Sony explains why PS Plus is required for PS4 online play

Shuhei Yoshida says due to "large investment of resources" for online play, keeping service free would have been "absurd."

Sony has explained why a PlayStation Plus subscription will be required to play PlayStation 4 titles online. In the latest issue of Famitsu (translated by Kotaku), Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida said that it would have been "absurd" to keep the service free, considering the "large investment of resources" Sony has made for online infrastructure.

"The main pillar for the PS4 will be online play. We're developing many new ways to play and connect which requires a large investment of resources," Yoshida said.

"Considering the cost, to try to keep such a service free and consequently lower the quality would be absurd. We decided that if that's the case, then it would be better to receive proper payment and continue to offer a good service."

Currently, Sony does not charge a penny for online play for the PlayStation 3. PlayStation Plus subscriptions are offered for $50 per year, and current memberships will carry over to the PS4.

The move puts Sony in line with Microsoft, which currently mandates that Xbox 360 users have an Xbox Live Gold membership ($60/year) to play games online and access features like Netflix.

Elsewhere in the Famitsu issue, Sony Japan president Hiroshi Kawano said just because the PS4 is the main show moving forward, support for the PS3 is not ending anytime soon.

"It's been seven years since the release of the PS3, and the console continues to sell at a constant pace, plus we have many upcoming titles," Kawano said. "We have no intention of immediately shifting from the PS3 to the PS4."

"With the 2014 launch of our cloud service in the US allowing users to play PS3 games on the PS4, some people may switch consoles from the PS3 to the PS4," he added. "But that'll be a gradual process, and to say 'we're releasing a new console, so trade in your old ones for it' would be a maker's ego talking, plain and simple."

The PS4 launches this holiday for $399/€399/£349.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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3123 comments
donoghu
donoghu

Any comment given by any Sony representative regarding the additions (and costs) related to the PS4 and its online capacity is actually either fake or reversal truth (to not say "lies").

First, the main difference between the XBox Live online service and the PS3/PS4 online service that Microsoft offer hosting services within their own server system for a really competitive price while Sony doesn't offer any services of this kind unless a contract is signed (I won't explain what this contract is including, but let's say that it's mostly allow Sony a % of any sales related to the product to be hosted, as well as Sony's role as a part or full publisher)

All that Sony is offering is what I call "General hosting management" services : a low capacity sub-server which allow the players to access their PSN account related information for in-game content. (It manage things like DLCs and anything that might be pass in and out of a game.) The truth is that development companies (or publisher whenever applicable) actually already pay for that service in different ways (based on how the game is distributed and its sales)


By paying for the XBL gold account, the player gets access games with servers situated in strategic area which are managed and fixed by Microsoft itself. While there are games that don't use such services, but for those who do, Microsoft actually guaranty the servers' up running and functionality with the XBL account data. For Sony, it's the other way around. Sony is bugging the developer/publisher if those doesn't get access to the right services, but they also take no responsibility if the servers have issues with their low-end PSN crappy services. They can even fine the companies if, for example, a service is interrupted for an extended time (whatever's the reason) because the to-be-fixed servers is bad for their console's image.


While it's true that Sony's PSN system require quite a big sercver (for all the players around), they're actually able to cover the annual cost with 1 month worth of its current yearly PS+ package (5$ per player).

You think that it's necessary for their PSN Store so that everyone can download all those Go of data? Actually, any games that aren't under the Indie special coverage cost money to the publisher to be shown in their PSN store. (It's not included with the vanilla license) That's without considering that Sony take (at least) 5% off all purchases made in the PSN store. (It's even worse than Paypal's 3% commission)


By the end, Sony only decided to charge since they had the option to. It got nothing to do with social features or connectivity or servers' costs which they already have covered for the next 20 years since the release of the PS4.

cpup100
cpup100

The reason I bought a PS3 instead of a 360 is so that I don't have to pay for online. Now Sony is turning into a money grubbing company like Microsoft. I will never buy their Next-Gen system unless they go back to the old way. FREE TO PLAY! besides they make enough money by selling their Consoles, Games, Movies, and PS-Plus if you want to get games at discounted prices.

m_bd89
m_bd89

If they wanted ps+ to be mandatory in order to use their stupid share button, or to stream on twitch, or to access netflix, or to get discounts or any of that secondary stuff people would be completely fine. But if I pay 60-70$ for a game I pay for the whole damn game, both the single player and multiplayer. It is completely unfair for Sony to force me to either pay them a little extra or miss out on a huge chunk of what I already paid for and should have access to.


It's just the absolute worst kind of nickel and diming, the kind where they don't even give their customers any real choice. If you really don't find that kind of practice sickening then that worries me.

