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Sony May Charge For PlayStation Network

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the i'm-sure-that-will-be-popular dept.

PlayStation (Games) 212

In an interview with IGN, Sony's VP of marketing, Peter Dille, responded to a question about the PlayStation Network by saying that the company is considering charging for the service. He said, "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. I can confirm that as well. That's something that we're actively thinking about. What's the best way to approach that if we were to do that? You know, no announcements at this point in time, but it's something we're thinking about." This follows news of a customer survey from last month that listed possibilities for subscription-based PSN features.

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When Hell freezes over... (5, Interesting)

sumthinboutjesus (984845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020114)

As a gamer who has made purchasing decisions based on the fact that PSN is free and Xbox Live costs money, I believe this would be a big negative for Sony at a time when they are actually making headway in the console wars. The only way I see this working out is if all the current services offered by PSN are free and these new features are optional, not essential for having a good gaming experience, and priced modestly. Otherwise, I think this will amount to Sony shooting themselves in the foot when they have momentum, just like they did with the PS2 to PS3 transition.

Exactly. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31020134)

I bought the PS3 recently, my first console since the original nintendo. The lowered price, Uncharted 2, and the free ps3 online were the top deciding factors on which console to buy, in that order.

If they started charging now. Wow. That would factor in *hugely* in my decision on what to purchase in the future.

Re:Exactly. (1, Troll)

hayd (1734904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020292)

This has been in news before too. They were saying they would keep the existing features free, but offer extra features for charge.

Re:Exactly. (2, Insightful)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020554)

Personally my decision was based on "is it made by Microsoft or not" and I already had a Wii. Jokes aside, the fact it had a BluRay player, wireless, and combined a very decent media player the ps/3 was for me a better choice. Free on-line network was interesting but I haven't used it much.

I would certainly be pissed if they started charging. Bait and switch comes to mind. That would make Sony a target for criticisms and they might lose all credibility for anything they, or possible other vendors, try "for free" in the future.

I am certain they can find better ways of monetizing their network than charging everyone for it, maybe a premium service giving you access to new games before actual release or additional services yet to be available.

Re:Exactly. (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020838)

I completely agree with you about the reasons to buy a PS3, I also put Linux on mine. But I bought it because I had previously owned PS1 and PS2 games. When I bought the PS3 it was backward compatible so I wasn't worried about buying new games for it right away. Here we are 3-4 years later and there still aren't many games I want for the PS3.

The bait and switch seems to be becoming Sony's mantra. Like Micorsoft's "Embrace, Extend and Extinguish". I was recommending the PS3 to friends because of what could be done with it on top of it's backward computability. My Sister in law bought one just after they removed the PS2 compatibility. She's pretty pissed now because she had to also go out and buy a whole bunch of new games for it. I told her to just take it back and complain, but she didn't listen. All I know is if/when they come out with a PS4 if it's not backward compatible and has at least the same functionality as the PS3 Sony can kiss my ass. I'll buy new games when they come out with games I like, it's bad enough I have a Nintendo, Super Nintendo, PS3 and a Wii hooked up to my TV. I'm running out of input jacks to plug things in.

Does anyone know if Sony put the PS2 compatibility back into the PS3? Other then the article about the guy who "Hacked" the PS3, I haven't heard much about since it was removed and there was a big stink about it.

Re:Exactly. (2, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021188)

If you own the previous consoles, why does every new iteration have to have backward compatability with everything that was ever released for the whole line? You're just adding cost on top of cost to support 15 year (or by the time the PS4 arrives more likely 20+ year) old technology. I agree it's nice if the current generation are supported on the next generation, it at least eases the transition when you can still play your current favourite games, but anything beyond that which is likely to add to cost or hobble the new technology in any way I can live without. I'd even sacrifice compatability with current gen games, if I'm getting a much improved product as a result. As a corporation, it doesn't make much sense to increase your costs and hobble your technology just to appease a very small number of potential customers who don't want to switch out a cable to play their old games.

Backwards compatability is a nice to have, if you're really serious about this stuff you probably already have the consoles or you can pick them up used for next to nothing, it's definitely not a good enough reason to increase the cost to the customer or to put constraints on what developers can do with the technology, look at the mess MS got themselves into with the WIndows mantra that everything ever written for it had to be supported on the newer OS, while Apple took the approach of dropping a lot of support for old software so that they could make significant gains in the OS within a smaller time frame.

Re:Exactly. (3, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021266)

Because previous versions of the PS3 had it as a way of artificially increasing the catalog size. And they didn't really advertise the crippling of the hardware on the box either. Sure you could find the information if you looked for it, but you should be able to assume that a console can do anything that the other versions can. There shouldn't be any need to research a particular revision because the manufacturer was dickish enough to change the specs.

From a gaming perspective the various gameboys wer completely compatible as were the GBA and GBA SP.

Re:Exactly. (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021402)

I don't own the previous Play Stations any more.

That's part of what I like about the Play station as opposed to Nintendo. One console plays all my games. I have three different Nintendo systems for each set of games I have.

You do make a good point about hindering technology in order to maintain backward compatibility. I'm a software developer who took over several projects previously maintained by contractors who didn't know what they were doing or didn't care.

