Sony Brings Up Monthly Fees Again

During an interview with Nikkei Japan, Sony's CTO Masayuki Chatani touches on the growing number of ways the PlayStation 3 has to accept payment, including the dreaded "monthly fees".

Last month during a Sony investor presentation, the company made mention of a potential subscription service for the PlayStation Network. While there's still nothing to announce on that front, Chatani once again brings up the possibility of monthly fees while discussing the cost of maintaining the PlayStation Network.

Servers and the like have running costs, and we would face difficulties if our business depended solely on the sell-and-forget model. After we sell the hardware, though, we continue to sell products such as content and services. We expect to see considerable growth in digital content, such as game download services, avatar items and the like. We can also accept payment in a growing number of ways. In addition to single-payment packaged software, there are also schemes like monthly fees or per-item charges. I think this variety of payment methods will bring about a diverse range of playing methods, too.

It doesn't sound to me like Sony would be charging for the PlayStation Network as much as they would be offering additional services and content on top of what players already get for free on PSN. Of course that's merely speculation.

Would you be open to paying a small monthly fee for easy access to downloadable content and items, or would you prefer to pay as you go?

PS3, PSP Made Smaller, Lighter to Capture New Customer Segments [Tech-On via CVG]


Comments

    Just so long as it doesnt turn into another xbox live.. I was a Gold Subscriber, but let that expire over a year ago and now do my playing online via the PS3 (it wasn't a conscious decision to fight Mr Gates, I just never renewed and havent bothered cause the PS3 lets you play for free..)

    In the U.S. they already have QORE which is kinda like a monthly subscription and it gives you bonus PSN games sometimes. Something like that wouldnt bother me.. I might even be tempted, but the concept of them making you PAY for something that is free now would be disheartening.

    I would much prefer to pay as I go -- unless paying a monthly fee opened up new services, such as video on demand (in Australia), or if it made cheaper items in the store actually free.

      Wouldn't be so much as free then would it?

      I guess i am used to Xbox Live and therefore it doesn't bother me. It would be great to not have to pay, but the past 3 years, i've only purchased it 3 times. Those 3 times, i've got the 12 months for only $50 and all for Xmas and not out of my pocket.

      If Sony's fee wasn't to be able to play online and was a fee for other things, then they gotta be very BIG and pleasing things. That video service someone mention is an okay idea, but one would assume you will still need to spend points on top of that fee.

    I doubt they'll get away with it easily. They'd have to add a lot of extras to please a number of customs whom will most likely refuse to pay a subscription for a service that they originally had for free.

    Sorry but no, pay as you go is a better idea. Sonys backtracking on what they promised...

    Why dont they let the gamers hire some of those servers, just like how gamers on PC have servers that PC Gamers play for free?

    If they are really genuine about the costs of servers.. than they wouldnt be thinking about charging people. So obviously the main reason is to milk more money out of ps3 owners just like the xbox live is to their users.

      They could let advertisers pay for it. There's so much advertising in games now anyway, might as well get something out of it.

    Why arent these company blatant attempts on milking more money from your wallets bother you???

    have you been desensitized from all that xbox live bullcrap subscription fees?? Why are all the new generation of gamers dont care that they are paying more for less.

    especially in todays financial climate, it is not okay to get ripped off.

      It doesn't bother me that Sony is considering other ways to generate income, since I know they are a struggling company profits-wise across pretty much allof theiroperations.

      Plus, if I had a PS3 and they offered a monthly subscription fee where I would get, say, 2 downloadable games and a theme or something (I don't really know what you DL on PS3, sorry) for a constant cost of about 1.5 DL games, I'd consider that a fair trade for them to generate a consistant income from me.
      So there is such a thing as a subscription model which is NOT aripoff.

        With MS managing to get >20 million current subscribers, you'd be stupid not to charge. I came in with eyes wide open on the charges, but as I was primarily attracted to XBLA games the discounts I get as a gold subscriber pay for the service.

        So really my addiction to casual games subsidises my Halos. :3

    I love playing online and XBL has it over PSN any day of the week. Pay peanuts.... you get monkeys. Simple. The XBL subscription fee isn't even worth moaning about, it's a great service for bugger all cost and in my house at least.... runs perfectly.

      Yep agree. XBL subscription you can now get for about $50 online. Divide that over 12 months and it's only less than $5. People pay that much in coffees a day so I don't see it as such a big deal.

    Pay as I go. I don't know why Xboxers put up with it, monthly fees aren't a nice thing to have especially if you don't use half the crap they offer.

    Also, it's like an MMO, you could pay a monthly fee but if you have a life or prefer not to sit in front of the same game every day (or in this case, the same console every day/all day), it's a waste of money.

      XBL isn't a monthly fee, it's a one off annual fee which is bugger all if you divide it between every day of the year.... it's like $6 a month, 21c a dayish. If you think of all the crap we buy on a daily/weekly basis, it's nothing at all. It just comes straight off the credit card without having to organise resubscription every year. Only scrooges would care about such a little cost to keep a great service great.

