Sony planning paid PSN subscriptions for 2010

[UPDATE] Kaz Hirai confirms premium level will be added on top of PS3 and PSP's online service, which will remain free to play online; PSN revenue expected to hit $563 million this fiscal year.

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One the biggest selling points of the PlayStation 3 is that gamers can use the console to play online at no additional charge. However, evidence has surfaced that the company is planning a two-tiered subscription model for the PlayStation Network similar to--but also fundamentally different from--Xbox Live.

Sony is mulling a premium version of PSN.
Sony is mulling a premium version of PSN.

Slides accompanying a Thursday presentation by Sony show that the company is planning a "new revenue stream from subscription" on PSN in 2010. [UPDATE] During the presentation, which emphasized Sony's plans to make its game business profitable in the next fiscal year, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai confirmed the plans. "We will be building upon our current free [PSN] service offering with premium content and services to start the subscription model," he told attendees.

Perhaps to assuage PS3 owners' fears that they would soon have to pay to play online, Hirai issued a subsequent statement indicating the present level of service would remain gratis.

"SCE will further increase sales by offering users new entertainment through the combination of hardware, software, peripheral, and PlayStation Network," Hirai said in a statement given to British outlets, such as CVG. "Especially in the online area, we are studying the possibility of introducing a subscription model, offering premium content and services, in addition to the current free services." (Emphasis added.)

As of press time, US Sony reps had not offered Hirai's statement or further clarification about its subscription plans for the PlayStation Network. Luckily, though, the "current free services" currently offered on PSN include online play, Facebook integration, and Netflix video streaming. On Xbox Live, both of those features are only accessible at the Gold membership level, which costs at least $50 per year.

[UPDATE] Even without subscriptions, PSN revenue is on the rise. For the current fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2010, Sony expects ¥50 billion ($563 million) in earnings from the service, a threefold increase from the year prior. In addition to game-related content, the PSN's retail component--the PlayStation Store--offers video offerings, such as television shows and movies for both rental and sale.

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zach290

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If they make it pay to play ill will not pay i will get rid of my ps3 and games and not buy any more ill be fine with just a PC and PS2 Besides why would they do it thats why there so big cause theres no p2p and there allready rich between game and the systems they should be good and note this most of the people will do the same and PS will be gone!! this is my final answer MLG RULES!!!!

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erik677

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I am lucky enough to wown an xbox and a ps3 and for me what is missing on psn is streaming video content. In the UK on xbox we get a few different IGN offerings each month alongg with the official xbox mag stuff and a couple of xbox live offerings. I just hope that the premium psn content is as good if not better. I will definitely be a subscriber though, at least for a month. Oh and downloadable games would be excellent also, to rival games on demand.

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zepherous35

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

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Ovyrlord

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In order for me to buy something like this, it better have unlimited movie rentals or music streaming. If they decide to make me pay for the free online play, I will just junk my PS3. :( I got rid of my Xbox for this same reason! DON'T DO IT SONY!!!

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thrasher510

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give me price and what i get!

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tommykerr13

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Hi I'm an Xbox and working hardware wasn't my idea! :P awrite shauny boy!

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shaun_mcwayne

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hi im a ps3 and xbox live was my idea!

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SuperYeti22

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But what kind of content will the premium include?

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Ghost345

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I just hope we don't get shafted somehow (either price or content)

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scepterone

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I think that a monthly unlimited subscription to view movies or videos on the PSN Store would be cool! They do have bettery selections than Netflix! I am currently using Netflix on my PS3, but the selection is not that great. Considering how Sony has the infrastracture in place that Microsoft is missing. I would also like to be able to stream music through my PS3 while you play games! Thanks!

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Zain-Midori

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finally!

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24k_Solid_Gold

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@madSomnambulist Alas, that will probably happen. I figure they'll add another tier of about $10 (maybe 15, but that's pushing it) within the next year or two. But then again it very well may not happen because then the PSN users would be getting a far better deal than Xbox Live users, and they'd most likely lose a lot users that way. On top of that, Xbox Live is doing so well right now that (hopefully) Microsoft won't want to change it.

