A lot of questions are being asked by the fans on the caveats of the PlayStation Plus requirements for multiplayer with the upcoming PS4, and Sony Worldwide Studio President Shuhei Yoshida provided some straight answers as part of a wider interview on the Japanese gaming site Game Watch.
First of all Yoshida-san was very clear in reassuring customers that “multiplayer on PS3 and PS Vita will remain free of charge” as it is now, then he moved on to explain the reasons behind the move towards a required subscription model for the PS4.
We’re focusing on new services and online, like the “Share” button I previously mentioned and the ability to play using mobile devices with the cloud feature. Our plan is to continue to invest in the future, but investing like this is not compatible with our previous policy that involved reducing costs by every mean to keep the service free.
He also went as far as to apologize for placing an additional cost on the customers’ wallets:
I apologize for the financial burden on our users, but on PS4 it’ll also provide early access to beta versions, free games and discounts like on PS3 and PS Vita. In addition to that PS Plus members will receive for free a special edition with slightly reduced functions of DriveClub.
Interestingly enough he made sure to specify that not all online functions will be closed to those that will decide to opt-out from subscribing to the PS Plus services.
While direct competition in real time won’t be possible [without PS Plus] for instance in the case of DriveClub, asynchronous online gameplay and receiving data from other players will still be free of charge.
Finally, he was asked if players will need a PS Plus subscription to play MMORPGs like Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and The Elder Scrolls Online:
You will need it to enjoy online multiplayer.
This will also depend on the judgement by the publishers, and there will be some free to play titles that you’ll be able to play without needing a PS Plus subscription, like PlanetSide 2 and DC Universe Online.
That’s quite a lot of interesting info from Yoshida-san, that has definitely been very vocal lately. Our very own Chad thinks that it’s ok to pay for online multiplayer; how do you feel about it?