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Sony exec: PlayStation Plus took off once we realized ‘gamers want games’ (interview)

Among active PlayStaion Plus subscribers, 97 percent describe themselves as satisfied or very satisfied with the service.
That number is up from around 50 percent from before the last E3. What’s different? GamesBeat turned to Jack Buser, PlayStation’s senior director of digital platforms, to find out.

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darthv721881d ago (Edited 1881d ago )

MS had improved the live service to a point where sony could not be up front in charging gamers to be a part of the PSN. That is the main basis as to why they made the statement that PSN would be free.

They never said they would NOT develop a paid membership service but obviously they had to figure out a way to make it appealing. The original idea was as a discount type of incentive. Where by content costing regular members would be $X then for paying members they would get it for $Y.

It was the first way to justify the membership. The next likely thing would be the give away program of titles that had been on the market but it came with a clause. They can proclaim these are "FREE" when they know it's not really FREE but free for the lifetime of the membership.

Makes sense because paying members obviously want something that differentiates them from the non paying members. Otherwise, what's the point? That one little part is left out of the context SO MANY DAMN TIMES it makes you wonder if these members actually know what their service provides.

Live aint no saint but at the very least it has been upfront about the service even when it started on the original xbox. I am a gold member but I am not a ps+ member. Should I choose to sign up for PS+ I would then be a paying member of their service and would expect new features to continue to be added (like live has been doing).

PS+ has made some great strides to equate itself to Live Gold. Believe it or not, that is the whole idea Sony had in mind. They could not charge for the features like cloud saves, auto downloads, auto trophy sync because those werent enough to justify people to sign up.

Both companies are after the same thing. The all mighty consumer $$. The perceived value in each service may differ but the bottom line is they are both membership driven. The difficulty about being a member of something is that once you are hooked, it makes it that much harder to simply walk away.

If you cancel your gold, you lose online play, netflix, facebook, other gold related features.

If you cancel your PS+ you lose the ability to play all the free games they give you (as well as the ability to play online if the game supports it), and other + related features.

Between the two, I'd say it may be easier to walk away from live (if you arent into multiplayer) but it sure as hell is impossible to walk away from PS+ (and lose all you have gotten for being a member). Not to mention both companies can change the terms of their service at any time.

So that could mean Sony making special members only levels for games. Members only maps. Members only home spaces. Members only servers. Pretty much making being a free member not as fun. MS could do the same thing.

Neither company is without the constant ideas of how to get more paying members to their service.

HeavenlySnipes1881d ago

PS+ is basically like Netflix. As long as you are a member you have access to all the movies/games they offer. They are not going to give them away to you because the games they are offering to you over the one year period costs much more than the subscription itself. I find it ridiculous that people believe its a rip off that you can't pay &50 and keep over $200 worth of games. Wtf?

Also, along with this, you get discounts on popular paid items (like for the new day one download feature the games cost under $55) and services like automatic downloads and cloud saving

PS+ along with regular PSN is far greater value than Live depending on what type of experience you prefer. Live is a better social service whereas PS+ offers more for people who regularly game on their system

Ben_Grimm1881d ago

@Snipes

I don't know where the idea of Live doesn't offer a good gaming service too. But you also get discounts and sales on Live games. Also you get get cloud services also.

Both services offer a great deal. Me personally I prefer Live and one of the reasons is the easy UI of course ther's others.

darthv721881d ago (Edited 1881d ago )

i should clarify something. If you cancel + you dont lose online play. You lose the games and the ability to play those games online if they were free.

@snipes. The netflix analogy, yeah that about sums up PS+.

+bub

HammadTheBeast1880d ago

What you get for being a member is everything Live offers, yet so much more in terms of content. When you unsubscribe, you get all that live has, except Cross game chat...

Pillsbury11880d ago

Bottom line is micro$oft is MAKING you pay for a service that is free everywhere else. I sold my 360 after finally realizing that m$ just likes to rape you of cash every which way. The argument saying xbox live is superior service is moot, there the exact same way to be able to connect to play online games. A lot of people make the argument about cross game chat being the huge difference but I have no problem connecting with friends and chatting with them in game on ps3.

supergravity1880d ago (Edited 1880d ago )

I can tell you're not a PSN+ member...

