Sony Demands Cash For PlayStation 4 Online Play

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Sony Demands Cash For PlayStation 4 Online Play

ps4 controller

The PlayStation 4 requires a PlayStation Plus subscription for online play. Why? Shuehei Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide Studios, explains the change.

For years now the biggest claim to console war dominance held by PlayStation devotees was that the PS3 allows players to play online multiplayer titles totally gratis. The Xbox 360 by comparison, requires a paid subscription to Microsoft's Xbox Live Gold program. A few years back Sony introduced the PlayStation Plus initiative, a paid subscription service that offers PS3 owners discounts and periodic free game downloads, but anyone wishing to save their cash could still go online via the PlayStation 3 without shelling out a dime.

That's going to change with the upcoming PlayStation 4, a console that, like the Xbox 360, will require a subscription to PlayStation Plus for online play. The reason? Simply put: Providing stable, online gameplay is expensive.

In a recent interview with Weekly Famitsu (helpfully translated by Kotaku's crack team of multilingual geeks), this decision was explained by Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony's Worldwide Studios.

"The main pillar for the PS4 will be online play," Yoshida states.

"We're developing many new ways to play and connect which requires a large investment of resources. 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," Yoshida adds.

While we're sure that many are upset over this new, nearly-mandatory fee attached to the PlayStation 4, things aren't quite as grim as they seem. Though online gameplay will require a PlayStation Plus subscription, Yoshida claims that players without subscriptions will still be able to play games that don't rely on "real-time" online interactions.

For example, imagine a game like Gran Turismo which offers numerous online features, such as multiplayer gameplay, online leaderboards and the ability to sell vehicles between players. In theory, while players without PlayStation Plus subscriptions won't be able to play head-to-head with other players, they will be able to access the game's leaderboards and whatever online vehicle shop system the title might feature.

Of course this is just an example to better explain Yoshida's statements. We don't know exactly how the Gran Turismo 6 will function, so it's entirely possible that everything we stated above will be moot by the time the PlayStation 4 hits retail.

Speaking of, we're still waiting on an official release date for the PlayStation 4. Sony's stated that the device will arrive in the fourth quarter of 2013, and we expect a more specific launch date to emerge any day now. We'll bring you that information once it appears.

Source: Kotaku

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I don't mind paying for online because it is not as much as Live and gets you great deals. Besides, you don't need to get it, and you can still access Hulu and Netflix without being a PS+ member as well as play F2P games without needing to buy PS+.

And since I'm only using the PS4's online features for non-gaming, I still don't need a PSN+ subscription. Yay!

Paying for internet twice is something im just not willing to do. Going to stay pc.

Uh, yeah. Isn't this old news? They even went ahead and said free-to-play titles would be available for non-PS+ users. Like a few weeks ago.

I can understand. I often wondered how they kept it running beforehand. Despite the fact that PSN isn't as massive as xbox live's community, it's still, well, massive. So I totally understand that they're taking the opportunity of a new console to start charging for online.

A Plus? Sounds more like a negative to me.

So this is just for the PS4 right? this isn't going to affect online play for the 3 or handhelds?

jdogtwodolla:
So this is just for the PS4 right? this isn't going to affect online play for the 3 or handhelds?

Through the news stories I'm seeing it seems like it is only for online play for the PS4, I don't think that the PS3 or the Vita will be affected by this.

jdogtwodolla:
So this is just for the PS4 right? this isn't going to affect online play for the 3 or handhelds?

Nope. PSN stays free for the PS3/PSP as far as they've indicated. You are safe, comrade.

OT:
A bit of old news. I'm pretty indifferent about it, seeing as I don't buy most games to play them online. The only irritating (or at least, potentially irritating) bit about this is the potential to make products to prod the consumer into wanting the service. And by that I mean making features that are reliant on the connection versus those that could be just as easily implemented into the single-player. It's unlikely, and it's not entirely terrifying, but it's something I am personally going to keep an eye on. Provided they stick to their message of offering a lot of cool stuff to PS+ members, it may even tide me over to get it.