Without ps+ being mandatory, I'd buy a ps4 in a heart beat. Instead it makes much more sense for me to build a cheap 600$ gaming pc, in 3 years it would cost just as much as if I had bought a ps4 and paid 3 years of ps+, except my pc will still be more powerful. And every year after that, the ps4 will keep getting even more expensive while remaining less powerful than my pc. I know I'm going to miss out on some great exclusives, but I'm not supporting that type of behavior. I think this is definitely the right generation to leave consoles.

ckb_12
ckb_12

Cant believe how people can just kick psn 2 the kerb 4 a mere $4.15ish a month because they reckon its too much because the paying already 4 internet which is only a low 25mb an hr 4 standard online gaming which cost screw all especially when pc uses alot more internet anyway not to mention its unreliability and viruses and hackers. Pc maybe free online gaming but it costs in other areas 4 a bigger risk.

My opinion dont hav ta write such a big message bout how it sucks which will probably use $4-5 of internet complaining about and just get psn+. Its will b worth it as u get cheap discounts and free stuff and just remember nothing is free in this world so dont expect things 2 b, theres always a cost.

pgl163
pgl163

Such an ugly looking Xbox controller...

martialflaw
martialflaw

Sony has lost it. I just want to enjoy simple gaming. Now we have to pay what we don't deserve.

Ziphi
Ziphi

So after many months I'm still playing online with my ps4 and loving it. They will soon add some new features such as, YouTube video uploading and A game share feature (that doesn't last long, but will be great for us PS+ owners). I have a PC, but most of my friends play on XBOX or the Playstation these days.

milkymanchester
milkymanchester

You whiners realize this comes out to $4.16 a month, right?  You piss that much away on Red Bull and Doritos on a daily basis.  

andrewrusher
andrewrusher

This is why I'm glad I play PC.....most console games are hosted by the users themselves....it requires their console to be the host...so charging people to play online is ridiculous unless it's a dedicated server...and than those games normally have monthly fee's..so now people need to pay monthly fee's and a ps+...that's just insane...PC will always be the best....better graphics, cheaper cost (if you build your own) and you can upgrade at any time...you can use xbox or ps controllers if you want...

shackattack23
shackattack23

This makes sony no different than microsoft now. I may end up switching to PC permanently now because of this stupid craziness. Also it is really sad that sony isn't listening to the consumers about how they don't want this and that they won't even comment on the feed back that they are getting from the people saying they don't want this. 

Lykanthropie
Lykanthropie

Thats a great reason not to buy a PS4 anytime.

puntagorda05
puntagorda05

They are basically saying give us money to use your internet a service you already pay for, because we didn't get enough money when you bought the console and all the games, I just want enough to buy a second yacht

Paul9Rhymes
Paul9Rhymes

I'm sad to hear this SONY. Well, I guess I will buy only single player games for my PS4, you lost me as online player on PS4.

kokurai
kokurai

Not paying a cent. And its not because I can't afford it, but because that would be like me telling them it's okay to charge me money to play online.

sveinasleik
sveinasleik

I don't know about you guys, but I pay for PS+ on the PS3 already, and I think it's worth it for me. I think it sucks you are now forced to pay for it to play online, but it's not really that bad, because as I said before I already pay for it without being forced to do so and I've been happy with it so far. I don't think this will be a big problem for most people, especially not those who already paid for PS+ or paid for XBL Gold.

Tacanacy
Tacanacy

Come on! Give me a break, people! It's only 50 bucks a year! It costs 65 in my country, and I'm a full time student from a working class family! End your ridiculous and pathetic complaining.

justfitz2
justfitz2

Well let's take a look at PC shall we, the platform that provides "free" online gaming...

Can I play an MMO?  Nope gotta pay $15 a month...

How about free to play?  Sure, but so many features will be stripped it won't even be worth playing...

Hey steam can you hook me up with a free monthly game?  HAHAHAHA!!!  ..No...

Well can I trade in my games for PC then?  HAHAHAHA!!!  ..No...

How about throwing a brother a free mono headset though?  God kid you're killing me...  Hell no!

You're not going to throw in a controller either?  Are you kidding me...  Never!

Well what do I do if a new game comes out that my PC can't run, can you help me out?  Nope, Upgrade your rig yourself.

But at least I can buy all my games through you guys?  Well no, other than us (steam) theirs also origin, uplay, and a ton of independent launchers.

How about giving me an HDMI cord for steam big screen?  Buy it yourself...

I'm a collector and I like to buy physical copies of PC games, got any options for me?  Yea we do!  But only like 3 of them...


