Sony Survey Says Premium PSN Subscriptions Under Consideration

A survey sent from IPSOS Online Research indicates that Sony is considering premium subscription plans for the PlayStation Network, detailing potential prices and premium services, including full-hour game trials, free access to PSOne Classics, and cross-game voice chat.

Reader Brenna sent us PDF files containing the Sony survey, which begins with the following bit of text:

Sony is considering offering a premium PlayStation Network subscription in the future. The subscription offering would provide new premium features you could choose to pay for and are in addition to the features currently available for free such as access to online multiplayer gaming (current features would remain free).

Following the introduction is a series of definitions of terms such as Token Wagering - a set number of tokens given to subscribers per month that can be used to be on games and exchanged for PSN content - and Cloud Storage Space for Games, which would allow players to save their game online rather than on their hard disk, protecting their data.

Other notable services listed as potential premiums include loyalty reward programs, automatic updates, member-exclusive Facebook Connectivity, an online music service and music video service, Hulu TV catch-ups, member-only game content, discounts, demo-sharing (sharing exclusive member-only demos from your full games with friends), and Netflix without a disc.

By far the most attractive premiums are full title trials, which give the user one-hour access to full PlayStation 3 games, and free access to PSOne Classics, PSP minis and premium themes.

The list also indicates that some eagerly awaited features could be subscriber only, such as cross-game voice chat. Having waited so long for the feature, I doubt fans would be particularly happy to have to pay for it.

The chart below details four potential plans, with three costing $US69.99 a year or $US9.99 a month - more than an Xbox Live Gold subscription, and one running $US4.99 a month and $US29.99 a year.

We've contacted Sony for comment on the survey, but have yet to hear back as of press time. Just keep in mind that companies regularly test the waters by sending out questionnaires like these, and they by no means represent any concrete plans on Sony's behalf.

It seems as if they simply want to gauge customer reaction to the various plans and features. Your reactions, please?


    I don't see anything there worth paying a monthly subscription fee for. So long as gameing online remains free I'll take that option.

    I'm not going to be paying for say option 4) early access to Betas or Free 1 hour trials. these options are basically demos and if Sony had any sense would include them free to get users interested in the PSN

    A devout Playstation fanboy, i have to say the PSN is good for a free service, but not worth s*** on a subscription model. If Sony is serious, IMHO they should start bankrolling exclusives for the PSN, and offerings classic games other then shovel ware like Peter Pans awesome adventures in homo erotic fan fiction and Whiney the pooh (Don't get me wrong Whiney the pooh is awesome, but come on, a system that sells it's self as adult and mature only just releasing classics like FF VIII, however many weeks after it was released on other stores? retarded)

    Sony should look at fixing the psn, making it a system people can't live without, then start charging for it. As it is, I'm not paying a cent for what they have offered, nothing i see on the above list is worth money to me, sure it'd be great to have, but i can just as easily do without it.

    That seems like an awful lot of money for something that likes to drop out every now and again while I am playing Uncharted 2 resulting in me being fined for not completing the game, when it's not my fault.

    Plus a whole bunch of other stuff that I don't even attempt to access now. Yes I am the last person on earth without a Facebook account. Premium themes? Like the ones you get with the 360 that hold the untold disappointment as you wait for them to download. Meh I don't need them, I have a nice wallpaper of Soap MacTavish.
    And I will not pay to talk to people, be insulted or otherwise harassed, that's Live is for. Geez, what a crock.

    Sounds good at first glance, but when I think about it, it's a waste of money. Most options I wouldn't use, though may be convenient to have (just because you can) but dont need the premium themes, loyalty programs, or facebook at my fingertips.

    Therefore, I wouldn't want to get any of these options.

    You know, that's cool. As long as they're letting you game online without paying (which I believe Silver XBL accounts don't get) then everything else is paying for extra. I probably wouldn't bother with it, but good on them for finding new stuff to charge for instead of just wacking a fee on the existing setup.

    where is the option for "go and get fucked $ony!!!!!"
    i paid full price for my console and the promise was free updates. this is a huge kick in the guts for early adopters. or really anyone who bought before the slim came out. this is absolute bullshit. this has been talked about in forums a fair bit the past week or so and i am in a majority here when i say, my 2ps3's would go straight up on ebay along with my 30+ games. ps3 would die a very fast death if they were to introduce crap like that. you cant change the rules in the middle of the game!

      they can apparently. they emailed out new terms and conditions for PSN.

    Option 2 sounds pretty good to me.

    $70 bucks a year for as many PS1 and Mini games as I can get through. That is a great deal. Lower store prices would also be great.

    And 1st hour of actual game is nothing like most demos, and would definitely be of interest. Particularly if it was available for every game release.

