PlayStation Network's free service could be stripped down, says Pachter

(GamesIndustry International) Sony is preparing for its biggest loss in company history and new CEO and former PlayStation boss Kaz Hirai is facing a steep challenge. What does this mean for Sony Computer Entertainment and the PlayStation business?

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NukaCola2383d ago (Edited 2383d ago )

The world may end, Chips taste good with a variety of dips, Rainbows could cause cancer, & Pachter is a tool, says me.

I mean what does this guy have in creditability that any random guy off the street has? It's just as if he states some random nonsense that could possibly happen. Up next "Xbox release a handheld, Sony invents a 4D gaming chair, Nintendo releases Mario on iOS." Wow, I'm good...

aCasualGamer2383d ago

Sony knows that if they start charging for online, they have no chance against the next gen xbox which will most certainly prioritize online gameplay over anything else.

Solid_Snake372382d ago (Edited 2382d ago )

Why? I know a lot of Xbox fanboys who keep telling themselves: it costs money so it must be good

lover20122382d ago (Edited 2382d ago )

looks at your name
i didn't expect much from "a casual gamer"

MmaFan-Qc2382d ago

peoples still care about what Patcher have to say?!??

really? even my little sister can do a better job at speculating bs.

rezzah2382d ago


Companies look to him as a unbiased source of analytic possibilities.

So basically they would pick over the intelligent sounding individual on the street.

This brings up the question how the hell did this guy fall into this job?

What are the requirements?

F7U122382d ago (Edited 2382d ago )

Why do people here keep approving this crap.

RememberThe3572382d ago

Sony will charge for a premium service next gen. I think the plan is to keep gaming free, but the added features and more would only be available to premium members.

Sony reps are already talking about it on the low and probably on purpose to get people used to the idea. But whether your used to it or not count on it happening.

BattleAxe2382d ago

If they start charging for features that are currently free, that will pretty much kill any shred of interest I might have with next gen consoles. I'll stick with my PC and Steam.

I bought a 360 about a month ago and decided to splurge and get a one year gold membership (something I said I'd never do lol), and my feelings about what the XBOX Live service offers is that it offers the exact same experience as the what you will find on the PS3 except it costs you money. I have wanted to try out some of the 360 exclusives online though, so while its actually been a good experience, its nothing to write home about.

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RememberThe3572382d ago

Patcher gives these predictions for the fun of it, thats it. His actual job is predicting earnings reports and apparently he's actually quite good at that.

SephirothX212382d ago

The fact is that Sony are in big trouble financially. That is not a fabrication but Sony fanboys pretend as though its not the case. The PS3 is my favourite console this gen but compared with Sony's projections, it has underachieved massively. That was mainly due to the Wii's success, the console's expense, launching a year after the 360, having an architecture that wasn't too dev-friendly and poor marketing. By the time the PS3 had picked up its stride in 2009, a lot of damage had been done with price cuts and many 360 owners didn't want PS3s because they became obsessed with their online profile and achievements. Free online and PS3 exclusives are the reason to own PS3s but the best games this gen imo have been multiplatform with their main value offline. Next gen will be very interesting but if Sony don't do better, I see them leaving the console market.

Persistantthug2382d ago (Edited 2382d ago )

Yet PSN keeps getting more FREE stuff.

Personally, I enjoyed my FREE STARHAWK beta.
Hopefully I get into the DUST 514 beta. I'm certainly gonna add it to my collection of FREE PSN games when the full game launches.....again, for FREE. :)

didn't PSN just launch a new Amazon video app on the FREE service?

Just Sayin.

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LX-General-Kaos2383d ago

With the Financial struggles that Sony face today, the man has a slight chance in being correct. Kaz himself said that he would have to make painful cuts to trim the fat and make profit for Sony at all cost. So PSN very well may have to lose a few things. I believe that I already read that Quore has been canned.

I think it would be smarter to actually beef up PSN and charge a fee like Xbox Live. It has been proven that the people are willing to pay, which grants Microsoft a complete profit from the service. I think the same success could be found on a Sony platform as well. I know quite a few people here would have to swallow some pride, but you will be doing your part to save Sony in the end. They need all the money that they can get.