That being said I probably still wouldn't own a PS3 if I couldn't play my old games on it. There wouldn't have been any point. They still don't have many games out that I want for it and I've only bought two in the last 3-4 years. I like the PS3 for all the other things it can do, but they're after the fact awesome features I wouldn't have known/cared about if I didn't buy it to play my old games on while I waited for other games I wanted to come out.

I just found the whole removal of functionality thing upsetting because I recommended the PS3 to people (some whom aren't tech savvy and didn't care about media servers, installing Linux or BluRay) specifically because of the backward compatibility. Then they went and pulled the functionality out. By the time I found out about it several friends and my sister in-law had gone out and bought one to find out it couldn't play old games. Two of my friends took theirs back, but ended up with store credit instead of their money back. No where on the box or otherwise is it clearly stated the backward compatibility was removed. It was just taken out and left up to people to find out after they had already spent the money.

Re:Exactly. (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021516)

"If you own the previous consoles, why does every new iteration have to have backward compatability with everything that was ever released for the whole line?"

It's nice to think you'll play your old console when you get a new one but it's my experience that it just doesn't happen. My NES and SNES were given away to relatives with younger kids long ago. The rest of my previous consoles are sitting in boxes in my basement. But I still have a stack of Gamecube games upstairs sitting with my Wii games and the Gamecube games actually get played. And I've even picked up a Gamecube game or two since I bought my Wii. I barely touched my Saturn once I bought my Dreamcast even though I consider the games I own on the Saturn superior to the games I own and still occasionally play on the Gamecube. Backwards compatibility didn't factor in to my decision to buy a Wii, but it's really nice to have.

Re:Exactly. (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021628)

That's funny, one of the games I'm currently playing is FFVIII on my PS3. Disks too, not the PSN download.

Re:Exactly. (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021592)

Backwards compatibility is a nice to have (and for some people, much more important because of limited space near the TV). That's not the problem with Sony.

Sony lambasted MS for having poor backwards compatibility when the PS2 had near perfect, and they promised 100% backward compatibility. They then reneged on this promise, twice, first by making it worse, then by removing it.

Re:Exactly. (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021864)

I don't understand why you would want to play PS & PS2 games on a PS3. Does it massively upscale? I'm cringing at the memories of the graphics, especially the original. I definitely don't want to see that on a plasma.

Re:Exactly. (2, Informative)

metamatic (202216) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022590)

Yes, it upscales. It also provides you with 1:1 pixel mapping via HDMI rather than an analog video signal. In some cases you get better texture rendering.

That said, for some games I prefer the PS2's output, so I kept mine.

Re:Exactly. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022474)

it's bad enough I have a Nintendo, Super Nintendo, PS3 and a Wii hooked up to my TV. I'm running out of input jacks to plug things in.

I'm using a scart hub for the older systems (the Wii is running on component and the 360 on HDMI), causes a bit of trouble with those stupid standby-only approaches some systems take (the PS2 slim I have can only be brought out of standby by pulling the plug and will interfere with the audio on other systems on the hub) but overall prevents me from having to climb behind the TV all the time.

Re:Exactly. (2, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020808)

Is a potential customer supposed to read any and all news articles regarding a product before purchasing?
If Sony sells the product with "free playstation network", a customer would expect the playstation network (in it's entirety) to be and remain free.

Re:Exactly. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31020420)

naaaa.... you'll have forgotten by the time you'll return to the market for the next console generation, due to the time passed and the next generation marketing campaign with moar! ponies!

Re:When Hell freezes over... (4, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020404)

I'd go further - such move would be so unbelievably stupid that I can't help but suspect there's something else at play here.

Spreading such rumors and causing a bit of an "outrage"...which has a "side effect" of spreading the message that Sony network service is free, while MS one is not?

Re:When Hell freezes over... (1)

sumthinboutjesus (984845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020434)

I hadn't really considered this angle before, but that would be a viral/guerilla marketing masterstroke. Great idea. Mod parent up.

Re:When Hell freezes over... (4, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020800)

What, spreading the word that your service is free by telling people you plan to charge for it? Colour me dubious. Some people care about the cost of being online, some don't, and as far as I can tell the only affect this would have is to put off the people who were attracted to the free service because they know it can be yanked at any time.

Sure they might do another announcement that they considered all the options and decided to stay free, but what's the likelihood that it'll get anywhere near the coverage this will - we all know that bad news sells clicks or whatever it is big media's in the market for these days.

Re:When Hell freezes over... (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021662)

Given the number of foot / mouth moments Sony has had over the PS3, I doubt they're doing something like that.

Re:When Hell freezes over... (2, Insightful)

ViViDboarder (1473973) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022068)

I think this would be a really BAD way to let people know it's free.

If I was just about to buy a new system and heard this I'd be like, "PS3 is free for a while now but they are going to start charging soon! Screw that."

Re:When Hell freezes over... (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020522)

The problem is, whilst yes, the PS3 is making headway, it's coming at too big a cost to them.

It's not clear that the PS3 is even making a profit on the hardware itself yet, certainly it wasn't even as recently as 6 months back. The PSN costs a lot to run, so they're effectively subsidising that too. This of course becomes more of a big deal when they have to fund additional features to try and keep up with XBox live but do not receive income for it like Microsoft does with Live.

So yeah they certainly have momentum now, but it's costing them too much to be sustainable, so they have a choice of breaking even and pissing people off, or continuing to haemorrhage money in the hope that some day they will indeed be able to make it all back.