        Sure its a small fee, but its a fee that should not be paid in the first place. If the government introduced Air tax wouldn't that be rediculous?

          It's their business model. It pays for the resources to keep the service running. This is the problem that Sony is facing. It's good for consumers but it's probably hurting Sony financially at the same time (i.e. loss). As a business you want to avoid losses ;)

            well said francis and you're exactly right. It's got me how people think all these services should run for free and now that sony are thinking that maybe the whole free online thing wasn't as great as they thought just proves that it's not that viable. I'm happy to pay for a quality online service as the PSN is crap compared to XBL.... and like I already said.... it costs 21c a day, if that's worth crying about then maybe you should give up gaming altogether, save ALL your money and have a boring-arsed life.

    Why should we pay for the PSN when the quality sucks

      Indeed because PSN allows you to play online games, download DLC and view extras such as ABC Iview.

      What else is missing... smell o' vision? Oh wait neither of the services have them.

        Online gaming is free on all platforms bar X360, near everything on Playstation Store you have to pay for (Hence 'store'), iView is meant to be free... having it on ps3 is just having a link to a browser page. Home is supported by purchasable clothing etc, vidzone is supported by ads.

        So that leaves... trophies, messaging
        ...
        ...
        Can't think of anything else. Nice features though not worth paying a subscription for, not by a long shot.

        I understand that your a Sony fanboy and you wanna defend your PSN service (as i defend paying for XBL). But no matter WHO you are - people have to admit that XBL is by far more superior.

        It gets the exclusives, helped by Microsofts bank account of corse. But its much easier to understand and search for content. The numbers prove that more people play on XBL than the PSN but i would say majority of those would say because XBL offers them a better experience than the PSN. The money we spend is given back by making it a great service to use. I'm not saying the PSN ISN'T a great service to use, but MS do offer much more in return than what Sony do for their service. I would question how much MS give back - they COULD and SHOULD give back a lot more - but take what you get.

        I own a PS3 and have pleasantly played games through the PSN. But i have also had terrible experiences. I've had my fair share on the XBL too but more enjoyable times nonetheless.

        Now i don't care much for the PSN - i have never purchased anything through the service and don't plan too. Not even for the small amount of games i own for the PS3. So having a fee wouldn't bother me cause i wouldn't PAY for it. 360 is primary and the PS3 secondary.

        No doubt the PSN would want to be cheaper than XBL in order to attain some of its numbers. The point i'm making is however, XBL isn't expensive. Some may laugh - but in reality, i laugh at those who don't think of shopping around. It's easy to get 12 months for $50 and thats NOTHING for a years worth of online gaming. PC Gaming isn't necessarily free neither. You pay for the internet. Not only that, majority of PC games require an internet connection to install. Now there aren't many families WITHOUT the internet these days, but c'mon! Seriously!

        I would encourage Sony to introduce a fee, only to their benefit. Profit and make their service, well greater. Perhaps THEN i MAY consider it, but i still find that unlikely.

    PAYG is the best way to do it. I don't anticipate them charging to play games online as thats one of the biggest selling points of the PSN- it's free.

    Sounds like they'll charge a subscription fee for these so-called 'premium' services, but I don't anticipate me wanting them. Online gaming is all I want out of the PSN, and games I d/l from PSN, its simple to just pay then and there.

    If I suddenly had to pay for it, I wouldn't use it. Demos and movie trailers are all advertising anyway. I shouldn't have to pay sfor someones ad\marketing. Vidzone has commercials, just like every gaming site and alike. It non intrusive and works, I see this as a much better solution.

    I think its pure numbers, there isn't enough PSN users to break the cost even. Nintendo aren't having a problem because they have the users.
    XBL gold is a farce, so no comment.

      LOL
      I don't think Nintendo's online service "has the users". I would love to see the numbers to shut me up, but i don't think that would happen. The Wii just IS NOT an online gaming machine like the 360 or PS3 is. I COULD be wrong, but i could be right. Just because the Wii has sold so many consoles, i wouldn't say its online service is thriving. It's a family/child targeted console and just doesn't scream ONLINE PLAY!

    NO!
    NO PSN FEES!

    i would rage. I hate paying for things that should be free. Paying money, whatever amount, just adds another level of frustration to things, and i would lose one of my main points against all the Xbots i know

      yeah that's it PSN..... keep it free and running like crap. I'll stick to XBL thanks.

    Paying to play games online is wrong in my opinion. I have an XBOX 360 and I only play offline because I fundamentally disagree with being charged any kind of fee for the right to play games online. Coming from PC gaming, I've been quite used to playing without any additional fees. I don't subscribe to the excuse that we pay for our internet so its OK to pay more to play online. Our internet connections are not only used for online gaming. It's a service we pay for just like our telephones and cable TV.

    I'm sure that the XBL is a fantastic experience that will change my life forever were I to ever use it, however I'm willing to put up with the PSN because they have it right, no charge to play online. If you want other content you pay for it and that's fine but paying simply for the right to play in an online environment just doesn't make sense. If Sony start charging for online play then that's the end for console gaming for me.

      you sound poor

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