PS4 Video Says PlayStation Plus Is Mandatory For Online Multiplayer

It's not all champagne and high fives coming out of Sony's E3 press conference today. A "screw you, Microsoft" video the PlayStation team put together has some fine print underneath, which reads:

PS4 multiplayer online access requires PSN account & PS Plus subscription.

Now, this is far from terrible news. PlayStation Plus gives you access to a ton of free games (so long as you're a paid-up member), and competitors Microsoft have always charged for online play, something they'll continue to do with the Xbox One.

Still, the fact that online multiplayer was free on the PS3 will likely rankle a few.


    maybe its a mistake or unclear, but $70 a year aint that much

      I don't think it's a mistake - I noticed in the keynote that he specifically didn't say you could go online without a membership. Still, it's not absurdly expensive, and Microsoft does it as well so there's not a lot of choice there. Plus, given the other cool stuff you get with PS+, it works out alright.

      More expensive than the $43 I just paid for 12 months of Live.

        Yeah but how much would you normally pay for it? I think last time I checked in a store it was $80

          I wouldn't normally pay $80 for it because it is usually around $40 online. Playstation Plus card is usually more around the $60 mark. Still a saving over Sony, but nowhere near as big a bargain.

        And how many complimentary games do you get with that?

        (and yes, everyone thinks you're a very big boy for only spending $43)

          2 a month now, I've had them randomly before, and plenty of games discounted to $5 or less in the past. In the last two months I've got Just Caus 2 for under $5, Alan Wake for $5, Fable 3 for free and the walking dead for free.

      Well... Yeah. Although I don't have Xbox live, $70 a month for play station plus does seem pretty good, considering free games and all.

        free games, works on PS4, PS3 nd PSV for 1 small ish fee

    As a PS Plus member for a year or so now, it is MORE than worth the cost. You get several hundred dollars worth of stuff for only $70AUD a year.

      As long as you keep paying. As soon as you stop, you lose it all.

        Which is fine if it's mandatory.

        You're paying for benefits, end of story.
        Either way it's better than paying for Live as it stands currently.

        You don't lose anything. You just can't play them until you resubscribe. If you download a free game from the PSN, you can re-download it at anytime (even if that game is longer free) from your download list.

          Funnily enough the free games on Xbox Live stay yours even if you're Silver.

            That's cool, but something tells me you're not going to be seeing games like Catherine, DOA5, The Cave, Sleeping Dogs, ME3 or Hitman: Absolution on there barely a year (or well under in Hitman's case) after they were released.

    Noobish statement, but I'll assume you can use the same account on your PS3 as on PS4, so you can still get all the free games that they offer so the PS+ will pay for itself. Not sure what offers Microsoft have on Live anyone?

      Plenty of cheap games pop up for Live gold only, now they'll be doing the free game thing just like PS Plus.

        Really? Like what. I must not have been paying attention.

          Last weeks deal of the week was The Walking Dead for free, week before was Alan Wake for $5, this week is Fable III for free.

            Sorry I cancelled my gold membership a few months ago because I got no value out of it for over 3 years.

              It has been harder to keep track of Microsofts deals up until recently, but they're definitely out there.

    That's disappointing. One of the reasons I stopped using Live was the price. I kept asking myself, why am I paying, in addition to my usual internet fee, to play games online when I can do it for free on PC (and PS3)?

    Still, Plus offers free games, which is more than Live ever did.

      It makes sense I guess. Those multiplayer servers cost money to run. That money needs to come from somewhere.

        It needs to come from somewhere, but it won't be coming from PS+ subscription fees. If you are playing Battlefield, then it is EA who is responsible for the multiplayer servers.

        All Sony is offering is the authentication, friends list and messaging systems (which presumably will still be there for non-PS+ users). This is just a case of the platform holder exercising their position as a gatekeeper between the game developer and their customers.

        Now the other features of PS+ might make it worth the money, but this is just rent-seeking.

          It needs to come from somewhere, but it won't be coming from PS+ subscription fees. If you are playing Battlefield, then it is EA who is responsible for the multiplayer servers.

          Sony do run their own servers for their own games you know.

            Yes, but they aren't just requiring a PS+ subscription to use the multi-player components of their own games.

            So either (1) third party developers are effectively cross-subsidising Sony's games, or (2) even for Sony's first party games you'll be paying for upkeep of multi-player servers through the game's purchase price or subscription fee.

              It's not just restricted to multiplayer though (I know that's what I initially said, that was badly worded). There's also the element of actually keeping the servers that run the PS Store up and running and the bandwidth that's used there.

                If the store isn't self-sufficient based purely on sales revenue, then they're doing something wrong. Reports are that Sony takes a 30% cut of sales on the PSN store, which should be more than enough to cover the cost of storage, bandwidth and bookkeeping. Furthermore, they let people without PS+ subscriptions buy things on the store.

                I'm not saying that providing online multi-player for a game is cost-free or that users shouldn't pay for it. I'm just sceptical that PS+ subscription fees will be used to pay it. It seems more likely that they will continue to primarily go towards licensing the "free games" they provide with the service.

          I would imagine PS+ becoming a requirement would have something to do with us getting dedicated servers in the future. Currently the only thing the Xbox One has over the PS4.

      I just picked up The Walking Dead (Full Game) for free because I am am a gold member.

      It was on their deal of the week:

      So, yeah ...

    Last Christmas, Sony had PS+ on sale for a huge reduction (half price?), it was so good I bought two years worth. Lets hope they continue that!

    I have to say I was one of the many people who yelled and screamed about free online gaming on the PS3 instead of paying for it on 360. Looks like now there is no choice...but at least with PS+ you get some incentives...XBL (currently) you get nothing

      You could always buy a Wii U

        Then your issue would be finding people to play with :P

    Unless the feed us free or cheap games with PS+ subscription we don't mind.

      I would assume that they will continue giving out "free" games monthly with a PS+ subscription

      I say "free" because once your subscription no longer have access to the games unless you renew your subscription or pay for it

    honestly, for an entire year, to improve services, $70 is fuck all. i pay that a MONTH to use my phone.

    Maybe this time they'll have tiers of PS+ subscription? (like MP, MP + sharing, MP + Free games, etc) Have they mentioned anything about the pricing for this yet?

    Jeez really. I know some people who absolutely hate Xbox coz of that.. Anyway it's not the price it's more that "you want to play with friends? Well pay us"
    Oh well by the looks of it so far PS4 will Be the one to get!

    A little disappointing for me. Online isn't important enough for me to pay for it, so I enjoyed the luxury of freely dabbling in MP once every blue moon.

    I am still kind of making up my mind about how I feel about this, but I find it terribly interesting to see how people are reacting to this. Sony has clearly won the PR war for this round of consoles. Thinking I might go fully PC.

    It seems pretty poor form on Sony's part to be laughing and smiling and lapping up the applause in regard to all the things they're doing better than Microsoft in regard to DRM and authentication, only to slip in a little bit of fine print confessing that they're actually completely aping MSoft's subscription based online gaming plan.

    PS Plus - $50 USD. $70? lol No.

    ok a little lost... from what i gather we have to pay for the psn network at about $70aud do we also have to pay for the gaming servers for say ea games a battlefeild gamer and just trying to find out if its worthwhile purchasing the console the new game and then also paying for an anual registration .. seems to be getting a little pricey for the average low income earner

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