Not to mention how great a service PS+ is anyways. If you subscribed when it came out...two years ago? You'd have gotten $1400 worth of content by now. For $150.

Well, I enjoy my Play Station Plus account now with my PS3 already, so it doesn't have a big impact on me personally, but I could see where the mandatory nature would be a rub. On the other hand, they do seem like they are trying to make it as non-mandatory as possible for those who do not wish to avail themselves of online play options already, which - as I understand things - is about as considerate as they can get away with being given the obvious costs of offering the service at all.

And once again I am impressed at how well Sony PR team is handling this launch, a declaration like this

Earnest Cavalli:
"The main pillar for the PS4 will be online play,"

+ that PS4 camera and the same price as the Xbox would have ended in such a different outcome at E3.

My hat off to them.

I'm not too bothered, it's a pretty good deal although I'd rather be able to opt out of it and play online. Frankly I was surprised that PSN was free for the PS3, it wasn't a massive surprise to me that they were introducing mandatory payments for online.

I have no problem with the subscription requirement for online play. As far as I'm concerned, if you have a PS3 and don't use Plus, you're foolish. I hope that the value remains true for the PS4 (with the announcement of a free launch title for subscribers, I think it will). Unless you use it for non-gaming purposes, the free games and various discounts that come with a subscription more than make up for the $50. If you're an avid gamer who looks for a variety of games to play, you're missing out (or spending more money than you need to). Until I got the PS+, I'd probably limit my playing to around 6 games a year. With free/discounted access to games I wasn't willing to pay $60, it looks like I'll triple that number.

Very vague bullshitty excuses. Charging for Online on top of game prices and the users own internet service is unjustified. Sony aren't the ones running the servers in online multiplayer. If Developers/Publishers running servers decided to charge to make up for server costs they'd have more ground to stand on than this.

At least they're being honest.

Bit of a slowpoke moment here, this was announced on the first day of E3.

It was explained a day or two later.

I'm ok with this, pay for online but I get free games? Why would I be put out by this?

sethisjimmy:
Very vague bullshitty excuses. Charging for Online on top of game prices and the users own internet service is unjustified. Sony aren't the ones running the servers in online multiplayer. If Developers/Publishers running servers decided to charge to make up for server costs they'd have more ground to stand on than this.

Thing is though, right? If that's the case for say MMOs, or F2P games, you don't have to pay for PS+ to play those games online. Poor reporting by The Escapist.

Tanakh:
And once again I am impressed at how well Sony PR team is handling this launch, a declaration like this

Too paraphrase Yahtzee.

Yahtzee:
Micro$oft did most of the work for them

:P

And for a second I almost considered buying a console for the new generation. With the increased reliance of "online features" in newly released titles, this seems like it's going to be more... mandatory than it was on the Xbox 360.

Thanks, Sony! Thanks for convincing me to stick with my PC. I might just buy a new motherboard and CPU with that money I would have wasted.

As an Xbox 360 user, this does not discourage me from preparing to buy a PS4. What does discourage me is that these next-generation consoles are becoming more and more alike. If Xbox drops the Kinect, then I will have no idea what to do.

sethisjimmy:
Very vague bullshitty excuses. Charging for Online on top of game prices and the users own internet service is unjustified. Sony aren't the ones running the servers in online multiplayer. If Developers/Publishers running servers decided to charge to make up for server costs they'd have more ground to stand on than this.

Exactly, and considering the millions of users who will pay fpr this, charging 50 per year fr servers is bullshit. If it was something symbolic like 10, I'd understand, but 50 for person? BS.

I'm sorry, but Sony's biggest claim to console war dominance was never free online multiplayer; it was, at least in my opinion, its exclusives. This won't change that.

P.S. Thanks

Free online play was the reason I was going to switch consoles dammit! Has anyone heard how much it will cost......

