasing importance of online gaming, I quit Nintendo gaming because their hardware, game support and online infrastructure are laughably bad. It'd suck if I lost Sony, too. :<

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

@warhawk-geeby NO with SO MANY people willing to pay for LIVE it will be different

PSN CORE : just be able to access PSN buy games.... Play online same as now. Hulu+ Netflex..

PSN BASIC :same as now but BETTER connection. Demos, Home, for a low $20 - $30.00 a year (still cheaper than live) cross game chat, notification... 

PSN+ same as now with some extras for $10.00 more just like Live that raised the price to $60.00 a year.

PSN Premium :  a lot more movies, Music, Netflix like Sony, Japanese, Korean Anime, Movies. cable channels, access to ALL Sony games from PS1 - PS3. This would also work with Vita. For more money say $80.00 - 100.00 I think that Sony will make it worth it seeing how well PSN+ has been recently. 

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

@jark888 40 Million Live accounts from people willing not only to pay but accept Advertisement, and now even commercial interruption!!

I think it is just too good for Sony to Not think about. Sure PSN CORE will be a strip of PSN as it is now. BUT I DO agree that BASIC Game play will be FREE unlike LIVE, and Netflex and other paid for services will also be FREE unlike Live. 

But that would be it. Other levels will cost a little more.  

FusionRain
FusionRain

@jark888 Welp, I think having people pay for something they can't use is stupid so they won't have a base "pay to play" online model like the Xbox Live model. 

I say that because everyone won't be able to use Geikei and you can't just force PS Plus on people. If they don't want it of have network limitations that makes Geikei not worth it then they shouldn't have to pay for it.

I predict the base model as far has store access, online play, and using apps like Netflix will totally be unchanged. I can see a fee for Geikei, like instant playback, try any game in store feature, and video uploading or more options for video uploading, like editing. Just my opinions because they shouldn't possibly alienate there fans by making us pay to play.

PS: Claymore is awesome! I'm like on Chapter 132 in the manga

FusionRain
FusionRain

@jark888 Yeah, why wouldn't they make a proprietary memory that only goes for their system? We may not like it but it still is pretty smart. Other memstick duos took allot of thunder from the Sony ones during the PSP time.

Also Japan had a price drop for both the Vita and the memory cards. While that regional, we can hope that moves this way.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

@Mortz_88 ... You get Free games, the price for 1 of the free games given cost more than PSN+... SO how is that a rip off.  It has been GREAT since I just got it. Compare it to LIVE and.... 

FusionRain
FusionRain

@Samparksh I take it you along with everyone else didn't actually read this article. It's pretty much talking about services like Geikei and, unmentioned, Plus. I figure that if they pull of having people pay a certain for a month and them being able to stream the whole catalog then that would be totally worth it to me. I'm also sure that core system  will be unchanged. I'm just thinking that these extra online features, that do to bandwith and other limitations, everyone won't be ale to use fluently anyways I wouldn't be surprised if they had some type of price on them. Coast lots of money to keep that up but making people pay for something they aren't using is stupid, not the other way around.

Centurion-Legio
Centurion-Legio

@Slyster1181 that is exactly how it's going to be, trust me. They aren't stupid over at Sony, they wouldn't lose people over something like that. The only thing i am hoping for is that we don't have to pay for the cross-game chat feature.

leviathanwing
leviathanwing

@Slyster1181 after 2 generations of free online from psn i highly doubt sony is going to make us pay to use the full content we already paid for.

leviathanwing
leviathanwing

@blackace there is no such thing as 'xbl services' unless you call using my game to its fullest by paying for something i already paid for as a 'service'.  ps plus already does everything as far as xbl goes so this is probably more of a streaming game/movie, cloud storage, back catalogue.  so it does everything xbl forces you to pay for for free plus actually give actual services for the money that you paid.

Meta-Gnostic
Meta-Gnostic

@blackace I said the same thing back in 2006 i.e. that you would have to pay to play online on PS4 and Wii U. However, it's looking more and more like PS4's fees may be for stuff other than actual online play.

MAG--256
MAG--256

@blackace 

unlike MS to play online would still be free

to download demos and videos it will be free


so they can charge $60-70 for psn:plus and add more tv shows and other entertainment.  i don't see them charging people to play online.  also cross game chat will be free since its free on vita 

FusionRain
FusionRain

@Unfallen_Satan I think playing online and store access will always remain free, but Geikei and of course PS Plus services will no doubt need some payment otherwise people who can't use it would be paying for it inside a normal base fee which I think Sony knows better than doing that.

bouff
bouff

@BloodyAura I totally agree with you, I will never buy a game from PSN unless it is at least 25%% cheaper or not available on disk.... I think the most I've payed for a game on PSN is £15. I'll be willing to up to £20 (£25 at a push) for a full blown AAA title. Considering there is no packaging, no warehouse, no delivery, no shop, no snotty nosed sales assistant and no DISKS it should mean that ANYTHING digital should be cheaper..... If people think that its OK to pay £40 (or even £60 is some cases) for a digital copy of a game, then let them waste there money, and I'll just wait for the price to drop to a nice comfortable point. 

jecomans
jecomans

@Facelord I think what they mean by the importance of PS+ going forward is not that it'll be necessary to use the PS4 (for those who don't which to, or can't, subscribe), but rather that it'll be integral to their marketing and feedback systems. Auto-updates, a vast number of users plugged into the network and the community allowing them to showcase their line-ups and keep customers/gamers involved and paying attention. 

If you're the type of gamer who is often on forums or watching gameplay trailers and demos it sound like the perfect thing. Pay for PS+ and you can play those demos, get early content, with a range a free games to boot. 

richiezombie
richiezombie

@bouff

u seem to miss the point of downloading... get a solid state drive and u are talking no load times..having games on disc bottlenecks u ...and u can only load the games as fast as the cd spins. but dont listen to me.....i only know what im talking about.

Slade968
Slade968

@bouff Yea, that will never happen. They sell digital PC games at retail on release always. Take comfort in the fact that there will be sales and bundles post release that will net you savings. It's just the natural progression of things. How many people go out and buy CDs now days? I'm not saying it is nonexistent but they are definitely in the minority.

jark888
jark888

@Slade968 @bouff For games, I hardly buy digital. I think at least 90% of my games are in physical form.