Profit is already being made off of playstation home, so they were already on the right track with that. Cash flow is what will turn the financial struggle around. Not eliminating features.

Rated E For Everyone

xxLuckyStrike2383d ago

[email protected] that Sssssave Sonyyyy part..Cause you'll lose millions if they fold .. But you are correcto my man .. Next gen a lot of you will be paying for services like xbl.. Too save Sony... Lol

MySwordIsHeavenly2382d ago

There is a service that is MUCH better than Xbox Live and it's free. It's called Steam. Nobody who respects gamers is going to charge for online play.

Outside_ofthe_Box2382d ago

PSN is a strong selling point for the PS3 and I will not pay for PSN. I hardly play online anyway. The only games I played online religiously was KZ2. KZ3 got screwed over thanks to CoD so now I'm playing single player games. Probably the only thing I'll miss is the demos and the good PSN titles.

If Sony charges for PSN they won't be getting a dime out me. I don't care if they need it or not. Just as they don't care if I like online passes or not.

xxLuckyStrike2382d ago (Edited 2382d ago )

I'm sure they'll take the hit in order to make a profit.. Sony isn't dumb. Sony Corp have seen what microsoft gets away with MOST OF THIS GEN ( few exclusives, charge for online,ect) and still have mega sales expect them to join the party..Unless your blind Sony needs to turn this gens losses in to next gen profits.. Otherwise Your beloved Playstation brand will be closed out and they'll end up making games for Microsoft and Nintendo..

But I will say if Sony does charge for online next gen, Playstation guys and gals will benefit from it in return. You'll see even more quality and support. Now MS on the other hand hasn't given much back to faithful XBL subscribers. They just keep finding more was to get our money. I really wish they would funnel some cash flow to new ideas.. I'm halo and gears out..sure I'll buy one of them but
c'mon man.. And kinect lol please call me when it's 1to1 with killer apps

Outside_ofthe_Box2382d ago


I think you didn't read my comment correctly.


If Sony charges for PSN, fine I won't pay for it.

Sony looks out for Sony and I'll look out for myself.

Sony needs to make money by charging for PSN? Fine, they should do it. BUT I'm not going to pay for it as I feel I'll be getting ripped off.

mobhit2382d ago

....Because you work at Sony, right? /s

admiralvic2382d ago (Edited 2382d ago )

I expect to get a lot of heat for this comment (if anyone reads it), but Sony can save a lot of money just being smarter.

What do I mean by this? Well lets look at the ill fated PS Reward program. This started as a year long promotion where 2,000 people could earn points for doing stuff. If you did enough objectives over a month, then you would earn certain prizes.

Now how could this be bad? Very simple! The first month the PSN was down for the hacking stuff, so they gave all 2,000 members all 3 prizes. This included some useless junk and a copy of MLB 2011. Additionally to make up for the hacking and problems... they gave away a copy of Motorstorm Apoc too. At the time the TIV was like 30 at gamestop and the games were selling for 60. So theres 2 games worth 120 for free...

As the program progressed, they finally hit like 15,000 members. Last month they decided that because they couldn't award a beta, they would send everyone who earned it a copy of Resistance Collection and the last month, which included LBP 2 + Uncharted 3 and more was awarded to all 15,000 members.

Sure it's good press, but I don't know how anyone expected to make money giving away 15,000 prize packs. To give you an idea, each item had a ARV of 5, 10, 60 and 60... so thats a ARV loss of 2,025,000. Sure it doesn't cost them anywhere near what the ARV says, but the vast majority goes to the games that most people are going to sell as they already own or don't care for either title and simply support another company. This is also 15,000 more online passes that are out there to undermine the whole system. In the end simply killing crap like this would save a lot of money.

joeorc2382d ago (Edited 2382d ago )

"I think it would be smarter to actually beef up PSN and charge a fee like Xbox Live"

that's what PSN+ is exactly for!
save Sony..?
The Playstation part of Sony has already Steady PROFIT!
Keeping the [email protected] Gaming Service part free is a big advantage over the few advantages that over the past few years have been worn away that XBL has over PSN.

