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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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