    Well, it's better than a monthly subscription for friggin everything. So long's all the current stuff remains free, I'm happy.

    Its going to be a hard sell on Sony’s part to convince gamers to start paying for something that’s been free this whole time. Plus With the exception of one or two, all of these features are shit that no one in their right mind would pay for anyway, facebook connectivity?, Netflix without a disc?, are they fucking for real?. Trophy Notifications?!!?!, that’s laughable, people now have to pay to see when they have unlocked trophies.

    Hmmm... the option with the free access to ps1 games & minis might be okay but I can't imagine it's actual free games, it's probably some streaming thing for as long as you have the membership and you'd have to pay the regular price to keep them.

    It's definitely not something I'd pay for, xbox live is bad enough but I actually do use multiplayer features on that whereas I don't think I'd really use these features much.

    Also, why pay for facebook connectivity when you could, at least in theory, just load up the PS3 browser and waste everyone's time by telling them your banal crap that way.

    Its all useless junk. Music video sharing? Doesn't Ps3 already have that for free. Cloud storage? Yes, waste MORE of my internet. Automatic downloads? WOW AMAZING!

    the only thing which interests me is ps1 games + psn discounts but thats not worth $70 (which i assume is US so we'll get screwed and have to pay something like $110)

    I think I'm going to have to agree with everybody here when I say I wouldn't pay for any of it.

    Let's go through the list...

    Customer Service Priority Access - Does that mean they're going to increase the waiting times for the rest of their customers?

    Exclusive Experiences With Sony Brands - Kinda reminds me of the missing Bravia Sync feature for the older PS3s. Seems they want you to pay more for features other companies let you have for free (Google it and you'll see some TVs will automatically switch to a HDMI input regardless of syncing).

    Extended Console Warranty - I think I've got my old PSX lying around somewhere, and last time I checked, it worked fine. Sure some people have run into bad luck, but the PS3 is not a 360.

    Access To Beta Games - Could be nice for some, but I prefer to play games that aren't potentially broken.

    Early Access To All Store Content - We can do that already by creating a US account... If the releases were world-wide, it might make it worth it, but until then, it's useless.

    Member Demo Sharing Of Full Game - I assume this is like Total Annihilation, where you only needed 1 disc to play multiplayer games with other people. Good in theory, until you notice the word 'demo' there (1 hour?), not to mention the fact that you could just lend the disc to your friends...

    Cross-Game Voice Chat - Making people pay for that would be cruel, especially with so many people requesting it. But hey, maybe Sony wants to dump some of its fans...

    Full Title Trial (1 Hour) - I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't like waiting for 1 gig demos to download, let alone a full game that could get into the 20 gig mark, especially since you can only play it for an hour.

    Token Wagering - One of the few good things, but unless you like purchasing games on the PSN, it's not worth it (I prefer discs myself).

    User-To-User Challenges - So we can't play games against our friends without paying for it now?

    Free Access To PS1/PSP Minis - This would be a great feature, until you realise exactly how limited the releases are, and the fact that you probably wouldn't want to play half of the games released anyway.

    Discounts On Store Content - Usefull, perhaps, but again, if you don't buy a lot of stuff from the PSN, it's not worth it.

    Member-Only In-Game Content - Just like the fancy pre-order crap you get with games that let you change your outfits in-game that ultimately do nothing.

    Trophy Alerts - Yet another feature we already have they want to charge us for...

    Cloud Storage Space - This could be great, but could also be rendered useless if Sony gave us a way to copy the few copy-protected game saves we have.

    Online Music Service - This would be nice, but I already own all of the music I want to listen to, and the PS3 already lets you rip CDs straight onto the HDD...

    Online Music Video Service - VidZone's currently free, thanks to the ads in it, and I don't know about the rest of you, but I rarely use it.

    Automatic Downloads And Uploads - Another free feature we'll have to pay for? I think not.

    Loyalty Program Rewards - Isn't that similar to Token Wagering? I don't understand...

    Facebook Connectivity - If I wanted to use Facebook that badly, I'd pull out my phone and access it that way.

    Catch-Up TV - I assume this is an American thing (like the currently free ABC iView, which I actually like, but can be accessed through any web browser). Not sure if it'd be worth it...

    Netflix - How would that go with us being here in Australia? Would Australian-owned US accounts be able to access it? And if so, wouldn't we need to pay the subscription for both our Australian and American accounts? Again, not worth it...

    So overall, none of it's worth it, let alone more than what people pay for Xbox Live. As Hips said, Sony needs to make the PSN something people can't live without, and then consider charging them for it, and even then, only charge them what it's worth.

    Meh. Good luck with that. I certainly won't be buying into it.

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