Earlier today, the folks over at Destructoid reported that Sony was planning on generating revenue from a new subscription model on the PlayStation Network. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. It was bound to happen sooner or later, especially being that it can potentially rake in some big bucks for Sony. So, yes, the PlayStation Network will eventually go the route of Xbox Live in the near future. However, the best news about it is that, unlike Xbox Live, Sony isn’t going to charge you a dime to play online. A sigh of relief for us all.
Kaz Hirai, the head honcho of Sony Computer Entertainment, gave a brief synopsis of what Sony’s plans are with regards to the subscription service, saying “SCE will further increase sales by offering users new entertainment through the combination of hardware, software, peripheral and PlayStation Network. 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.”
Is this a bad thing? Personally, I don’t think so. The issue with Xbox Live isn’t the fact that they offer a subscription service. The problem is that they are offering a subscription service to play online when 99.9% of the games played are not using any of their dedicated servers but a P2P system which, in the end, doesn’t really justify what you’re paying for. Many argue that Xbox Live does offer a superior online experience when compared to the PlayStation Network. Slowly but surely, however, the PSN is providing these online features to PS3 owners through consistent updates.
The most important feature for Sony to keep free of charge is the online feature – that’s what online players care about most. I am pretty interested, though, in seeing what kind of subscription services they will offer, for how much, and what they will entail. Soon enough, we’ll find out. And bet your ass that I will be on top of this news like white on rice.