Microsoft made the same mistake with the original XBox in that it costs them a fortune, but they learnt from it, sure they still lost money on the hardware for a while, but not so much that they couldn't get it profitable within a few years. They also realised that XBox live is a good way to help fill that gap, in that by charging for it, they're both avoiding losing money there, and making up for some of the money lost on the hardware as well as being able to use the money to fund continued development.

Of course, I agree it's nice to have things for free, but sometimes that just isn't practical, at least in the long run. I'd wager this is why Nintendo didn't really bother with a decent online experience at all- because it would be just an additional cost for them that detracts from their profit.

Fucking Moron (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31020706)

Go away idiot.

Re:When Hell freezes over... (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021980)

I let my gold account expire when my 360 died and bought a ps3 instead, the PSN network being free was one of the reasons. It's starting to frustrate me though. I don't know the specifics behind how it works, but the EA titles that I play seem to make one machine the host, rather than use a dedicated server, and that really sucks when you are on the 16th hole of Tiger and suddenly it all craps out. Maybe that's an EA thing because it seems to be a different environment than PSN proper, but Live never gave me those issues (20mbit fiber, it's not me).

Re:When Hell freezes over... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022564)

Console games love making one of the players the host instead of using dedicated servers and some games are even bringing that over to the PC (I thought it was fine in DoW2, not so much in MW2).

Re:When Hell freezes over... (1)

williamhb (758070) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020798)

As a gamer who has made purchasing decisions based on the fact that PSN is free and Xbox Live costs money, I believe this would be a big negative for Sony at a time when they are actually making headway in the console wars. The only way I see this working out is if all the current services offered by PSN are free and these new features are optional, not essential for having a good gaming experience, and priced modestly. Otherwise, I think this will amount to Sony shooting themselves in the foot when they have momentum, just like they did with the PS2 to PS3 transition.

Very much worse than the PS2 to PS3 transition. With the PS3, Sony has started to gain real traction as a "just works" media and entertainment hub for ordinary folk and families (rather than techies). For instance, the sales success of PlayTV (cheap, easy, and friendly digital tv recording functionality), LittleBigPlanet, etc -- it's starting to conquer the Wii's territory now more people have high-definition tvs. As soon as it's "$X/month subscription", families and casual users won't look at it. They'd reckon that kind of "all-you-can-eat" pricing means it's for hard-core WoW/XBox360 8-hours-a-day types, not for them. "Not only do I not want to spend that much of my time playing it, I don't want to be playing against people who spend that much time on it either."

The PS2/3 transition, in comparison, was a temporary problem -- PS2 support was there because otherwise at first launch it would have looked like there was very little you could play on the PS3. Pissing off the hardcore PS2 players ("I have to keep both boxes?") was minor in comparison because most people do not consider themselves hardcore gamers.

Re:When Hell freezes over... (2, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020866)

>>I believe this would be a big negative for Sony at a time when they are actually making headway in the console wars

Yeah. I don't think they'd be as suicidal for charging for access to all multiplayer gaming, like the surcharge pirates at Microsoft impose on everyone (want to play Castle Crashers, two at my place, two at your's? Okay, pony up the money for four Gold accounts, chumps).

If it was something like the mentioned "cloud storage space for games"... then it might be worth it. If I could upload saved games to their network, and download it at my friends house, avoiding the annoying of finding my USB drive, plugging it in, copying it, etc., that would be worth some money to me. Especially since it'd provide backup insurance for my saves in case my PS3 dies or gets stolen.

I don't give a rat's ass about early access to demos or the other nonsensical features they test marketed to people in Europe, and I think that cross-game voice chat should be a *core fucking feature*. The state of voice chat on the PS3 is abysmal compared with how easy it is on the Xbox360.

For "Premium" features, not the base stuff!!!! (4, Informative)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021542)

The charges would be for new and extra features. Not what it already does.

http://www.gamepro.com/article/news/213014/premium-psn-service-planned-wont-affect-online-gaming/ [gamepro.com]

"Sony is considering adding a subscription-based version of the PlayStation Network, but the company denies that it will charge customers to play games online."

http://www.next-gen.biz/news/sony-may-introduce-psn-subscription-model [next-gen.biz]

"Especially in the online area, we are studying the possibility of introducing a subscription model, offering premium content and services, in addition to the current free services." (Emphasis added.)

Re:When Hell freezes over... (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022044)

Otherwise, I think this will amount to Sony shooting themselves in the foot when they have momentum, just like they did with the PS2 to PS3 transition.

The thing is, not doing it will also amount to Sony shooting themselves in the foot.

The network is far from free to run, and is losing money. Unless they can figure out another way to monetize it (eg. advertising infrastructure, "subscription fee" from developers, whatever), I don't think anyone can realistically expect it to remain free forever. At some point it has to stop, unless someone can figure out another way for it to be free and profitable (on an ongoing basis -- just as a marketing tool to get people to buy PS3 won't cut it forever).

They'd be stupid not to (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31020118)

From a purely business perspective, MS must be making a killing on live. Sony gaming needs to make some money somehow: they're still making loss on every PS3 sold, their investment in exclusive games has produced some good games but they've all been fairly mediocre sellers, the PSPgo is a massive flop and PSN must be eating some money.

Last I read, Sony had lost more on the PS3 than the profit from PS1 and PS2 combined. That's seriously bad business.

