PS3 News: Is Home A Catalyst, Will Sony Charge For "Premium" Network? - PS3 News

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Is Home A Catalyst, Will Sony Charge For "Premium" Network?

As we all know, one of the more appealing traits of the PlayStation 3 is the free Network, which only requires a simple sign-up subscription and not a single solitary dime of your hard-earned money. And given the huge strides the Network and Store have taken in the past two years, this has become even more of a bonus.

Furthermore, Sony has continually said that PlayStation Home will be free, but there is the possibility that such an innovative and ambitious application could be grounds for future pondering at Sony...is now the time to start charging? Before, one could almost consider the free Network to be a sales gimmick, designed to entice gamers away from the far more popular Xbox Live. However, with the PS3 rapidly gaining ground and the Network holding almost as many active accounts as Live (depending on which source you use, this may not be accurate), Sony doesn't really need such a gimmick, anymore. On top of which, with projects like Home and other additions to the Network and Store, someone somewhere will naturally want more compensation for their efforts. We're already hearing talk about Premium items for the Store; items you pay for with real money, whether they be fancy new clothes for your avatar or a new couch for your Home living space. So the question is, how much longer is it before Sony decides to offer a Premium Network subscription?

We believe this is the next step Sony will take, although it may not be for at least another year or so. They won't go and start charging everyone for Network access, but they will eventually have something like Live's Gold membership. We assume, though, that unlike Live, Sony still won't charge you to simply play online. They'll charge you for access to certain "Premium" things, and one day, Home may be one of them. We're just preparing you for what we believe to be inevitable, although we hold Sony to their insistent claims that the Network is free and will continue to be free. Playing online for free, no matter which way you slice it, is a leg-up on the competition, so we don't see Sony tossing that away. We do, however, recognize them as a business that wishes to make money, and the next step seems logical to us...

12/6/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (40 posts)

Phoelix
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 11:18:52 AM
Reply

If they charge for Home, I won't be purchasing it. I'm in the beta, and, while it's really cool, I don't want to have to pay for it.

But who knows if they'll actually charge for it? Sony's business model the last couple of years has seemed to aim at producing a superior product and not so much at marketing it competitively. While Microsoft was rushing the 360 to market to sell more consoles, Sony was making the PS3 cost more with the Blu-ray drive.

I'm not so sure that Sony is concerned with squeezing every last dime out of their services, myself.

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Joe_III
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 4:59:04 PM

Not quite...The reason Sony waited a year for the PS3 is really because they didn't have a standard for Blu-Ray yet. And we all remember what has happened to the last bastion of hi-def hardware that never got a good standard -- DVI...

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eaglebaize
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 11:45:15 AM
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Meh, I like home and think it's full of potential, but it won't kill me if I don't use it because of some subscription fees. As long as we can do everything (obviously and especially the online play) that we can now without having to pay (other than buying stuff on the PSN store), I'm happy.

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JPBooch
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 11:54:34 AM
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I dont think that is necessarily the case. Home could have enough advertising in it to keep it going. Just look at what Burnout has done with its advertising money.

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dillonthebunny
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 12:23:47 PM
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I doubt they will charge for home and if the rumour is true about trophies being equal to credit, that would be very very cool.

but on the beta you purchase items through your psn
..yes it comes out at 0.00p but still, it might as well be 50p or £1..

:-/

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kreate
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 12:28:26 PM
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the only reason y game companies are considering charging for these online crap is cuz there's so many dumb ppl who pay for xboxlive.

the success of xboxlive inspires other companies to charge for premium online services, a practice i think is bull but microsoft was successful with their propaganda schemes.

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Zeppo
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 12:44:31 PM
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Or in a couple years m$ will start seriously losing ground to sony in both sales and online users, and will stop charging for live to try to retain it's user base. Then it will seem unwise for sony to start charging for the network.

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kreate
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 8:09:22 PM

the way microsoft works, they'll never 'not charge' for their xboxlive

if ppl stop paying, than MS would juss dump the 360 and go with their 720.

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ThePoetRazel
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 12:45:06 PM
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Add-on content, downloadable games, Qore, ect. These are the premium content. I doubt Sony will be adding a charge for the services, only adding to and extending the premium content that we see today.
Sony is a business, yes. But the reason so many customers consider it a great company is it's ethic and goals. Sony seem to want to create the best console on the market and having a free network is a large step towards it. If the PS3 was a lot cheaper i'd liken it to the Clipper lighter (might not get that in the US).

