PlayStation Network boss Peter Dille says Sony is “looking at” charging for access to the PlayStation Network and that it won’t be long before PS3 sales surpass that of the Xbox 360.

The PlayStation Network, in the eyes of some, lags well behind the much older and more established Xbox Live service from Microsoft. On the other hand, it’s free, which is a pretty big selling feature. But that could change at some point in the future, according to Dille, who confirmed recent comments by Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai that the company is thinking about charging for the service.

“It’s been our philosophy not to charge for it from launch up until now, but Kaz recently went on the record as saying that’s something we’re looking at,” Dille said in an interview with IGN. “I can confirm that as well. That’s something that we’re actively thinking about.”

It’s not an entirely surprising bit of news, given that Sony continues to make significant investments into the online service, making improvements to the interface, adding more original programming and developing Home. “Home is a three-dimensional community and environment that isn’t possible on the other platforms and wasn’t imagined by anyone other than the folks at Sony,” he said. “It’s grown up in the last couple years, but quite frankly it’s still in beta. And we’ll take that beta moniker off of it when we think all the functionality that we imagined when we launched the service is there and to the point where we want it to be. But it’s still very much something that’s evolving as we go.”

He also predicted that in spite of its later start, the PlayStation 3 would soon surpass the Xbox 360 in worldwide units sold. “I don’t think they’ll be around in 10 years so I’m very confident we’ll pass them within that time frame. I mean, we’ve got 31 million [units sold] worldwide right now – they’ve got 39 million [units sold],” he said. “I don’t even need to go out 10 years… You look at where we are today and where they are today, and they had an opportunity to sprint as far ahead of us as possible when they had the head start. Well, we’re breathing down their necks and they can see us in the rearview mirror and it’s not going to take too long to pass them.”

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