Premium "PlayStation Plus" Subscriptions Coming To PSN

Sony will offer a premium subscription to the PlayStation Network, one that doesn't replace the current free service but does offer "an enhanced experience", with additional content, early demo access and more. It will cost $US49.99 a year.

Jack Tretton announced the plans for the premium service at Sony's E3 news conference. Subscribers may also choose a $US17.99-per-3 months pricing plan. PlayStation Plus subscribers also would get "hundreds of dollars" in free content and discounts on certain items within the PlayStation Store.

The first three months of the service will be available for free for a limited time to subscribers, Tretton said.

Standard PSN features now delivered for free will continue to be free, Tretton said. This would include standard multiplayer and messaging.


    Sign me up now. I am happy to support this.

    They still get multiplayer for free.
    Hear that MS?

    This seems to be an extension of SCEA's experiment with Qore. This time around more benifits and less Qore video BS, thank god!

    I am still waiting to hear that the multiplayer will be part of this... maybe not now but in a year or two? Just can't see Sony seeing the money M$ is making and thinking that they don't want a piece of that.... Good for now. I have both consoles and wouldn't pay to play both of them online.. so this is good news.

    Before the 360 fanboys jump in and call Sony for being hypocritical about paid services... there is a HUGE difference between this service and XBL. Sony's still delivering the exact same service for free as they have been since day 1. You're paying for frills now.

    And this is coming from someone who's not even signing up for this. I'm perfectly happy with basic online play. Hear that XBL whiners?

    don't like the part about you owning the content for "the duration of your subscription" though.

      It's kinda the same thing for iTunes music downloads. You don't actually 'own' the song you paid for. Rather, you lease it from iTunes under the stipulation that you can only play it on YOUR registered devices. I think psPlus is the FIRST step in charging cart-blanche for the PSN service. Annnnd, seeing as to how you need on the PSN to get sys updates and vital game updates (as in, you don't update this game, you don't play) I see SONY in the near future trying to wedge us all in on an XBL-esque network service. Anyone who thinks SONY isn't going to or wouldn't ever try this later doesn't know SONY all that well. I'm belligerently pessimistic about the harbinger of PSN death that is psPlus.

    As long as what we're currently getting for free remains free, I've got no objection to them introducing this optional paid service. I can't see myself taking it up personally, but for those who want it, more power to you.

    But at least they're not shafting us by taking away stuff we're already getting and putting it behind the paid-subscription fence, so if they can find a market for this good luck to em.

    I hate the whole "early demo access" thing. I mean... come on, seriously, aren't demos meant to SELL THE GAME TO YOU? Why should it be a privilege to play what is essentially a brochure for a new product?! The world has gone bloody mad...

    Now this is a good thing aswell as a bad thing.

    I play online primary on my 360 - but when a game comes along that WOWS me like Uncharted 2, I can't say no to the PSN.

    This is greed. Lets not mention MS in this - but this is greed. For Sony to say we would never charge blah blah blah... it a BIG turn around. Maybe all of last years financial trouble hit 'em HARD!

    HOWEVER the way they have done it is a good choice. Playing online is still free and doing all that. Free members will STILL get everything the paying members do, just minus stuff like discounts and 'free' things for being a Premium member (which your $50 will pay for anyway). Demos just come a little later etc... One thing i HOPE not to see is DLC being available first for premium members. I wouldn't pay to be a Premium member cause I don't play my PS3 enough - but it would be wrong if that happens.

    NOW for MS - all along they have charged. I think at first they had every right to. It was a new service and the money really helped. Yeah Bill's pocket but also to make the service what it is. Timed exclusives, DLC exclusives, ESPN now and all that other stuff. ALL came at a price for MS. I know some of that is only available to Gold members and US members aswell. At the same time, MS could really learn something and make their service a lot like this. Maybe just let Silver members play for free BUT everything else requires Gold.

    I'm not sure on the exchange rate with Gold Subscription with Australia to the US, how much more do we pay?
    But if SONY wanna make this decision a little less hard hitting to the players (even though what they've announced isn't that tough to swallow anyway, cause its entirely optional and nothing is being taken away from them really)... but to make it look better is to have a flat out fee worldwide. $50 everywhere.

    Which means thats all WE pay cause thats all the US pays and Japan would pay and the UK and the rest of Europe.

    Thats my opinion anyway. Once again, a great decision when it comes to paying for an online subscription but also a greedy one.

      There's another question around this issue, too. Specifically relating to the differing amount of content on the PS Store in different regions.

      Look at the US Store - it has heaps more than the Australian store - in the PSOne classics department, for example. Now if the Plus subscription includes some PSOne classics (which they've said it does), does that mean only games available in all regions stores will be included? Or will US subscribers be getting more/different games to us because there are more options on their store? Because if they're going to charge us the same/more for our subscriptions but not deliver the same content, then I will be calling bullsh*t.

    "This would include standard multiplayer.."
    So what is going to be in premium multiplayer?

      Subscription based MMO's? E.g. DC Universe Online or The Agency (assuming those are subscription-based, I haven't heard either way).

    This is a pretty good idea, if I wasn't such a poor bastard I would consider this.

    dates when?

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