PlayStation Network To Remain Free
One of the biggest advantages of the PlayStation Network is an obvious one: it's free. Xbox Live charges a fee, and as time goes on, the Network has gotten awfully close to the Live service in terms of robustness and overall options. Furthermore, with PS3 sales steadily rising and more and more people logging on to check out the Store, it begs the question: will Sony start to charge a fee? It will soon cost more to keep everything up and running...
But according to a Next-Gen interview with PlayStation Network director of operations Eric Lempel - also a frequent poster at the official PlayStation blog - it seems we needn't worry. Just because there are more registrants than ever doesn't mean Sony is looking to start charging; they're content with the way things are:
"Were happy with what were doing right now and were going to stick with it," said Lempel. "I think being free is always an advantage. The fact that its free is nice for consumers who want to try out the online experience, those who may be new to it and may not be ready to commit to spending dollars, and thats a really good message for us."
Obviously, Lempel would like to add that we can save our money for use on the Store, but hey, the service itself remains free. And as far as the foreseeable future is concerned, it's going to stay this way, and that's good news. Many Xbox 360 loyalists have always believed the free aspect of the Network was only a promotional gimmick to get people to sign up, and when they fleshed it out, the charges would begin, just like with Live. But it's not turning out that way, is it?
7/4/2008 Ben Dutka