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Cuetes
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 1:07:09 PM
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If you notice you never see an add for the network being free on t.v. Maybe they are testing the waters before they jump in, or maybe just drawing us i to drop the greed bomb. Either way I feel that for as much as I spend on Sony that network better stay free ( seriously Im in the thousands) As far as home goes I think its potential for revenue is obvious by any one in the beta.

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Detroyer 1250
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 1:31:59 PM
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If they start charging for online goodies like home, i will be extremely mad and will not purchase them. I hope the network will always stay free like sony continues to say!

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Saber1989
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 1:50:16 PM
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They started with premium themes which i think is bull, but premium DLC like Street Fighter 2 game is worth it, but not Wallpapers, demo, or themes. The DLC i think depends on the game like LBP sometimes offer free costume more often then selling them. so here to hopefully keeping it free for the next century or at least while i m still alive after that I dont care lol

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Veritas Vincit
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 3:07:38 PM
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I think that they will get enough revenue from third party people wanting to pay to advertise within home, that is probably why they are not charging the gamers.

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Cavan
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 3:29:24 PM
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This is somthing that you have mentioned before ben, why i respect all of your opinions, i do think you are wrong, i dont think sony will start charging for online play in anyway or form, that is sony's edge in the market, and i dont beleive they will give that away, they will fund the network in the way they said they would, through Home, through buying extra items in home, and through advertiseing on the virtual billboards, but hey guess we'll have to wait and see.

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Cavan
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 3:29:28 PM
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This is somthing that you have mentioned before ben, why i respect all of your opinions, i do think you are wrong, i dont think sony will start charging for online play in anyway or form, that is sony's edge in the market, and i dont beleive they will give that away, they will fund the network in the way they said they would, through Home, through buying extra items in home, and through advertiseing on the virtual billboards, but hey guess we'll have to wait and see.

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Scarecrow
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 3:38:07 PM
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:(

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tlpn99
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 3:38:52 PM
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If Sony started charging for Home, I would not use it anymore period. If Sony starts charging for the network. I wont use it period.

I don't use the Xbox Live Online Gold membership. I download the demos off the silver as it is free and I am more than happy to do this.

Why should we as customers pay Microsoft or Sony (or in some cases both, as some of us have both consoles like myself) be lining their pockets ?

I would simply not play online anymore. It's as simple as that.

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Sir Shak
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 3:46:44 PM
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i dont agree with you on this ben . i think home is going to earn enough revenue to sustain itself solely through advertisements .
developers will realise that it is the easiest way to reach their target audience . obviously it will be cheaper than conventional media campaigns , and as everyone on home would be a gamer it means everyone viewing would be a potential consumer . therefore guaranteeing a high return on investment .

Last edited by Sir Shak on 12/6/2008 3:48:56 PM

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Joe_III
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 3:48:23 PM
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Hm...PSN Live Gold? I'll probably pay for it if I can afford it. I'm enough of a whore that I keep my XBL Gold account simply so I can get all those free downloads a week earlier than the Silver members...I rarely play online.

If I wasn't such a weak man, I'd probably pass.

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Jackyl
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 5:14:29 PM
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Well there is one main reason I think (hope) Sony won't start charging for "premium services" such as Home. The economic climate which is in recession and according to economic analysts we will be in for the next two to three years. Starting to charge for that which was free in the middle of a recession would probably alienate many users.

I'm also in the the Home beta and as it is right now (the beta and my financial situation) I could not justify paying for a monthly premium service to access Home.

Paying for premium DLC is fine by me. I'll occasionally pay for the odd premium DLC (mainly Rock Band tracks) but I've never been one to pay for monthly services for gaming.

On a side note, it'll be interesting to see how any MMORPGs that might come to the PS3 would do. As well as how currently established MMORPGs, such as WoW & Warhammer, will do as we tighten our purse strings. Will they simply lose members or will they try what other MMORPGs have done and allow free membership but charge for premium items and access to premium areas.

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Shatterday
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 5:30:35 PM
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Yeah I totally wouldn't pay for home. I don't think they'll do it though. They'll probably just use the stores and everything to rake in cash. I hope they have a Good Will.

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TGG
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 6:02:25 PM
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I don't really know why some people think that a free network is a gimmick. They get plenty of revenue from advertising on PSN.

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BlinkBoy
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 6:50:02 PM
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They are making enough money on PSN already so they just have to keep doing what are now, since it is free more people are willing to pay for the content on the store.

But a premium account inside of Home is of course very much possible, if it is a market for it, it will come for sure.