Re:They'd be stupid not to (2, Informative)

auLucifer (1371577) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020816)

I've heard that with the slim ps3 sony are no longer loss leading. Can I see a reference for the statement that they still are?

Re:They'd be stupid not to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021784)

Can you provide a reference to the contrary? Because Sony would have been trumpeting that one all over the place, if it were true.

Re:They'd be stupid not to (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020832)

I'm not sure how much money MS make on live, gold subscriptions cost less than the price of a single new game and are only payable once per year per customer (not even counting all the customers who never use live, I'm not sure what the online:offline ratio is, this may or may not be a significant figure). I'd be surprised if they had much money left over after providing the service, selling content is where the big money is in this for them, and they can do that whether the service is free or paid. I think subscriptions for Live just help them provide a good service, which probably indirectly helps sales, this move is almost certainly going to be about not losing money rather than making money.

Re:They'd be stupid not to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31020916)

Live has had over 20 million active gold subs for a while now. Let's be modest and estimate the median cost at $40, comes to > $800 million. I doubt they are spending that sort of cash to maintain the service.

Re:They'd be stupid not to (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021632)

Last stats they released said around 25 million Gold subscribers, at £40 a year, that's £1 billion (around $1.5 billion US) income per year from Live subscriptions.

Re:They'd be stupid not to (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022384)

Good thing £ to $ is a 1:1 exchange
 
But yeah they are making a killing

Re:They'd be stupid not to (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022464)

Except it doesn't cost everyone 40 quid. Even with the exchange rate, I can get one in the US for helluva lot cheaper than the equivalent of £40.

Re:They'd be stupid not to (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022418)

Live provides nothing that justifies $40 a year, but $50 a year is just cheap enough where most will pay with out complaining and at worst people like me will bitch about it on the internet but still pay.

hasn't sony run out of ammo yet? (-1)

sirmonkey (1056544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020130)

how can they keep shooting them selves in the foot???

or do they not know that you can pick up an updated xbox (refurb) for under 175 and it won't die like the eariler ones
so now all they have on xbox is the free service, and they want to take that away, dolts....
ooo i know why! they are finally going to release GT:5 it can't be true!
:-)

ps first post

Re:hasn't sony run out of ammo yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31020176)

or do they not know that you can pick up an updated xbox (refurb) for under 175 and it won't die like the eariler ones

Please repeat this to your self.

what could possibly go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31020148)

Good luck with that Sony, Here's a bigger gun aim it at your foot.

IT makes sense to align costs and revenues (2, Interesting)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020152)

Running the PSN network must cost big money. It kinda makes sense to have subscriptions to cover those recurring costs, instead of counting on games revenues, which are one-off, to offset them.

I'm not saying it's nice or a good think for customers, just that it is logical. Maybe game prices can go down now that games don't have to pay for the network costs, and people can choose cheaper standalone play or pay for network play if the wish.

Re:IT makes sense to align costs and revenues (1)

nicc777 (614519) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020172)

On that line of thought, if they have a subscription it means they can lower the purchase price of the games, since it no longer needs to pay for the PSN network.

Re:IT makes sense to align costs and revenues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31020212)

Keep telling yourself that and it might come true....after every corporation fails and every business major on earth dies instantly. corps don't know the meaning of "lower price"

Re:IT makes sense to align costs and revenues (4, Informative)

Brianech (791070) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020262)

the PSN already charges for content. It charges the PUBLISHER. Companies have to pay 16cents a gigabyte of content downloaded (demos included).

Re:IT makes sense to align costs and revenues (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021960)

Holy crap. No wonder only major releases have demos on PSN. I got my PS3 at christmas, and i'm always shocked at how few of the Downloadable games actually have demos. I'm fairly interested in several downloadable games, and I was baffled that demos were not offered, because i'm not paying $15-20 for a game that could suck. Now I know why the demo space of PSN is so lacking.

As Long as... (5, Insightful)

TheQuantumShift (175338) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020154)

Multiplayer is free, I couldn't care less. I don't want "Early access to content" or the like, I just want to fire up Street Fighter and get my ass handed to me. I don't want "Exclusive themes" or access to psone games I played a decade ago; I just want to be able to virtually shoot a guy in the face once in a while...

Re:As Long as... (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020186)

Playstation Store and Playstation Home is for that.

And people ask me why I don't play consoles (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020192)

At least not multiplayer.

And it's not even so much that I have troubles using the console controllers for FPS games. It's simply that something like this isn't easy to enforce in the PC world. If anything, the maker of a certain game can enforce a "pay to play multiplayer" rule, which would basically mean for me that I can't play this game (since I won't pay to play just another FPS game online when there's a lot that are offered free), it would not mean that the platform becomes worthless altogether.

Re:And people ask me why I don't play consoles (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020478)

Traditional MMO model is just that; so generally don't hold you breath, that just might be where everyone is going.

And anyway, if I want multiplayer on a console, that's "all people in one room, drunk after pub" kind of multiplayer.

Re:And people ask me why I don't play consoles (1)

mr_gorkajuice (1347383) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021606)

MMO games by definition require extensive server farms, meaning continous maintenance costs for the developers. (I'm not suggesting Blizzard isn't rolling in massive dough on their subscriber base, but they couldn't keep WoW profitable if it was free to play).
FPS's are different, since everyone and their mother has adequate hardware to act as host for some 16-64 players, and that's all it takes for a good experience.
I seriously doubt that online fees is the general direction for the PC.

