The PlayStation Network will still be free to use, but for $6 a month users will get a little bit more with PlayStation Plus.

We’d heard rumors of a paid premium PSN in the past, and Sony confirmed it on stage at their E3 2010 press conference: PlayStation Plus is real, and will cost gamers $49 a year, or $18 for three months to subscribe.

For your money, this is what you get: Exclusive betas and demos, discounts on PSN games and downloads, as well as a feature that will automatically detect, download and install update updates and patches (I hope you can turn that off, if you’re running Linux on your PS3 – for example).

If you don’t want to pay, though, you still can play online – it’s just an added bonus on top.

For more, check out Steve Butts’ liveblog of the event.

Keep track of our E3 2010 coverage here.

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