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djjake
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 7:51:08 PM
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its to much of a high point for them to loose

bragging that the network is free has made alot of people i know get a ps3, loosing that will loose customers interest of seeing an advantage

the way i see it is ps3 = everything in 1 (wifi, network ect)

xbox = bare and have to buy add ons like wifi and pay for live which drains your money

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CH1N00K
Saturday, December 06, 2008 @ 8:56:43 PM
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If they're going to start charging for stuff on the newtwork, they're going to have to make it worth while. Sure PSN has come a long ways in the last couple of years, but it still has a long way to go. If they started asking for money for the selection they have now, I would easily go back to playing offline again. They still have a ways to go to make it worth my money to shell out for monthly or yearly subscriptions.

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Aerifale
Sunday, December 07, 2008 @ 6:04:13 AM
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As long as they keep online pay free i won't get too bothered if they charge for premium stuff

i do hope we use home for free though so heres hoping

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Zorigo
Sunday, December 07, 2008 @ 8:40:39 AM
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i wouldn't pay for home. it seems like habbo. and paying for habbo is sh*t to me

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N a S a H
Sunday, December 07, 2008 @ 11:21:58 AM

That's what I thought too but when you play it and roam around it's nothing like Habbo Hotel. It's much better but I don't see why they would charge for it. All it is, is a tool which makes PS3 easier to use and interact with people in a different way.

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Fraggle79
Sunday, December 07, 2008 @ 11:01:12 AM
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If they start charging to play online, im selling my PS3.

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N a S a H
Sunday, December 07, 2008 @ 11:20:29 AM
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Everyone is saying XBL is so expensive blah blah.

IMO it's 55 euro a year. That's the price of a standard game so I don't mind having excellent online services if it means i get one game less a year. If live was 80 euro a year I'd still pay for it.

I appreciate that PSN is free but if a premium came out which gave better services to people then I would pay for it. I don't see how it can work though if you don't have to get it to play online. How can you release a patch for people who have premium and those who don't? People WILL start to complain.

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Scarecrow
Sunday, December 07, 2008 @ 2:52:53 PM

wow....

It saddens me to see someone justify paying for something they shouldn't be paying for.

And for something you can find for free somewhere else.

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Reccaman18
Sunday, December 07, 2008 @ 8:56:30 PM

It doesnt matter if you have a premium network or not, a patch can be released to anyone. Im not sure how exactly you are not getting that.

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crapreviews
Sunday, December 07, 2008 @ 4:25:55 PM
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I know if they offer some things in HOME as a pay price I would probably end up buying some things as long as those things were really worth the purchase and not just something lame. also the price would have to be decent too.

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Booshwa
Sunday, December 07, 2008 @ 10:14:46 PM
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I don't really use the network that often except to talk to friends and play online sometimes. If they want to start charging then Sony should throw in some big bonuses like Qore and maybe a free cheap game or movie rental each month.

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Gabriel013
Monday, December 08, 2008 @ 1:22:37 AM
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I cancelled my LIVE subs after the first 2 years because of lack of value and I wouldn't pay any subscription to Sony either. Get other companies involved and fill up on advertisements. Keep it free for the gamers.

There is already too much overpriced dlc on the network that should be MUCH cheaper.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, December 08, 2008 @ 2:14:27 AM
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I'm sure it's fun but ain't nobody gonna pay for it.

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PS3_Wizard
Monday, December 08, 2008 @ 8:39:13 AM
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id pay, stop acting like you are all broke...you do have the most expensive console out right now. as long as it isnt more expensive than a $60 game, whats the fuss? You mean to tell me you will buy a $400+ console and not buy a $60- game (home)? Jeez...broke people these days....

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Arvis
Monday, December 08, 2008 @ 1:54:56 PM

*laughs*

Yeah, why do you THINK we're all broke? ;)

Seriously, though, I got my PS3 as a gift when I graduated college.

-Arvis

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Thinker
Monday, December 08, 2008 @ 1:01:35 PM
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My opinion is that Sony won't charge for Home (not speaking out of any misplaced optimism here, just logic). As it is, Home offers Sony an avenue for extensive advertising to gamers and potential ad revenue from other vendors and games houses. As such, I don't think charging for usage of these would make much sense for them.

Last edited by Thinker on 12/8/2008 1:02:27 PM

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Sops
Monday, December 08, 2008 @ 6:56:41 PM
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If sony does charge for online they will lose many customers.. I have a weird observation but if they do charge nintendo may gain lots of people to play. But in the other hand. Were paying 60.00 a year for xbox live. That should lower the prices of games down a little. I mean 3 games is 180.00 right there. Its just downright crazy.

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