Number Of PS Plus Paying Members, PSN Users Rise To New Heights

Up and up.

42 Comments

While Sony is predicting PlayStation 4 hardware sales to decline in the future, any negative impact from lower hardware sales may be offset by gains to Sony's services. This week, Sony announced that the number of PlayStation Network monthly active users has risen to 80 million, which is up from the 70 million figure that Sony disclosed this time last year.

Additionally, the number of people who pay for PlayStation Plus has risen to 34.2 million. That compares to 26.4 million from a year ago. What's more, PS4 gamers are spending 800 million hours on the system each week as of December 2017, which compares to 600 million hours per week at this point last year. All of this is notable because, as PS4 sales decline, revenue from services like PS Plus will be important to PlayStation's overall profitability.

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This information comes by way of Sony's latest Corporate Strategy meeting, which is where the company also said the PS4 is entering the final stage of its lifecycle. The system has been enormously successful, selling 79 million units by Sony's latest count. The console continues to perform well, as it was just revealed to be April 2018's best-selling system in the United States and the top console of the year in the market. The PS4 is not going away anytime soon, though there are swirling rumours and speculation about a PlayStation 5.

In the current fiscal year, Sony said some of its strategies for the year include focusing on ways to "enrich and utilize" exclusive games and "grow and improve recurring revenue" from services like PlayStation Plus, PlayStation Vue, and more. Here is the relevant slide:

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Sony's E3 2018 briefing takes place early next month in Los Angeles. We won't hear anything about new hardware; Sony will focus on four big games during the event.

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cboye18

It's funny how much I loved the service 5 years ago and how much it has downgraded since then.

M$' greed disease seems to affect everyone's good fortune, not just their own. Pay-to-play online; what a load of horsesh!t.

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XenomorphAlien

@cboye18: I'm pretty sure the improvements of PSN from the PS3 to the PS4 are very apparent.

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chopsbenedict

@cboye18: honestly seeing these numbers and remembering the first 4 years of the program makes me feel some shame im still paying for it. the nickel and diming just keeps stacking up. I loved using my ps3 to donate computing time to distributed computing, but greed's winning the industry.

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gamingdevil800

@cboye18: It is one of those what if scenario's if PS3 hadn't made such fatal mistakes with it's launch and quickly became the more popular platform then maybe we wouldn't be paying for it today but alas the 360 was more popular throughout the generation... So Sony realised they could get away with charging for it too.

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cboye18

@gamingdevil800: That too could've happened, though I'm more inclined to believe that M$ just can't help itself for making an easy buck regardless of their success.

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Syphon_Filter2

I play on both PS4 and Xbox One X so it doesn't bother me. ^__^

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redhedjack

Why are so people buying into this paying to play online bullshit?

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LiveDreamPlay

@redhedjack:

Nothing is ever free, you pay it one way or another. Don't think that if online was declared FREE then it would've actually been truly free. You would've still been charged for it through the cost of the console, the cost of games, or something else. Online multiplayer takes servers and maintanence, that costs money, so if you use it, you will pay for it one way or another...

Avatar image for Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@livedreamplay: It's covered by the cost of the game. That's why the online pass was created last gen and why there's no fee on console. Or do you believe every company that used them was a liar and PC gamers that play against console gamers are breaking and entering into the console makers' networks when they play games together?

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LiveDreamPlay

@Jinzo_111887:

A game that has no multiplayer has the exact same retail price as one that has multiplayer. So it's obviously not covered by the cost of the game. Or do you believe everyone is secretly putting their server costs into games that don't require servers in order to trick you?

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redhedjack

@livedreamplay: On PS3, given how I bought the console and the game, as well as internet service for my house, as sense dictates, I could play the game online. With PS4, not only do I pay for the console, the game and my internet, but also to access the web via the game (but only sometimes, of course -_-)

Everyone knows Sony/Microsoft don't do any server upkeep or anything of the sort.

So I could either pay a useless $5 a month to be able to play Rocket League on PS4, or I could get it on PC and only have to pay $20 once and play it online for free for years.

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Xristophoros

@redhedjack: with ps3, sony did not charge out of good will. but expenses were levied on them for the maintenance of the servers. someone, somewhere, is working behind the scenes to make sure everything works so how could an online service run for free? it can't and even nintendo is now charging for it. just a matter of time before valve and third party publishers start charging for online features on steam. it is a miracle it hasn't happened already.

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Jinzo_111887

@Xristophoros: But none of those things have anything to do with anything that you don't get when you purchase a game on PC that is related to making online multiplayer possible, therefore they don't justify it. If Sony wants to reel in more subscribers, they should ditch the premium membership for online multiplayer and work on improving their standards like offering tools and storage for videos.

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redhedjack

@Xristophoros: I can guarantee you, the day Valve starts charging users to use Steam is the day PC gaming loses a sizable percentage of players. Steam earns it's money through the purchases of the games and the in game purchases as well. To charge people simply to access Steam would be objectively reprehensible.

Netlfix charges users a monthly fee because all the films/shows it offers are free themselves. That makes sense. But what Steam offers is numerous games, each with various prices. Hence why Steam itself is free. As it should be.

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Xristophoros

@redhedjack: valve has a stranglehold on the market so most people will put up with it. losing a few members won't matter in the grand scheme of things.

Avatar image for Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@Xristophoros: Microsoft tried to charge for online on PC, and that's why people switched to Steam. If Valve does it, they'll move to GOG, Origin, or Uplay.