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madSomnambulist

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PSN gets plenty enough for free, and I can't see how anyone could object to this since the current level of free service is promised to remain. They've promised many times-- since the network adapter for the PS2 was announced I'm pretty sure-- that they never had any intentions of ever charging for online play. I trust them on that now. Even a decade ago you can be sure they expected it'd pay for itself with an online store. No monthly = more chance players will browse the store for fun. $600 million from just the PS store? Jeez. To the "It's only $5/month" people.. true. Plenty of people consider it worth it, and I'm not telling people to give it up or boycott it or anything, but I was hoping that Microsoft would drop the monthly at some point down the line, but that'll never happen now with Sony adding it instead. Just don't be surprised if a higher tier of XBL service is annouced soon.

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flyingdutchdog

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@TheTHCGamer Oh please ... I have played PS3 online and I can assure you it was a painful experience ... oh my ... I seem to have missed my mortgage payment cause I spend 5 dollars a month for Xbox live ... as I previously stated, you get what you pay for .... I'll pay the 5 dollars thankyou very much. PS ... mark my words, the time will come

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SunDestroyeur

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i hope the online playing and demo would stay free. or they will be making a huge mistake.

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left4right

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Synyster_Slayer ur name remind me of a cheap porn movie.

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24k_Solid_Gold

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@TevoxZi All I ment was that to get the "best-of-the-best" on PSN, you'll have to pay, same as Xbox Live.

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-Katsuri-

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@TevoxZi : Err, what part of my post made you think that I thought otherwise? If it's the sigh, Im sighing because my friends will probably get the premiunm and I'll feel left out cause I'm poor. :P

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-Katsuri-

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GM-XP-L9

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As long as Playing online is free Sony can do whatever it wants.

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TevoxZi

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@MagicOneUp @24k_Solid_Gold @-Katsuri- Talk when you actually read the article. [quote="First paragraph"]"[UPDATE] Kaz Hirai confirms premium level will be added on top of PS3 and PSP's online service, which will remain free to play online; PSN revenue expected to hit $563 million this fiscal year."[/quote] The Premium'll cost and it'll be extra on top of the free stuff, in otherwords; everything that's been free so far, remains free. I wonder how hard can it be to simply read the first paragraph. Especially now that it's in BOLD font. @buft Yeah, you CAN, you don't have to. Everything that's been free so far remains free.

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MagicOneUp

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the free ride will end. you can't make money on some thing thats for free. Sony, continue the gouge like they always has

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AlphaCommando

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Almost died when I read the headline. Good to know we'll still have our normal free services though. Doubtful that Sony will make anything worthy of subscription. I know I won't be paying unless it's something excellent.

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24k_Solid_Gold

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Join the club Sony. :S

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-Katsuri-

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Sigh, I knew this would happen eventually.

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shadow_571-2254112256380627405

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PSN has a few errors that may be fixed with this! Take that Xbox360!!!!!!

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buft

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yeah!!! more stuff i can pay for.

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Zain-Midori

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mmm well if its like xbl where u feel like u get ur moneys worth i wont mind and even with xbl u only bout what 4 bucks a month ? anyone can pay that and xbl is good because microsoft has money from the subscribers to make it better and bigger hopefully will put the two services on equal footing

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kamizuka

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what is better on XBL is that you pay for it. you get a better feeling while playing online if you payed for it, and ofc your gonna use it more than before.you dont believe me? look at that WoW game

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damo320

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@ arbrooks28 Do you seriously think anyone would want to pay for a premium service just to get demos and developer diaries)? No it will definitely need to have some much more core features to require payment and in large enough subscriptions to achieve the "profits" Sony is referring to in the above article. Your example of the XBL Gold accounts doesn't really work. XBL Gold doesn't consist of small additional options... its biggest drawcard is online matchmaking... ie a "core" feature which any serious gamer wants. If XBL Gold were only demos and diaries and XBL Silver let me play matchmade games online I know I'd be a Silver user anyday. What I'm saying is think about it logically... currently all I'm reading is alot of wishful thinking.

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damo320

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@ mynameisGavin I'd assume a small portion of the current free features would need to become part of the paid service in order for "anyone" to even consider buying a subscription. Compare XBL Silver vs XBL Gold accounts and you'll find that everyone wants XBL Gold. If Sony plans (as they say in the article above) to be profitable in 2010 offering a service which is purely additional services not already given to current free PSN users is not going to work. I'm certain that what Sony would like is to have something like the number of XBL Gold subscribers that MS has. That "would" definitely make the company profitable. I'd expect a premium user would get faster downloads, faster matchmaking or priority matchmaking, and premium content access at the very least. It has to be enough of a reason to make paying for it attractive. So it may very well also include a few of the features currently within the free access PSN.

