Will Sony Charge Users to Go Online with PS4?

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A post on Kotaku from late yesterday offers up a report supplied by anonymous sources that claim to have the inside scoop on what Sony will announce during this evening’s big event. According to the report, the PlayStation 4 will launch this November, its two SKUs will cost between $429 and $529, will have smartphone/tablet connectivity similar to Microsoft’s SmartGlass, and will require a premium online service subscription to access the majority of the system’s online capabilities.

The report claims that the subscription service will be called PlayStation World, and would replace the PS Plus service that the PlayStation 3 and Vita both enjoy. A key difference, of course, is the fact that PS Plus charges users yearly in return for discounts on digital content, early access to games and betas, and regularly updated free games. For the length of the console’s life, going online has been blissfully free of charge—a stark contrast to Microsoft, which has always charged users a yearly fee to get their Xbox 360 consoles online and to take advantage of services that Sony offers for free.

That Sony would be joining Microsoft in charging for online access is disappointing, but not terribly surprising. It’s no secret that the Xbox 360 has beaten the PS3 in console sales, despite the fees to access Xbox LIVE Gold, creating something of a never-ending revenue stream that I’m sure Sony would love to get a piece of. Microsoft has proven that gamers are ready and willing to shell out fifty bucks a year for services that Sony’s been giving away.

Of course—all of this is speculative until we get confirmation one way or another from Sony. And since their big announcement will begin at 6 p.m. Eastern tonight, we’ll probably get at least some answers about what they’ve got planned for their next-generation of consoles. Until we know for sure, though, we’ll just have to hope that Sony’s just kidding about that whole “charge you to go online” thing.

Via Kotaku

  1. Didn’t ps3 overtake the 360 in sales a while ago?

  2. Hmm, a little improbable, but sadly I can see this being a reality, even if I hate Live Gold with a passion, and know plenty that do too, it is a successful (scam) business method, so doesn’t take a genius to imagine that Sony would jump on the bandwagon.

    I would like it to remain free, simply because I hate having to pay for something I rarely use, but, if it comes to that, it would be at least interesting if they did like a 200 dollars lifetime subscription.

  3. If Sony create an online service that isn’t revolting to use this time around I will happily pay them a subscription to maintain it like I have Microsoft for years. I wouldn’t be caught using the current playstation online service regardless of how free it is, lets hope this is an improvement and I can actually consider Sony again to fulfil my console needs. I really liked my PS2.

  4. I currently own a 360, but have been a PS fan from the beginning. I only got the Xbox because my PS3 crashed (original, “1st gen” PS3 with thousands of logged hours, btw) and wanted to play CoD with friends that already had an Xbox. I absolutely HATE the Xbox and having to pay for Xbox LIVE, and plan to get a PS4 upon their release. But if Sony decides to charge for the online connectivity, I will most likely get the new Xbox to play with everyone else, since I’ll be having to pay anyways. They may make more money charging, but they’ll lose a lot of potential customers to the Xbox if they go this route.

  5. I’ve heard a lot of negativity about the PS Network, mostly, about how it always seem to be down and the security for it sucks. honestly you divide 50 bucks over 12 months it’s rather cheap. If your having a more stable game play why not spare the money?

    • You heard it wrong, PSN had a hacking ploblem followed by some instability like 4 years ago, and aside from maintenance here and there, The service is on par to live.

      The only downside to the playstation network is that downloaded content can take forever to actually download if the servers are busy, so a game like Max Payne 3 can take anything from 4 to 72 hours to finish regardless of your connection.

  6. you know what’s funny…. Having a pc that can play the next top gen games…. Online services or more or less are free, so I might hold back and see which games go where. Besides, didn’t xbox 360 and ps3 have several catastrophic failures. Such as the three red rings and the ps3 having the three yellow lights of death…. Hmmm… people may want to hold on spending their money before shelling tons of dollars for the new consoles. I don’t take too kindly too being forced to pay for a online service that I may or may not use. Not too mention the hassle of dealing with used games… I can wait for the price drops… Not too mention the wii u price may drop pretty soon. Nintendo probably will be trying to rope in some customers during the holidays. Hopefully the wii u has all the kinks worked out with the software. Sniff sniff… I smell capitalism in the air or my upper lip. I am not probably getting the ps4 or xbox one. Reason for not getting the ps4 is look how the ps vita is being treated at the moment… Do you want a 500 dollar lead brick that can only play one to five games that are priced at 40 dollars plus or just go with a pc where the games are on sale. Hmmm do the math? People always knock the pc gamers, but the availability of using a controller and still get antialising as well as hd textures that are not having to be compressed. Due to the nature of how consoles have to interpret the data from the hdd, gpu, and cpu. Most of the launch titles are going to be release on pc anyways, so whats the point of buying the consoles now. Sony and Microsoft should hold back and wait till more launch titles are available. Look at the ouya, it has several hundreds if not thousands when its release, so why will sony and microsoft expect gamers to be happy for a measily 5 to 10 games. Another point is current devices in my houses already play my media well, so why do I need a 500 console to play netflix or social media. This is going to be hard for sony and microsoft to convince people to cough up their money to buy their consoles. By the way, Ive owned a ps3, xbox 360, and pc. I still prefer the pc over the others.

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