Re:And people ask me why I don't play consoles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31020900)

You don't play consoles because after years of free service, they are considering charging for it? WTF? You, sir, are fucking retarded. I sincerely mean it - you sound like your brain really struggles to function accurately.

Wouldn't be worth it. (3, Interesting)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020196)

One of the major advantages that PSN has over Xbox is the fact that the online play is free.

I actually don't play games online a lot, but it's nice that it's there, so that I can dip in and out of it. It came in VERY handy during Demon's Souls.

What would be better is if the online play remained free and Sony offered a subscription model that allowed players access to game and movie rentals.

What if, for £5 per month, you could rent one PSN game and a couple of movies? Once you'd finished playing the game, you could relinquish your "lease" on it and download another. Something like this would likely have saved the Calling All Cars servers, which were shut down because no one was playing the game!

There are lots of games on PSN that I would play, but given that they cost about £10, are non-refundable and may actually turn out to be crap, I can't justify the risk.

The movie rental feature would be a great incentive, too. PSN offers a hell of a lot of movies to rent, but given that you can actually BUY a physical copy for less (Aliens: £3 on DVD; £6.99!!!! on PSN), it's not worth it.

Also, PSN needs to make renting movies the priority over selling-to-own. There are many films on there that I would much prefer to rent than buy.

Re:Wouldn't be worth it. (0, Troll)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021766)

Before I reply to your comment, let me state, I have 360 and PS3 and have used the Wii at friends' houses.

>One of the major advantages that PSN has over Xbox is the fact that the online >play is free.

Actually, it's the ONLY advantage.

>I actually don't play games online a lot, but it's nice that it's there, so that I >can dip in and out of it. It came in VERY handy during Demon's Souls.

And you don't play games online a lot? So how can you really talk about PSN? Demon Souls is an excellent game.

>What would be better is if the online play remained free and Sony offered a >subscription model that allowed players access to game and movie rentals.

>What if, for £5 per month, you could rent one PSN game and a couple of movies? >Once you'd finished playing the game, you could relinquish your "lease" on it and >download another. Something like this would likely have saved the Calling All Cars >servers, which were shut down because no one was playing the game!

XBL gets that now through netflix, and coming soon to Sony. Are you talking about a specific Sony propietary movie rental? Game rentals how? digital distribution on game rentals is a far way off. You are better off going through Gamefly or some other outside company. You mention pounds, are you in England? Do they have video game rentals there?

Game makers would NEVER allow this. Renting a game for 5 pounds? LOL Surely you jest

>There are lots of games on PSN that I would play, but given that they cost about >£10, are non-refundable and may actually turn out to be crap, I can't justify the >risk.

That's why you, you know, read reviews, talk to people who have played it, research online about it, play a demo if available.

>The movie rental feature would be a great incentive, too. PSN offers a hell of a >lot of movies to rent, but given that you can actually BUY a physical copy for >less (Aliens: £3 on DVD; £6.99!!!! on PSN), it's not worth it.
>Also, PSN needs to make renting movies the priority over selling-to-own. There are >many films on there that I would much prefer to rent than buy.

You make it sound like PSN is designed just for movie rentals. It involves much more than that. Go on an XBL and you'll see how a better online experience works.

Your last point is an excellent one. It's the issue I have with digital download of games on XBL. They charge more for the downloaded material than if you went out and bought the physical copy!!! LOL So I can completely understand you gripe there and agree with you.

Re:Wouldn't be worth it. (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022088)

Game makers would NEVER allow this. Renting a game for 5 pounds? LOL Surely you jest

Blockbuster/Hollywood Video/Gamefly is on the phone, they'd like a word with you.
At least if PSN/XBL allowed for "rentals", There wouldn't be the needs to allow a middleman like Blockbuster to skim some off of the top. It's actually a good idea, but it would probably be a $5-10 per game for a limited time rental, rather than a monthly pass.

Who's hosting the Game? Sony or Publisher/Dev? (4, Interesting)

Amigori (177092) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020250)

Here's how I see it:
  • Playstation Home? Charge for it. I used it a few times when I first signed up, but it doesn't really do anything. I'm sure the costs outweigh the virtual trinkets and mini games they sell.
  • Playstation Store? Access needs to be free. Any store costs should be included in the price of the game/movie/tv show/theme pack/etc. Plus, on the movies side, it costs enough already to rent or buy movies.
  • Multiplayer Games? Who is hosting the server? EA, R*, etc? The hosting cost should be figured into the price of the game. Or they (Pub/Dev) charge a separate subscription fee. Sony hosting the server? Charge for it, XBox Live style.

I have no issue with paying for PSN as long as the price is reasonable. I paid for XBox Live for years, before I got rid of my XBox. $60/yr is perfect, $5/mo. That's $5m per month with 1m users (random user number). I couldn't see servers, bandwidth, datacenter, licensing, and power costs being beyond $60m per year, but then again, IANA MMO SysAd. Any more than $60, and it will fail. Maybe they could get away with a $100/yr price if they included a full Skype client, with video...maybe.

