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The battle for your subscription money.

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?

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Valenka1808d ago

I'm not surprised, honestly. Nothing stays free for long. I think you're right though - Sony is definitely trying to divide and conquer and get people to choose one over the other. It's also rubbing me the wrong way, given the fact that the PS3 offered a free service as well; it's depressing to see that a paid subscription is now mandatory.

While it's still cheap for both of them, it's basically another bill to add to the list and you figure the average gamer probably has a smartphone and a tablet which is on average $60+/month plus their Internet service (prices vary), rent, etc. It does suck overall, but it's still mostly affordable.

I'm just wondering what PlayStation users are thinking about the mandatory paid subscription. 90% of the people I know who chose the PS3 over the 360 is because PSN was free. I'm curious as to see what will capture their attention (and wallet) now.

Games4M - Rob1808d ago

I think it stinks.

I agree with this blog. Sony has a slice of subscription based income and now they want the whole pie. I just wish they had found a different way to go about it because pay to play online is bullshit and im not going to be a hypocrite and say that its cool now.

PS+ is awesome. Im sure they could have sold it just off the back of free Driveclub and some decent marketing, making it mandatory is not consumer friendly which seems odd given their stance on the DRM and used game issues.

Valenka1808d ago

It does stink, completely. PS+ is worth it though, because look at everything you get with it. Xbox Live, you don't get any free games and those "rewards" points are held hostage until you accumulate a certain amount.

I think Sony should have just kept everything as is - those who wanted PS+ could have it and those who don't (for whatever reason) can just have the free service and miss out on the PS+ benefits lmao

darthv721807d ago (Edited 1807d ago )

I can see why sony did this. I had a strong feeling this would eventually happen but wasnt really thinking it would happen full bore. i initially thought their pay to play model would be more inline with better servers and game types while they still kept a free version that was a bit smaller and less featured. Meaning games that you played multiplayer for free had smaller player count or limited map access while the paid members got full access and bigger player count.

But this move shows that they saw the amount of $$ that Ms was generating with their all or nothing approach. It doesnt bother me as i am already a paid member so i see this as inclusive to my membership.

Now what MS is doing is changing things as well. They too will start giving free games to gold members. they too are opening up the notion of a single gold account can work for all other silver accounts on the same system.

So now, it looks like both have reached a level of parity with PSN still offering access to various apps that may still be behind the gold pay wall. so the free PSN users still get to enjoy some features for free. It would be nice if silver members were to have free access to the facebook and youtube and internet explorer apps.

things can change for both services depending on acceptance and market conditions.

s45gr321807d ago

I am a PS3 owner and PC gamer. I am pissed that for the PS4 you have to pay to play online. I hate to say it but man how I wished xbox live was not a success due to its success now playstation owners must pay to play online. I am sticking to PC gaming this upcoming next generation mainly because I dont have to pay a subscription service to get discounts and free games.


A good Idea Sony could use, Is later on in the PS4 Lifecycle they could offer the Multiplayer for free, but just restrict some of the best features that only PS Plus members have access to. And since it'll be later on in the PS4 lifecycle most people would be use to PS+ so most members would be hook, and wouldn't want to give up the free games, game invites, discounts, and other PS+ features. But hey, that's just my two cents.

Pillsbury11807d ago

BIG difference, one gives you free games and the other gives you access to the other half of your game.

theEx1Le1807d ago

No that is incorrect. One gives you free games and BOTH give you access to the other half of your game. Forget all the bells and whistles for a second, the bottom line is both are needed for multiplayer.

darthv721807d ago

now both will give you free games and access to the other half of your game.

Nicaragua1806d ago

If we want to split even more hairs then one gives you free games across 3 systems (PS3, VITA, PS4), and one gives you free games for one system (360), and both are needed for multiplayer.

Heavenly King1807d ago

With PS+ you have free games for 3 devices, online for PS4, tons of great features for PSVITA and PS3.

With XBL you only have online.

I wonder which is better. lol

Nicaragua1807d ago

The question being raised isn't which one is better, its would you be prepared to subscribe to two paid services.

Millard1807d ago

Not that I would ever consider buying an Xbox One,(Despite the fact I own three Xbox 360's)but you can't deny that Xbox Live is a far superior online service to PSN.

From my experience (I also own a PS3) XBL is just a much friendlier and smooth user experience than PSN. In fact, its so good that charging for it seems acceptable whereas my past track record with PSN has been far less satisfactory. The fact that PSN is an inferior service to XBL will make me seriously question whether I'm willing to pay for it or not despite the fact that I will certainly be purchasing the PS4.

The real question is how much better will PSN need to become before I feel that paying for online is justified the same as on XBL?

I haven't really seen anyone mention the quality of the services in all these debates only people harping on about the benefits of PS Plus.

Just something to consider.

theEx1Le1807d ago

I imagine that Sony will be updating PSN dramatically for PS4. The features they have announced alone would demand a better infrastructure.

You are correct though in what you say, a lot of the problems that Sony has with PSN just now they get away with because its a free service. I would think to ensure consumer confidence they will be doing a much better job now that its not.

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