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Xristophoros

@Jinzo_111887: i disagree. steam is one of a kind platform... most people will stick around no matter what changes are made. their stranglehold on the market makes it a tricky situation. it is comparable to facebook -- people know they should leave but they feel obligated to stay due to their contacts being on there. the same will apply to steam, not to mention all the achievements people have earned for the past 5-10 years... you cannot simply drop an ecosystem and start all over again easily... origin, uplay and gog have nothing on steam.

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Jinzo_111887

@Xristophoros: Achievements don't mean anything. Chances are if such a policy were to happen, people would either find a work around like Xlink Kai or switch networks. GOG looks tempting because of their stance on things like DRM on games, for example.

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redhedjack

@Xristophoros: I doubt they can overcome the overwhelming social stigma therein upon doing so for long. Vocal dislike will be impossible to avoid, and eventually people will get fed up. It'd just be a poor business strategy in the long run.

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LiveDreamPlay

@redhedjack:

On PS3 they included the costs of the servers in the other costs, on PS4 they didn't. But trust me, in neither cases did they pay from their own pocket, it was still you that did the paying. I know that a lot of people like avoiding the truth, so I'm not saying it wouldn't have been better for them to hide this cost under a more expensive hardware, or accessories, or games, or whatever, but the end result is still the same.

So you'd rather pay $20 for 1 game on PC, instead of 5$/month for around 80 games (including that 1 game) on PS4. If you consider games like Bloodborne, Deus Ex, Mad Max, Ratchet and Clank, Rayman, and many others to be worth nothing, then I guess it would make sense to pick the first option, but if not, the PS Plus is by far the best decision. ;)

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redhedjack

@livedreamplay: The "other costs"? Not sure I follow.

Anyway, it's a flawed argument to assume I'm gonna be after all those games PS+ offer. Especially given how some gamers are selective. I personally avoid buying whatever game I see all willy nilly even if it's free. I.E. Sports games don't appeal to me and I tend to be choosy when it comes to RPGs. Stuff like that.

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LiveDreamPlay

@redhedjack: I've explained what "other costs" are.

That's what I was saying, you have to be really damn picky to choose 1 game for 20$ rather than 80 games for 5$/month (including that 1 game).

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redhedjack

@livedreamplay: Not everyone is a hoarder. I prefer spending my money and storage space on games I know I'll play.

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LiveDreamPlay

@redhedjack:

It's not mandatory to take all the 80 games offered. You can choose only the ones you know you'll play. ;)

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Jinzo_111887

@livedreamplay: Can I get the money value of the ones I don't added to my PSN wallet, though?

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LiveDreamPlay

@Jinzo_111887:

You mean the ones you don't add to your library? There's always value in having options, yes. For example someone that's given one game vs someone that's given 3 options and can choose one game, there's always more value in the second option, even if you get one game.. ;)

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dacontag

@redhedjack: because it's only 60 bucks for a year which isn't that bad for people that have jobs.

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Jinzo_111887

@dacontag: But what are they doing to make online multiplayer possible that I haven't already paid for when I buy the same game on Steam? I can't think of anything as online multiplayer wouldn't be possible on Steam, GOG, Origin, Uplay, etc. without a premium membership otherwise.

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redhedjack

@dacontag: It's a matter of principle. It's a scam. I paid for the game, I pay my internet provider. Why am I paying to play online? Especially when games like Journey and Persona 5 for example can access online features in game with or without a PS+ account. It's a blatant paywall.

PS3 and Vita doesn't charge you to play online, as well. PS+ on PS4 is literally Sony taking money for no reason.

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dacontag

@redhedjack: it’s because they sell the consoles at a loss, so they rely on these subscriptions to make their money back. Plus with it only being 60 bucks (5 dollars a month which is extremely cheap), it is well made up for with the sales and free games that comes with it.

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Jinzo_111887

@dacontag: BS. They get money for licensing their hardware. Also, the PS4 wasn't selling a loss. Cost tear down was about the price of it was selling for. And it's not like they nothing from software sales, especially digital ones.

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redhedjack

@dacontag: Normally publishers rely on the sales of games to make money off their consoles. As opposed to what would be considered illegal if politics gave a damn bout games.

It's like buying a movie on blu-ray, and you have to pay extra to access Special Features.

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dacontag

@redhedjack: while I don’t like loot boxes, I’m ok with them so long as they’re optional. Plus the trading card arguments eliminates the idea that it’s gambling.

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ASnakeNeverDies

@redhedjack: To piss us off, obviously.

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Arkhalipso

@asnakeneverdies: Why does it piss you off?

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ASnakeNeverDies

@Arkhalipso: Because, deep down, I've unresolved issues I'd rather not have to deal with. 💀

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Arkhalipso

@asnakeneverdies: Well, that was an unexpected response.

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Xristophoros

@redhedjack: because there is no choice if you want to play online... but even someone like me who doesn't game online much, i find the ps+ games offered every month more than makes up for the price of the subscription.

Avatar image for Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@Xristophoros: Well, not without hacking the system, which is something free online would discourage. I get this feeling charging for online may come back to bite Nintendo in the rear later with the Switch already being hacked in a way that they can't patch.

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RBogaert2208

@Xristophoros:

The discount retrieved through their sales makes up for everything! I mostly don't have the time to play all the games i want... By the time i've finished a game there is most likely a nice discount on the PSN Store. Yet it better stays at 60$.

I also remember last year that you could've bought a year subscription cards for only 12$. I'll keep that in mind as the codes are always valid.

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Arkhalipso

@Xristophoros: Pretty much, but haters gonna hate either way.

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sakaiXx

Congrats! Hope this doesnt make sony complacent tho, I am really liking xbox online offerrings and hope sony follows.