Sony Says the "M" Words About PSN Again: Monthly Fees

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Sony Says the "M" Words About PSN Again: Monthly Fees

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Fanboys, warm up your internet rage engines: Sony technical platform boss Masayuki Chatani has become another voice indicating that the console's online service may be getting subscription fees sooner rather than later.

Speaking with Nikkei Japan, Chatani admitted that the company would face difficulties if it remained 100% committed to providing a free service to its customers: "Servers and the like have running costs, and we would face difficulties if our business depended solely on the sell-and-forget model."

Though Chatani said that he expected to see an increase in their digital business, he indicated that the company was also looking at charging a subscription fee for premium PSN content, echoing sentiments from a Sony investor presentation last month.

"We can also accept payment in a growing number of ways. In addition to single-payment packaged software, there are also schemes like monthly fees or per-item charges. I think this variety of payment methods will bring about a diverse range of playing methods, too."

There you have it, folks - yet another Word-of-God confirmation that PSN will be charging cash for extra bonus goodies. Still, it's not as bad as it could have been - when rumors first broke last month, Kaz Hirai was quick to step in and caution that the subscriptions would be for premium content, and online gaming would still be free of charge.

(Via CVG)

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Oh man I was hoping that those ideas would die, I still have to pay for live and I don't think I could pay for both

So long as this premium content doesn't hinder actual gameplay enjoyment.

I would hate to become a walking target for someone who decided to pay an extra few bucks for perks, special weapons, etc...

As long as online play is still free, I'll be fine, and I don't even have a PS3... yet...

Its fine. The guy said that playing online would be free. So unless you're into buying loads of things from the PSN, then I don't see a major problem

hehehe, snrrk, mehheheh. times like this make me glad i ditched consoles like a drunken friend who betrayed me the night before, and is now living in a ditch, while my new friend the PC is here to stay.

EDIT: if they made this jump, what makes you think they won't make the jump to a xbox live esque subscription?

NNNNNOOOOOO!!!

Not them too!

What the hell is 'premium' content?

And "premium content" would be what, exactly?

Dudeakoff:
What the hell is 'premium' content?

The same stuff you need a gold account to get on XBLA likley- shiny new demo's, exsclusive wallpapers, etc.

Whenever a new demo or a new game comes out on XBLA, alot of times you need a gold account to download it for the first few weeks.

They can have my monthly fee when they pay to fix the PS3 their update broke.

Oh boy, stay away from the charcoal people. The flames are gonna fly high on this one.

But seriously, as long as I can play games for free, I'm fine.

Dudeakoff:
What the hell is 'premium' content?

Special access to their booth-babes webcam.

(this one wants to talk to you about an exciting new video card)

hansari:
So long as this premium content doesn't hinder actual gameplay enjoyment.

I would hate to become a walking target for someone who decided to pay an extra few bucks for perks, special weapons, etc...

This really, I'm cool with some sort of a payment plan, as long as money doesn't give you an advantage in gaming.

But whatever they mean with premium content, as long as I can actually game online for free I'm happy. I can wait for demo's, don't need wallpapers and all that jazz.

As long as online play is free, I'm cool with it.

Kaz Hirai says many things, so you should just go ahead and assume the worst, that Sony has once again lured you in with the promises of free only to bend you over later. "Premium Content" is the most ambiguous bullshit phrase possible when it comes to online services. at least Microsoft had the good graces to explain before the 360 came out what the Silver and Gold levels of XBL membership would require.

However if they continue to provide the ability to play online for free well that'll be one gold star for them I guess.

bloodmage2:
hehehe, snrrk, mehheheh. times like this make me glad i ditched consoles like a drunken friend who betrayed me the night before, and is now living in a ditch, while my new friend the PC is here to stay.

Same here. At least stuff here will stay the same. Or the feared INTERNET PETITIONS will return! But seriously, i agree. The pc will always me my main platform.

Doesn't impact me in the slightest, since I don't own a PS3. Let's just hope making everything subscription based isn't a trend PC developers decide they should adopt.

TsunamiWombat:

Dudeakoff:
What the hell is 'premium' content?

The same stuff you need a gold account to get on XBLA likley- shiny new demo's, exsclusive wallpapers, etc.

Whenever a new demo or a new game comes out on XBLA, alot of times you need a gold account to download it for the first few weeks.

Paying for demos? That's almost as bad as paying for the avatar clothes on the 360.

Dudeakoff:

TsunamiWombat:

Dudeakoff:
What the hell is 'premium' content?

The same stuff you need a gold account to get on XBLA likley- shiny new demo's, exsclusive wallpapers, etc.

Whenever a new demo or a new game comes out on XBLA, alot of times you need a gold account to download it for the first few weeks.

Paying for demos? That's almost as bad as paying for the avatar clothes on the 360.