Re:Who's hosting the Game? Sony or Publisher/Dev? (2, Informative)

emanem (1356033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020430)

The SONY PSN I think is mostly used to act as a STUN [wikipedia.org] starter, but then games are mostly hosted locally, so they save bandwidth.
At least I think this is true for games like SF4, where apparently they don't/can't do anything for cheaters because they can't (read don't give a sh*t) spot them...
But this is my guess.
Cheers,

Re:Who's hosting the Game? Sony or Publisher/Dev? (3, Informative)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020510)

Playstation Home? Charge for it.

Home is festooned with adverts, sponsored zones and as you say trinkets for $$$. It's already commercialized enough and charging for it would be stupid.

Personally I think Sony have plenty of means of keeping online free and making money. They're already doing lots of them - pushing PSN, selling / renting videos, premium avatars & themes, advertising, qore etc. They could add to that model with IPTV, game rentals (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly etc.), streaming music & video, network storage & game load/saves etc. There is no reason that they should have to charge for any functionality that the PS3 already offers.

Charge for Home, not for Store (1)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021174)

I'd prefer that PSN remain free, since this is a huge plus in the PS3's favor. However, the realist in me recognizes there is significant cost in Sony operating the servers and network infrastructure to support PSN on an ongoing basis. If they had to charge for it, I'm with you on these points:

  • PlayStation Home - charge for it. It's already an MMO of sorts, just a social MMO, and people generally accept that you pay a subscription fee to play MMOs. (Disclaimer: I use Home, and I would probably pay a subscription fee for it.)
  • PlayStation Store - needs to stay free. I already buy all my PSP games from PlayStation Store, as well as rent movies from it. I'm paying $$ to Sony each time I buy a game or rent a movie, so I'd stop using this if they charged me just to access the Store service.

However, I'm not sure I'm with you on this:

  • Multiplayer

It needs to be one or the other - either charge a monthly fee for this, or leave it free. If Sony tried to come up with a mixed model for what online games require an online subscription, and which don't, it would really confuse and frustrate gamers. They don't want to do that.

Personally, I'd pay a (small) subscription fee to play online on two conditions: (1) I shouldn't have to play with 12 year olds who like to call everyone a Mexican Jew lizard; (2) I don't play online games all the time, so it would be nice to be able to buy into a month-to-month plan, or an annual plan, and I should be able to pay for both through PlayStation Store.

Reasonable price & improved functionality (2, Interesting)

EspressoFreak (237002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020252)

Well, if the price is reasonable and they use the extra income to improve the platform features (connection speed, connectivity, etc.) and perhaps offer more free perks (game newsletter, reviews, etc.), then it will probably be worth it.

Re:Reasonable price & improved functionality (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020844)

So, basically if it was the same as XBox Live?

It would still annoy a very large number of people.

Not working in my country anyways (2, Interesting)

jamlc1m (1697540) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020300)

The PSN doesn't work in my country even though I've exchanged quite a few emails over the three years I have my PS3. On multiple occasions I've been promised that "we're just about to launch the service" and nothing happened ever since. This is quite a drawback in the whole PS3 experience since I know that demo's and free content on the PSN is half the fun. I actually wanted to purchase some upgrades to one of the games I own, but since Sony wasn't really interested in my money then I sure as hell won't spend any money on the PSN should it come as a paid service.

The effect of Paying for PSN? (4, Funny)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020304)

Well, I can imagine my neighbors would hear me shouting "Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii" as my PS3 sailed past their windows.

Re:The effect of Paying for PSN? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31020582)

So you would literary throw your PS3 out the window if they started charging? Anger problems much? Perhaps you should give your console to some poor kid instead. Pathetic.

Re:The effect of Paying for PSN? (2, Insightful)

Imrik (148191) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020674)

Don't be silly, obviously he means his PS3 can operate a boat.

Re:The effect of Paying for PSN? (2, Funny)

godfra (839112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022210)

So you would literary throw your PS3 out the window

Verily, this Playstation has become a financial burden of prodigious proportions, therefore I promulgate now, that I shall have no more to do with it, and plan to dispense with the economically burdensome device forthwith!

With that being said, I bid you good day Sir!

Re:The effect of Paying for PSN? (1)

godfra (839112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022226)

oops posted in the wrong place.. and there was me trying to be clever :)

Oh, good... (2, Insightful)

ButtercupSaiyan (977624) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020342)

That means more customers for Nintendo and Blizzard Entertainment / Activision then...

Re:Oh, good... (3, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021694)

That means more customers for Nintendo and Blizzard Entertainment / Activision then...

You are really using Blizzard as an example of a non-pay for multiplayer company?

Re:Oh, good... (1)

Marcika (1003625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022330)

That means more customers for Nintendo and Blizzard Entertainment / Activision then...

You are really using Blizzard as an example of a non-pay for multiplayer company?

Well, they do have the most popular non-pay multiplayer service in town... Don't tell me you never played Diablo 2 or Starcraft on Battle.net -- and with the release of D3 and SC2, free Battle.net could well become more popular than WoW again...

Re:Oh, good... (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022472)

... Don't tell me you never played Diablo 2 or Starcraft on Battle.net

Actually I never did, and I loved Starcraft. I played it on LANS and other similar things (dial up networking).

I don't disagree with you, but the big thing on Blizzard's plate at the moment is a 10 million person subscription service. And as PC gaming slowly becomes a port of console games, (and developers being purchased by traditional offenders) I can see it becoming an issue.

