Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida said that Sony won't force free-to-play titles into PS+, leaving the decision up to publishers.
Earlier we reported perhaps the only bit of "bad news" from Sony's E3 press conference: online play of PS4 games will require a PlayStation Plus subscription. Sony executives, in an round-table with JoyStiq talked a little bit more on the how the service will work with its upcoming console, confirming that it won't be required for video streaming services, will remain the same price, and will only apply to free-to-play titles at the publisher's discretion.
"As far as free-to-play games are concerned," said Shuehei Yoshida, Sony Worldwide Studios President, "it's the publisher's decision whether they put it inside or outside of PS Plus." "All video services [on the PS4] will be outside of Plus," added SCE America VP of Publisher & Developer Relations Adam Boyes, going on to assure us the price of the PlayStation Plus service would remain $50 annually in North America.
The Sony PlayStation Plus service currently offers users a selection of free games every month, among other enhanced community features. $50 annually works out to around $5 a month, which puts the service about on par with Microsoft's Xbox Live Gold subscription, which is currently required to play Xbox 360 games online. Existing PlayStation Plus subscriptions will extend onto the new console when it launches this holiday season.
So this is kind of a good news, bad news situation. It's good that Sony won't personally enforce the PlayStation Plus paygate on free-to-play titles, but leaving it "up to the publisher" is a tad worrisome, as a lot of recent "monetization" decisions from certain publishers have left me somewhat, unwilling to trust them when it comes to trying to bleed the customer dry.