For me the major bombshell from E3 was that Sony are going to start charging to use their online gaming network. I’m not exactly why this sticks in my throat as much as it does, after all I’m already a PS+ subscriber and I can’t see myself giving it up anytime soon. I guess I just feel that making it mandatory somehow cheapens the great value I get from the service, anyway I digress...
Sony doesn’t just want your money, it wants MS not to have it.
I believe that at least part of the reasoning behind Sony’s decision to make PS+ mandatory for online play is to further define the living room battlefield. There is clearly money just waiting to be gathered from gamers in front of consoles, MS has shown this, but the question is how many subscriptions are gamers willing to pay for?
Historically this wasn’t even a factor gamers could have a PS2, Gamecube, and Dreamcast all lined up under the TV with no additional maintenance costs beyond the initial hardware. In our current console generation my real life friends are primarily PS3 gamers but several of them own Xboxes which were bought later with the justification that it was cheap and that Xbox Live is only a few £’s per month. Now that monthly cost for dual console owners has effectively doubled – two costs, two communities.
For some people this will be fine, $10 per month for two online subscriptions is hardly going to break the bank, but for some it will become a deal breaker and will force a choice between the Xbox One and PS4 – and I think this is exactly what Sony want. Choose a console and stick with it, more than one is going to be expensive
Personally I can certainly afford the subscription charges but paying twice just doesn’t seem value for money. The situation gets even worse when you factor in children and multiple consoles per household, all these charges will soon get out of control. One additional factor in Sony’s favour is that only one PS+ account is required per console which will enable all other accounts on the same console to play online
A lot of people are going to have to make a choice, and people will choose what they perceive as the best option. Right now we know that the PS4 is cheaper, more powerful, and is less restrictive than the Xbox One. It is overwhelmingly the more popular console coming out of E3 and by tying you up with a subscription Sony is tying up your loyalty and making the Xbox One less of an appealing potential secondary purchase, as the 360 was to my friends this generation.
So my question to all multiple console owners of this generation – how do you feel about having to pay multiple subscriptions? Is more than one too much to stomach?