It plainly states if you cancel your membership, your "FREE" games will go away.

Get it?

pixelsword1880d ago

Yeah, I hate to admit it, but PS+ is a freakin' good deal. I still probably won't get it, but it gets harder and harder after each month to resist getting it. I am a supporter of net neutrality in the form of double-dipping (like pay to play multiplayer), but PS+ gives away games so it's not double-dipping; it's giving more than it takes. The games I probably wouldn't keep (games I would play through rental) makes it not very hard to walk away if I decide to leave.

I almost want to get it.

Almost.

Godmars2901880d ago

Only read part of your post, glossed over a few beginning sentences, but probably didn't need to go that far.

XBL is and has only been about online access and communication in and between games. You don't pay for it, you don't get access to features from games you often have paid full price for day-one which more and more rely on those features. All of the so called extras like Netflix and HBO, often come with additional and separate fees. You don't pay for access to XBL, They cannot be accessed though an Xbox.

Meanwhile PS+ was in its beginnings a gaming discount program which - surprise-surprise - offered discounts for certain minor titles sold on PSN. It also gave avatars, screen backgrounds and some really old or bottom of the barrel games out for free, with the restriction on the last that you had to keep paying for PS+ to keep play those "free" games.

Now however, its becoming more of a game rental program similar to Gamefly. But unlike that other service, when you continue to pay for it you continue to have access to all games you've accessed before, not just one or two on a mail que. You also continue getting extra perks like better consideration for betas and general early access.

The thing I'm trying to say in my own little and more substantive text wall, as opposed to your obvious attempt at repeating the same straw-man argument that's been said before, is that PS+ is more straightforward in what it does. It requires minor explanation and is optional to anyone who owns a PS3 or Vita.

Not justification for being technically required like XBL.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 1880d ago
solar1880d ago

97% of PSN members should get that extra for free. same with XB gold. you shouldnt have to pay more for buying hardware and wanting to go online with it.

pixelsword1880d ago

I agree with what you said, I'm not sure if you're talking about the PS3 having to pay to go online, because you don't have to pay to play; if they did, I'd be Wii/Wii U and PC exclusive instead of a Wii/PC/PS3 player (my Older brother has a Wii. It's actually pretty fun).

1880d ago
LOGICWINS1881d ago

"PlayStation Plus took off once we realized ‘gamers want games’"

They just realized this?

Qrphe1881d ago

Just realized this?
PS+ has been on fire for over a year now so no.

-GametimeUK-1880d ago

Well, it was the instant game collection that sealed the deal for me. Had no need to get PS+ before the IGC kicked off. That is just for me personally.

LOGICWINS1881d ago (Edited 1881d ago )

Apparently having a sense of humor on N4G is an issue. Relax guy. No one said anything bad about your PS+

pixelsword1880d ago

LOL!

Too bad Microsoft hasn't learned it yet though.

EDIT.

Dudes, he's making a joke; no need to bombard him.

JadedXGamer1881d ago ShowReplies(2)
-DanielBryan-1881d ago ShowReplies(2)
Jason_Tanner1881d ago

Sure I want games, but more importantly I want discounted games that will forever be mine more than free games that are only free as long as I pay you for PS+.

AznGaara1880d ago

You do get discounted games that are forever yours...

tiffac0081880d ago

Only the free games you get from the program will be locked once your membership expires but you can reactivate them once you subscribe again for PS+ membership.

Any discounted games are safe from this and you will be able to play them even when your membership expires.

darthv721880d ago

Azn and tiff are both correct. If you are paying $$ for a discounted game, it's yours. Its like that even if you arent a PS+ member as there are always sales going on for minis or other titles.

Maybe what your thinking about is if you were a member and now you arent. could you be able to purchase a discounted key to unlock the game that you had been playing for free?

That would be an interesting thing if they did that. Maybe down the line but for now its either be a paid member to play the game or not be a member and they sit on your hdd until you become one again.

Jason_Tanner1876d ago

AznGarra, tiffac008, darthv72, duh I realize that. I've been PS+ for a long time. I was simply saying that I enjoy the discounts more than the free games.

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