I have never paid for a demo. Timed exclusivity is different from actually paying for it. And there's enough basic avatar clothing to never need to actually buy any unless you really want to and even then it's dirt cheap. This is my personal experience speaking and your mileage may vary. I don't necessarily agree with them charging for the avatar stuff either but there's lots of places online that do that so it's hard to fault them alone.

Only going to say this once: BAD IDEA!!!!!!

As long as I can still play movies from my computer and download games I'll be cool. I could give 3 shits about online play and Home.

That's what i call taking people for imbeciles!

Jonny49:
As long as online play is free, I'm cool with it.

indeed, but whatever, i usually just play good SP games on the ps3.

I can deal with being without demos, it would piss me off though if i had to pay to access online play, but seems this isn't the case. I'd be interested to see how this 'premium content' definition develops.

just so long as I don't have to pay to download demos... that's about all I use it for anyway.

AceDiamond:

Dudeakoff:

TsunamiWombat:

Dudeakoff:
What the hell is 'premium' content?

The same stuff you need a gold account to get on XBLA likley- shiny new demo's, exsclusive wallpapers, etc.

Whenever a new demo or a new game comes out on XBLA, alot of times you need a gold account to download it for the first few weeks.

Paying for demos? That's almost as bad as paying for the avatar clothes on the 360.

I have never paid for a demo. Timed exclusivity is different from actually paying for it. And there's enough basic avatar clothing to never need to actually buy any unless you really want to and even then it's dirt cheap. This is my personal experience speaking and your mileage may vary. I don't necessarily agree with them charging for the avatar stuff either but there's lots of places online that do that so it's hard to fault them alone.

I just don't see why people would pay for Xbox live gold if not for the online play. All that would seem to do is piss off consumers by making what they have now worse for no reason except money grabbing. Of course, the Sony guy might be referring to new content on the horizon, but I don't see anything past, say, restricting certain new areas in Home.

Unless it's really interesting content, I won't be paying.

You see this? This is my wallet and in it are my money. You will never get this! You will never get this!

...Unless one day you get out of cage and get this :S

*Whew* It's still just premium content. I was almost scared.

I'm sorry to take issue, but I think you can read his words in another way:

We can also accept payment in a growing number of ways. In addition to single-payment packaged software, there are also schemes like monthly fees or per-item charges. I think this variety of payment methods will bring about a diverse range of playing methods, too.

Monthly fees could be TITLE SPECIFIC, i.e. MMO style. Note that the statement seems to be targeted at the software, title-oriented, not the network. There's nothing in those statements that seem to indicate the WHOLE PSN will come under a fee, or even tier itself like XBL.

Also, per-item charges ALREADY EXIST, on both networks. Did you download a Pirates of the Caribbean Sackboy costume for $1.99 or order the film editing pack for Skate2? Yeah, that's the same thing and in no way construable as a "monthly fee for PSN". As such, it indicates nothing about any future need to purchase PSN time.

There's also an excluded portion here. This sentence is in the original interview, right between the quoted parts:

We expect to see considerable growth in digital content, such as game download services, avatar items and the like.

Content focused response. No talk of the NETWORK requiring a fee. No indication that he's talking about anything that wouldn't be title specific. This could include a fee for dedicated servers as an option above free, non-dedicated servers. It could indicate paying to get a God button. It seems reasonable to conclude this may mean the use of alternate streams of revenue to pay for the online services INSTEAD of direct monthly fees. There's nothing there to forcefully conclude that "PSN Gold" is a "sooner or later" affair.

My main beef is with the first graf of the article. They _did_ use the monthly fees term, but a closer reading of the interview's actual statements does NOT indicate these fees are for the whole PSN or that it's a "sooner rather than later" issue. In fact, he's indicating that there are several options to reduce the follow-on operational costs of a title. ONE is subscriptions, and those subscriptions seem to have been left in the title domain, not the whole network. Just because they have it on the table shouldn't immediately validate the assumption that fees are a done deal, as the first paragraph seems to strongly argue.

Time will tell, certainly. I just don't think this language predicts a PSN Gold Membership level anytime in the next year or two. And no matter what, at least streaming Netflix will most likely always be free on PSN. Natch.

This is unclear and I'm still not that fussed. I reckon the subsidy the Microsoft get from the Live service is helping secure exclusives. As long as SONY use my moderately small online subscription for good I'm alright with it.

Someone already said it, but I'll echo it. As long as I do not have to pay 50 dollars a year to access the store to get new games, I do not care about it.

Oh crap. I love my Netflix and i just want to pay only $8 a month.

malestrithe:
Someone already said it, but I'll echo it. As long as I do not have to pay 50 dollars a year to access the store to get new games, I do not care about it.

What company would charge you money to be able to to buy things from them? The only reason I could think you're saying this is because you assume Microsoft is doing this on Xbox Live. That's not the case - you can use a non-paying Silver account to buy games and DLC.

I would guess that Sony will start adding expanded features that require some sort of membership level, just like Microsoft has with Netflix, last.fm, Facebook, and twitter. The first candidate for this will probably be universal voice chat, since that can come with some hefty overhead.

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