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Report: Sony to reveal premium PSN service at E3

Sources say sub-50 annual charge will enable a range of new online features

According to reports, Sony is set to reveal a premium PSN service at this year's E3, which will give users access to a range of new features for under £50 per year.

VG247 has said that the new pay-for service will offer a string of new features and that subscribers will be given one free PSN game from a choice of "two to four" every month.

"If you work it out, PSN games cost an average of £6-9 each, so over a year you're basically going to be breaking even," a source told the site.

They also revealed that a music streaming application similar to Spotify will be announced at the company's press conference on June 15. The application is thought to be able to run in the background while games are being played.

Access to the new features will cost "less than £50 per year" and their roll out reportedly won't affect the current service offered at all. That will continue with the premium model being an optional extra.

Rumours that cross-game voice chat will be saved as a paid feature are apparently not true - "I can tell you now, 100 percent, that that's not the case," said the source.

The report ties in with previous indications by Sony that it would be introducing an Xbox Live-like subscription model at some point in the future.

"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," Kaz Hirai told investors back in November.

He underlined then that multiplayer functionality, Home and other features that are currently free would remain so.

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Latest comments (6)

Stephen Northcott Senior Consulting Engineer 11 years ago

Assuming everything in this piece proves to be correct then EA could learn a thing or two from Sony.
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Joseph Marlow Blogger 11 years ago
Yeah this will happen. Less than 5 per month is an easy price point to swallow especially if it includes beta invitations and interesting extras.
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Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer 11 years ago
First they get you online then they cash in on you. Typical corporate strategy I must say. But at least it is a more decent model than that crappy EA $10 cash in cow on second hand markets
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Show all comments (6)
Shane Sweeney Academic 11 years ago
I'd rather Microsoft learn a thing or two from this.

This is great. I basically never play games multiplayer, but have dabbled for under 30 minutes maybe once every 3 months with Multi Player Street Fighter IV and even gave Fat Princess a bit of a go multi-player. I more do it, to "check it out" rather than go have a meaningful experience means so an annual subscription just wasnt worth it for me.

So having a teared system is a really good idea to monitize an Online system.
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Elikem Jubey11 years ago
*Insert "slippery slope" comment*

C'mon. You know you want to.
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Kevin Cameron Concept Artist/Illustrator 11 years ago
I know I do!

The consensus was in EA's favor back when they announced Project $10, and they are so quickly upping the ante for EA Sports. Something tells me that Sony is taking a calculated first step in a new direction. First, they get you comfortable for paying for services, even if it's just 'premium' content on a voluntary basis. Soon enough (like with a PS4), they'll just take it for granted that you'll pay to be online.

I don't mind so much. At least, conceptually - I know it costs money to run the servers for online entertainment. But when Sony/PS3 touts its free-online as a "value" and looks to erode that bit by bit (and call it premiums in the process!), then the value is inherently gone. So now it has to prove that its services are on par/superior to other pay models.
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