Jesse Billingsley:
Free online play was the reason I was going to switch consoles dammit! Has anyone heard how much it will cost......

From what I have read it will still be $50 a year like it is now, but it will count towards all 3 Sony consoles (provided you have all 3). This means if you have a Vita and a PS4, you'll gain free games and discounts for both systems for the price of one subscription.

Then don't pay for it...? I really don't see what the huge fuss is over all of this. Is 50 dollars over the span of an entire year really that crippling? That's roughly the price of one meal of fast food a month, even more, depending on where you're eating at. I can list off so many other things that they could be doing with this, but aren't, and all you have to do is look at Microsoft: Sony won't wall you off from Netflix or Flixter because you're not PS+, they'll still allow online features of games to work without PS+, truly F2P titles like Planetside 2 and Elder Scrolls Online won't require PS+, all of which Microsoft does and will do if you aren't paying for Xbox Live Gold.

Then again, I used to grow up on MMO's, so a $4-5 monthly fee doesn't sound all that bad to me, considering the old pay-to-play MMO model was $15 a month.

Which is on the PC platform, might I add....

Dendio:
Paying for internet twice is something im just not willing to do. Going to stay pc.

You're not paying for the system's online capability, just paying for their servers that handle all the Multiplayer crap. You'd still be able to go online or watch Neckflits or peruse the Hulules or whatever you young kids do these days.

Funny, none of the PC games I buy that are cross console release feel the need to charge me extra for online play... Sounds like some serious bullshit to me, but console gamers are welcome to it if they are so eager to gobble it up.

I was considering getting a PS4 for the next gen (to play games from developers that are too retarded to figure out how to release a game on PC) before they announced this. Guess I will just hold off on any next gen consoles and wait for them to drop in price and get a few decent condition used consoles out.

It should be worth noting that free-to-play games and MMO's WON'T require PS+.

Jesse Billingsley:
Free online play was the reason I was going to switch consoles dammit! Has anyone heard how much it will cost......

$50 a year. So $10 cheaper than XBL and it offers way more value.

This was all explained at E3 two weeks ago, so how is this news?

Red X:

Tanakh:
And once again I am impressed at how well Sony PR team is handling this launch, a declaration like this

Too paraphrase Yahtzee.

Yahtzee:
Micro$oft did most of the work for them

:P

No, it really didn't. MS created the opportunity but it was Sony that took the initiative to punish hard; from the info after E3 we can see that Sony wanted to push online much more aggressively and had a higher price with an integrated camera, they modified their whole product/pitch in a very short lapse of time.

To use a fighting game analogy, MS did an unsafe move, but it was Sony that took the maximum damage punish to win the round.

Simply put: Providing stable, online gameplay is expensive.

Really? Who's providing it on PC, and why aren't they complaining about how expensive it is?...

Desert Punk:
Funny, none of the PC games I buy that are cross console release feel the need to charge me extra for online play... Sounds like some serious bullshit to me, but console gamers are welcome to it if they are so eager to gobble it up.

I was considering getting a PS4 for the next gen (to play games from developers that are too retarded to figure out how to release a game on PC) before they announced this. Guess I will just hold off on any next gen consoles and wait for them to drop in price and get a few decent condition used consoles out.

This is a bad comparison, and you should feel bad for bringing it up. Are all PCs made by one manufacturer? Are your games' multiplayer servers being kept by your PC manufacturer?

Microsoft beat Sony in the online department last generation by having people pay for online, which gave them the money to provide and upkeep their own servers. Their online is faster, more reliable, and publishers don't need to use their own servers for Xbox 360 multiplayer. Sony went with the PC style and had the publishers upkeep their own servers, but Sony still needs servers for the store, the cloud, and for patches. And their servers are pretty awful because it's a free service and upkeep cost were eaten by Sony until now.

If you want to blame someone for this change, blame console gamers who preferred Microsoft's paid reliable online versus Sony's free terrible online. Gamers wanted better service, publishers wanted better service, so Sony's hands were tied on the issue really.

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