Yea, man PC gaming is so much cheaper than console gaming.  "Free" online for the Master Race!!!

devilzzzwin
devilzzzwin

I honestly didn't realize this was the case. Wow !

enderx
enderx

Online is the worst thing that happened to gaming. Online is the worst thing that happened to gaming.

Kjranu
Kjranu

It's just another method of extortion to fill their pockets. You do not have to pay for online play, come to PC and play for free and still have the same superb multiplayer experience. 

pattyaloi
pattyaloi

So i have to buy the game the console my own internet and pay you to use my own internet ?! So it better never ever glitch or go slow it better be the best ! As it was free so it has to be 100% improvement or u are making a mistake as i want pay to get what i already have sound like a rip off starting to get greedy ! Like i said better make it worth it

theyestarantula
theyestarantula

Will PlayStation Plus on the PlayStation4 have a one free month thing like XBOX Live?

sensesfail99
sensesfail99

All im gona say is that i bet that alot of PS4 owners wont be playing online. Sonys gona see what a huge mistake they made doing this, I mean i always thought the idea to pay for online gaming was absurd, i just bought the game and now i cant get the full experience because i didnt shell out more money? I mean come on, Im sure im nott he only one with a gaming addiction, and on top of that i have to pay for smokes and various other addictions, now i need to add one more to that list? In this economy adding one more thing you need to pay for every month just isnt going to work with people, no matter what the price is.


Conjuration
Conjuration

Started console gaming in 1985, at the age of 5. Atari 2600, NES, SNES, PS, DC, GC, PS2, and now PS3.

It's with a heavy heart that I must say goodbye to my favourite pastime. Oh I'll still be gaming like crazy on my PC And iPad, but sadly consoles will no longer be part of the equation.

I will never pay to play online. Sony was (WAS) the last bastion for level headed gamers in the console realm. Now that they've gone and erased the most important thing separating them from Microsoft, I have to say goodbye. And my friends are coming with me. We have jobs, wives, kids, and a lot if bills. We don't need to pay for online gaming. Good bye console world. It was a very nice 28 years.

chris_landers
chris_landers

Sony gave you 7 years of free online as opposed to the $500+ Xbox charged, if you had it since release, for a worse service. Sony deserves to charge us, still less than XboxLive too.

Widowmaker21
Widowmaker21

I'm no Sony fan by a longshot, i'm not even getting a PS4 im getting a Xbox One, but c'mon people. whether you want to admit it or not XboxLive is a better service than PSN. and part of the reason for that is cause they charged for the service. since XBL started it's gone through numerous changes all bettering the experience. PSN never changed or got any better or evolved from what it was. Now Sony realises that hey if we want to better this network and experience we goona need some money, we cant keep runnig this shit for free and keep making it better. This is America people you all know you get what you pay for!! so I suggest yall stop complaing and start helping Sony give yall a better PSN...or get off yall butts and go help manage all them damn servers!!!

shustudent
shustudent

@andrewrusher true, i cant believe these assholes require ps plus to play online after I just dropped over 450 dollars on a new console and game...so fucking stupid

ckb_12
ckb_12

Oh is it. I brought 1 and im glad I didnt listen 2 u.

andrewrusher
andrewrusher

@Tacanacy It's using your connection..your consoles the host...so you are being double charged...people like you are why theirs no more manufacturing....you just want to sit and play games and treat them like gods for creating games..I love games..but seriously you are addicts.

shustudent
shustudent

@justfitz2 throw in a controller? throw in a headset? what the fuck are you talking about, did the console throw in a keyboard and mouse? Can you play an MMO like Final Fantasy on PS3? Yea for 15 a month WOW its the same fucking thing...hdmi cord?? what is wrong with you, if you have a PC then you have a monitor and it's connected already right? you're a collector but you trade in all your games? give me a break and go back to your console which is POWERED by a inferior video card than on PC, so yea shove it

andrewrusher
andrewrusher

@justfitz2 ....you can get packages for PC moron..and you keep acting like steam is the only online system..it's one of the many "communities" but most PC games have in-game server set ups when you order the game...you aren't limited to "one" store..you have unlimited options..but again..you are just elitist about it like most console gamers..you are just lazy is all it is...PC is far cheaper in the long run because you build a PC you don't have to upgrade for 5 years..my PC runs all games out and is 6 years old...I spent 600$ on it..

Why do you need someone to help you build a PC? It's all color coded, and the wires are labeled and the slots are labeled clearly so you just plug it all in...if you can't do that you are stupid..than again the average IQ is falling so you probably are that dumb.

reverate
reverate

@justfitz2 You seriously think all PC MMOs are $15 a month? GuildWars 2 is free to play after purchase just to name one example. You also realise that TES Online is coming to both pc and consoles and will have a monthly subscription fee on both?