Re:Oh, good... (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022538)

battle.NET

If I have to pay... (2, Interesting)

emanem (1356033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020416)

...I might as well call it a day.
The service is cr*p (with SF4 for example is full of lag cheaters and they don't get banned), movies you can buy cost a lot as well (plus on a side note if I downaload 10 of them I exceed my 100 GB monthly max limit on my ultra-in-theory-unlimited BT account - I discovered that because of this...sigh) and are badly compressed.
And they even think to start charging people?
This is the good time I might stop buying any SONY product in future.
Cheers,

Re:If I have to pay... (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020994)

I would guess if they charge it will be precisely so they can improve the service without financially crippling themselves. At that point I guess the choice is would you rather pay for a decent service or not play online with the PS3. It's obviously not scared away enough customers on the 360 to stop MS charging and the service they deliver generally seems reasonable, so there's no reason to think it couldn't work on the PS3. The big problem for Sony is that if you mess with your customers like that, selling a platform on the basis of a free service then charging once you've got the numbers, you're likely to make quite a few people much more angry than if you'd just been honest about all of this up front (call PSN a public beta that will incur a subscription charge should it prove successful, or something along those lines, so people feel privileged for getting it for free rather than pissed off for being charged). It's too late to do that now, only time will tell if it's a poor decision or not.

Re:If I have to pay... (1)

emanem (1356033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021084)

The point is imho they will keep on using STUN (see my post above), using our own bandwidth/resources (eg. running servers on your own PS3 rather than dedicated servers) to make money.
Look, with Battle.NET, since 2002, Blizzard is hosting all the ranked (ladder) games of War3 (prolly StarCraft as well).
And they have anti-cheating teams as well.
Did they ever ask you for a penny for this?
And this was in 2002 where setting up/paying for T1 et similia was more expensive. Nowdays all fast line/cable infrastructure costs a lot less. Computational power required to run a dedicated server is more or less the same.
Why does SONY should make pay people for the kind of service you would expect for free?
Btw, do you know how easy is to burn your bandwidth with PS3 acting as server?
Cheers,

In 50 years from now (1)

PePe242 (1690706) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020468)

Someone will come up with an incredible concept of plug&play. Not the standard plug&login&pay&update&playEventuallyIfyouHaveTheCorrectDLC

I forsee a meeting of products, here (2, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020482)

Specifically footwear and small-arms ammunition, the latter delivered at velocity.

I was seriously thinking of buying one (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020484)

but I'll wait now until they've thought this through. Maybe I'll just upgrade my PC instead.

Re:I was seriously thinking of buying one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31020656)

Smart choice about the PC.

Re:I was seriously thinking of buying one (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021036)

Well, possibly, but bear in mind he could probably subscribe for five years to this for the cost of just a decent graphics card (I know they've not announced prices yet, but I'm assuming they won't charge more than Live), and spread the payments, and it might buy a slightly better online experience into the bargain. There are many advantages of PC gaming over console gaming, but price has never been one of them, usually entirely the opposite.

Re:I was seriously thinking of buying one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021216)

Having just purchased a PS3 and have a nice computer I'd disagree. I'd say the PS3 was definitely worth it compared to upgrading. With the PS3 I don't have to muck about with Windows or wine. With the PS3 I can sit back with my feet up and just play instead of being hunched over a keyboard. The controller feels more intuitive then a keyboard and mouse to me in many games even as there are some games that you just can't play on a console (RTS spring to mind). As an added bonus with the PS3 I never have to worry about hardware compatibility or DRM screwing the system.
I will say that this news is a bit disturbing but considering I don't really play any multi-player games I don't see it bothering me.

I think the better questions to ask would be:
what kind of games do I play and enjoy?
do I want to play games with others on the PS network?
How much upgrading for the PC is necessary?
How easy is it to get games to run on my PC?

Mmm Yummy FUD! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31020592)

Isn't all the info related to PSN going paid service been that the current service would remain free but all the new toys would be part of a pay service? I know everyone here like to hate on the PS3 but it's kind of pathetic.

PREMIUM ONLY! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31020624)

This should be for PREMIUM only, NOT access to the service in general.
If they make it for accessing PSN and networked games, they will kill PSN.
Just because a bunch of idiots actually buy stuff on PS Home, doesn't mean to say that everyone else on PSN will subscribe to a monthly fee.

God damn, if they actually go through with this, they need to fire every single person who agreed with the decision.
Free PSN is one of the biggest attractions to PS3 for most people.
If they made it paid-for, next to Live it would pretty much be a polished turd.

This is yet another stupid decision of theirs coming back to bite them in the ass.
"Fully free" services are always a bad idea. Free access to updates and online play, and premium services for everything else, absolutely no other way.
Anything else is going to screw you over at some point, whether it is less sales due to a fully paid-for service, or losing money to a fully free service.
Microsoft actually got it right for once.

You're telling me... (3, Funny)

gaelfx (1111115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020650)

...there's a Playstation Network now? Finally, no need to invite my friends over to play games! All those harsh, awkward social interactions I've been going through these years were totally unnecessary!

PS3 sucks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31020696)

Only faggots play it.

Screw you, Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31020704)

I ain't payin' for nothin'

They had better make it worthwhile first (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31020722)

Having 'endured' PSN I can safely say it was the most infuriating console experience I have ever had.. and i have owned essentially every console from the NES to now. The whole thing feels like it was designed by a committee of investment bankers and is about as fun as filling out a tax return. Seriously, I think going online with the Dreamcast and Dreamkey was more enjoyable... and it was at 56k!