Just look at the PSVita already as what Sony is doing to make sure they stay in Profit. No large big red ink inducing extensive R&D expense going forward.

What happend to WindowsLive? that's right dead..the only place Microsoft was going to be able to charge for online gaming is or was through XBL, not saying its not a good service, But also on the same token Microsoft is now putting XBL embedded into Windows 8
Lets see how many of the mainly only PC gamer's go for that just like last time with WindowsLive.

with already Internet companies already putting broadband speed usage cap's on heavy use.Adding in one more internet expense ontop of one that already is getting more corp. hands being put infront of the gamers face for their cut, is frankly getting tiresome by some gamers.

Nintendo an Sony both may not have the Quote best online gamer service seen by some gamer's.The freemium model works for many companies already. an that's mainly what PSN is. a Freemium model is working very good it seems because Playstation div. has STEADY PROFIT! greed is one thing but already Sony charges more for online game's on the PSN store but also offer's ways to cut that cost for the gamer's to buy those games, sales an psn+ discounts.

if PSN already has steady profit, than it's about fixing what does not have steady profit. which was mainly the TV biz. over @ Sony!

there have been voiced opinion's that Sony "needs" to charge for PSN why not Nintendo "needs"" for their online service, how about "PC" needs to charge for online service? Simple the media an it seems some gamer's want another company to join Microsoft so there is competition for online.

Well Sony an Nintendo already is without needing the business model that Microsoft uses. If the benchmark for online gaming service is based on profit's to be how good it is well, fine an dandy. Sony and Nintendo an many PC gamer Networks see it quite differently. just because Sony see's what microsoft has been getting away with for the past few years does not mean they will jump into the pool.

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Megaman_nerd2383d ago (Edited 2383d ago )

I don't want to pay to play online, I'm already paying for the internet and the servers of the game in which you play come from the publisher's pocket not Sony or MS.

This is like me paying for internet and then having to pay to the manufacturer of the PC just to access youtube or N4G. What kind of BS is that?

ziggurcat2383d ago

i doubt that sony would start charging for PSN. it's a *huge* advantage over the competition to have free access to the online network.

Ilovetheps42383d ago

I agree that it was an advantage to Sony. I'm kind of surprised that Sony didn't use it more for advertising purposes. I mean I never really heard much about how PSN was free in their commercials or anything and I really think they could have milked that for more than they did in their ads.

LOGICWINS2383d ago (Edited 2383d ago )

I don't mind if they start charging as long as they add more features to PSN such as an unlimited video service with just Sony content(So they don't have to pay other studios to stream their content, thus keeping costs low).

It's like what Time Warner Cable has done. The prices have gone up...but they added On Demand programming. As long as I get value, I don't mind paying.

"I'm kind of surprised that Sony didn't use it more for advertising purposes"

Actually, they just did it...but recently. I believe it was the Street Fighter X Tekken commercial. It was the FIRST time I've seen them advertise "Game online for free".

Thats a HUGE mistake on Sony's part. Kevin Butler would have had a field day with an ad like "Dummy...its free...GET IT NOOOOW!!" LOL

LOOK_AT_THIS_I2382d ago

A Netflix streaming style for those titles would be awesome. Thinking of how many shows, music and movies have that little Sony logo somewhere in the credits. That would really boost the ps+ into more houses, the more options the merrier. I think the music unlimited would be a good addition as well to the ps+ features. Qore was always stupid as hell didnt mind seeing it go It was weeks/months behind content that could be found anywhere online.

cynosure2383d ago (Edited 2383d ago )

I think they will charge something for it next gen now that its almost on par with xbox live.They need that revenue badly and they could make some serious dough from it

Ilovetheps42383d ago

While I do understand what you are saying, I'm wondering how many people bought a PS3 for the free online. Because on one hand they would be making money by charging for online but on the other hand they are losing console sales for charging for online. Free online is one of Sony's advantages over Microsoft so I'm not sure how paid PSN would affect everything.

supremacy2383d ago

I think if you were update psn+ with exclusive content and apps things can and will gradually change.


I mean those who wanted will sign up to plus, while those that dont wont anyways.

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