A lot of free to play games will either cost a 1-time payment to unlock the entire thing or only charge for extra items such as skins to change appearance and show support for the game developers. You don't complain when you download demos of games but then have to pay to unlock the full version so I don't see why you expect to get away with it on pc? There are so many free games and so many ways to get cheap games on pc, steam sales and humble bundles are something you would never see on consoles.

And no, you can't trade in your pc games, but what you can do at the moment (in beta stage on steam) is share a single purchase with family members so you can play the same game at the same time on different computers having purchased it only once.

A lot of PC games are played using Keyboard and Mouse, both of which can be bought in a huge different range of qualities to suit how you want to play. Most people don't need a free keyboard and mouse when they buy a pc because it already comes with one. But if you're that worried buy a laptop, that has an in build keyboard and a touchpad. If you're so strapped that you can't afford a £5 mouse then you shouldn't be buying any kind of gaming rig at all.

When you buy your PC you can choose how futureproof you want it to be. Most games that come out on the PC have quality options designed to be able to run on machines with very low spec. If you spend less money when you buy your PC don't expect to be able to run games for years to come. However (and i'd like to see you do this on the xbox), you can actually upgrade individual components, so if your graphics card is letting you down a little bit you can keep your hard drive, processor, disk drive, keyboard, mouse, screen, case, RAM etc and JUST replace the graphics card.

HDMI cords cost £1 off amazon, deal with it you whiny bitch.

Why does it matter where you buy your games from? I don't understand why going to a different retailer is such an issue for you but each to their own i guess.

As for the snide comment about it being "free" online - your moaning still changed the fact that it is in fact free online. Obviously you have to pay for internet but you have to do that for consoles as well as the subscription fee. PC IS free to play online and consoles are not. Their will be some games that make you pay subscription fees BUT that is the same for consoles. In fact, TES Online requires you not only to pay their monthly subscription fee, but the cost of PS Plus/Xbox Live AS WELL.


I'm both a fan of PC and Consoles but stupid comments like yours piss me off. Do your research and quit whining, seriously.

reverate
reverate

@chris_landers i miss the time when $50 * 7 was $500...not that I can remember it, why is that?

Ziphi
Ziphi

I have PS plus and enjoy all the benefits from having it. Discounts, free games, trails. So your not just paying to play online. You're probably paying to upload videos, for your buddies to help you out in games.

HipHopBeats
HipHopBeats

@chris_landers You sir, are delusional.

chris_landers
chris_landers

@Widowmaker21 I've been an owner of all the PlayStations and Xboxes, PlayStation has always been better. Especially online play. PSN is simpler and much easier to get the most out of. XboxLive is full of gimmicks.

Still, nobody should complain about a PSN fee; still cheaper than XboxLive is.

Plus, PS has better exclusives and a less aggressive/angry community. I think that's part of the reason I have seen a lot of Xbox users migrate to the PlayStation. Of course, it could also be the better resolution and functionality that made them migrate.

suicidemoon
suicidemoon

@Widowmaker21 Dude shut up steam is a million times better than Xbl and what happened to GFWL....ya...But sony dont act like what u go now is great, its awful and thats why you dont charge....If you dont change everything about PSN it will piss ppl off for the fee. Look at the wii u....its neat but it sucks to even XBL....and they dont charge....cuz they know it sucks. Japan sucks at any online features....which is odd when you think about it.

facade_of_faust
facade_of_faust

Servers and maintenance costs need a reccuring stream of revenue to remain top quality which is why Xbox Live was paid for all these years

andrewrusher
andrewrusher

@Ziphi most old free games they give you, you can legally download on your phones, pc's (the old emulators of outdated games they charge you for) also their are free games that you can download and mmo's that are free...theirs far more free games on PC....when it comes to playing online YOUR PS4 you bought and YOUR INTERNET connection are what hosts online games unless its a P2P game that's online like final fantasy and dcuo..those are ran on dedicated servers..so you are being charged to use your own stuff you already own...it's insanity...PC 4 life...

andrewrusher
andrewrusher

You're being charged to use the PS4 you own, and your internet connection you already pay for..if it was all DEDICATED servers than yes I could understand..but as it stands you are using YOUR consoles you all own to be hosts....they are just making you double pay for it now...

derequeb
derequeb

You're not stating facts

ckb_12
ckb_12

I agree $50 or about $80 where im from aint gonna put hole in ur efpos/credit cards.