Sony: Keeping PSN Totally Free On PS4 Would've Been "Absurd"
Most gamers fell in love with the PlayStation 4 at E3, but there was one piece of news that disappointed many.
It was the announcement that one must have a PlayStation Plus membership if one wishes to play games online. Obviously, this means that the PSN will no longer be 100% free, as it has been for several generations.
It's a sore spot for many gamers, but Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida tried to explain the reasoning behind the move. In speaking to Famitsu (as translated by Kotaku), Yoshida said it simply would've been "absurd" to keep the service free, considering the "large investment of resources" required for the online infrastructure. Bottom line- a lot of money is being spent.
"Considering the cost, to try to keep such a service free and consequently lower the quality would be absurd. We decided that if that's the case, then it would be better to receive proper payment and continue to offer a good service."
As of now, it costs you nothing to play games online via the PSN, but that's going to change. If you're already a Plus member, you're good to go (although you'll have to renew it annually); if not, you can pick one up for $50/year. This is basically the same as Microsoft's Xbox Live program, which charges $60/year to play online. However, as we've said many times before, Plus is an initiative that offers far more in the way of perks and bonuses. It's not just to play online.
Also, Yoshida explained that Sony wouldn't be abandoning the PS3 after the PS4 launches, which is expected. All PlayStation consoles to date have gone on to sell quite well after new hardware iterations arrived. Some of the PS2's most prolific years came after the PS3 was on store shelves.
6/27/2013 11:29:55 AM Ben Dutka