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mynameisGavin

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As long as the free service is the same as it is now I think that they should go ahead. They need to make money from the 'products' they offer, the PSN being one of those. And I know there are pleanty of people who will happily pay extra to get their special access.

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arbrooks28

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Premium content is prob demos before everyone else, Beta Keys, Interviews with game developers or their developer's diary things. Umm, you prob get themes and stuff only paid subscribers get and so on. It's sort of like XBOX Live. Gold Members get special contests and content (demos) which can't be accessed by silver members. The good thing about sony is that online play is still free so you won't have to pay extra for service which would suck if you want to play MMOs (new FF Online, Free Relms, SOCOM, MAG, etc).

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bm1212

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@namdar I know that they need to make money and this is a great way to do it. However I have literally just found out about this and I am not really happy. What do you get with the premium anyways? They mention the premium content but what actually is this?

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Cow_tipping

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@ xtremeflem2day When I said "You arent forced to pay for xbox live either, you just get more features if you do", it clearly states that you dont have to pay for xbox live, but if you choose the option to pay only 50$ per year, you get more features than you would get with only a silver membership. yeah and one of the features u pay for that does not come with silver is online play

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namdar

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@bm1212 gotta make money some how right?

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CBass217

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Woopity doo...You'll get more riveting (sarcasm) episodes of Qore and maybe some betas if you pay. No thanks

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bm1212

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I dont want this to happen, why cant everything stay free. Even though the online play is still free, I will always feel like I am missing something.

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MattyVonP

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I just hope they don't charge too much. I'd be willing to pay a small fee, but free is hard to beat.

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twistedmalice

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I welcome the idea as long as the multiplayer gaming stays free.

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Kruegmeister

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Being able to Play your $60 game online will still be Free. That is the Way it Should be.

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codenameaf7

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How about them giving us the option to "borrow" dedicated servers to host games via PSN, or bringing more PS2 game collections/bundles on Blu-ray discs and make them downloadable from online (like the God of War collection)? That's something I know I'd be willing to pay for, which I hope they introduce. So long as its something practical to go with the games console. But if they're talking about introducing some crap iTunes wannabe video/music downloading service then they're wasting their time. I'm still worried about this article. Seems like whenever Sony are in the sh*tter, their consumers are happy, but as soon as Sony start doing reasonably well economically, they get $$$ moneybags in their eyes and start screwing with the consumers.

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ali-009

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this will be a good idea if PSN added new stuff just for members that paid,but every other thing that PSN offers for now should stay free,and they should create some new updates for free members and make improved versions of them for people that paid,and he said it,but i wont pay for online gaming (isn't it enough that i need to pay for a fast broadband network just to play online),but paying for an improved version of PSN in every way is something that everyone will try,and this is a step forward for sony,because making us pay will make PSN improve just as Xbox live is improving online.

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txarod

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keep diggin that hole sony... keep digggin

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xtremeflem2day

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@Pwnd56: When I said "You arent forced to pay for xbox live either, you just get more features if you do", it clearly states that you dont have to pay for xbox live, but if you choose the option to pay only 50$ per year, you get more features than you would get with only a silver membership. Is PSN even mentioned in that comment?

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Pwnd56

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@xtremeflem2day "You arent forced to pay for xbox live either, you just get more features if you do" ur exact words

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JudgeRAW

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Sounds interesting. Let's make something worth paying for, shall we?

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Xgear455

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If the exclusive stuff of the premium is good and if they update their servers system, that is a tiny enemy compared to XboxLives´, I´ll pay... It´s simply as this, you want something extra you pay, you don´t want something extra, you don´t pay...

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Acuatico

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XBL silver memb should have let you play online... and then gold would let you download games, vids, etc. I just don't think you should have to pay to play online with other people. AKA..... I like what Sony is doing.

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brendanhunt1

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the recession has ravished alot of you. thank god il be able to afford it. that is if its a similar or lower price than live gold.

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