The fact the Wii and 360 wipe the floor with the PS3 when it comes to the online 'store' and other online features, I can't imagine any sensible person would pay for such an experience.

It is just leading everyone into the sales model of buying half the game from the shop and the other half online...

I wont buy a PS3 until PSN is subscription based. (2, Interesting)

Mr Stubby (1122233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31020876)

In my experience on friends consoles and the like i've noticed theres a significantly larger bunch of grifers, whiners and other anoying tards in abundance on the PSN purely because its free, having to put a few dollars a month to play on Live doesnt eliminate the problem but it really keeps a large percentage of the riff raff out of my games, and I'm all for it.

Re:I wont buy a PS3 until PSN is subscription base (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021010)

Are you absolutely sure about that? From playing on both I've found that paying for Live makes them more dedicated to griefing.

Getting their money's worth, as it were.

I think this is probably as bad if not worse.

Re:I wont buy a PS3 until PSN is subscription base (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021248)

Do you really believe that charging a subscription fee is going to reduce the number of annoying tards? Just think about that for a second. Which is the most likely demographic to pay for online gaming subscriptions? That's right. Annoying tards.

Re:I wont buy a PS3 until PSN is subscription base (1)

Mr Stubby (1122233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021640)

It's not about believing it, i didnt make it up or read it in a book :P It's just what I've noticed and friends have agreed from their experiences as well, in games like SF4 inparticular. I dont own a PS3, just play it at friends so I'm not sure how the whole account banning works etc, but I think more do live in fear of the Xbox banhammer which can get a bit out of control sometimes (particularly over usernames) but it doesnt seem to be the case on PSN or isnt enforced as much? I cant be sure on that.

Re:I wont buy a PS3 until PSN is subscription base (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021896)

Well, you are obviously familiar with the Xbox Live system. There's no shortage of annoying tards, is there? In fact, the online experience is mostly composed of annoying tards. So why would you assume that paying a subscription fee would reduce the number of annoying tards, when a pay-only system is mostly populated by them?

Re:I wont buy a PS3 until PSN is subscription base (1)

mr_gorkajuice (1347383) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021676)

Which is the most likely demographic to pay for online gaming subscriptions? That's right. Annoying tards.

Anything remotely resembling statistics to back that up? My gut feeling disagrees entirely.

Re:I wont buy a PS3 until PSN is subscription base (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021854)

No, there's no statistics on this, as "annoying tards" is entirely subjective, and gaming companies don't tend to keep records on this kind of thing. However, my gut instinct is that it isn't Rhodes Scholars who typically pay for online gaming.

And why not Prepare the sheep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021102)

Why would Sony make a public hint. The best way for the public to get used to the idea of charging, is to hint. This get's them a lot of free publicity and lets those that are against it vent. After things calm down some months later, then start the pay to play. There certainly will be a lot less yelling and screaming later simply because the idea has already been planted and people have vented. The public are already prepared for the inevitable thanks to the PR from the months previously.

The fact is that the game companies have always wanted to capitalize on every aspect when they rented you that purchase of your favorite game. All game companies are laying the groundwork by removing completely or now with BFC2 limiting dedicated servers. They're now making ports of games to the PC rather than creating games for the PC and porting them to consoles. Now the only games that exist are one made for the consoles. The market is now console driven with no alternative for customers to jump over to PC's for free online play.

Face the reality. Console players as a majority are sheep and always have been. Consoles have always attracted the lowest common denominator of those least computer literate. Console players accept that the game is always the same. They like the fact it never changes in how it is played and there is no added community content. They are used to having no control over their gaming fate. The console mob never had a sense of community, so never had any kind of common voice or creative element. This is exactly the type that will bend over and pay yet again.

Now that there is a captive audience that is used to the boring and mundane and are not aware of the history or an alternative, The companies have exactly what they have dreamed of. Online play is simply another avenue for generating huge revenue. As the CEO of Activision has stated clearly. His intention is to ring every last dollar out of the COD franchise and other IP. Why would Sony NOT do the same.

PSN isnt worth paying for. Sony respect your users (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021430)

Sony owes is loyal customers who have put up with their poor PSN network, and inferior PS3 hardware, bad 3rd party ports... etc

PS3 owners such as myself, love Sony's first party games which are incredible considering the hardware's inferiority, but really everything else has been less than stellar.

Sony needs to stop worrying about how charge fans for their pathetic PSN. Its a terrible experience with little real functionality. It is beyond underdeveloped just like the PS3 OS and online features.

Its just not worth paying for. Sony would be making a huge mistake.

I love SONY First party games... I'm a huge Fumito Ueda fan. ICO is a legendary game. God of War, Shadow of the Colossus, Uncharted, Gran Turismo, Hot Shots Golf, MLB The Show, etc. Theres a lot of great first party Sony games... but seriously... SONY has been strugglign to play catch up ever since the PS3 launched and they're not there yet.

It depends (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021734)

If it's charge for multiplayer? meh, I'm single player only 90+% of the time

If it's charge for demos,Netflix or patches? DIAF Sony.

Gamefly like subscription to all the games on PSN? Count me in, if it's a reasonable price.

Way to Save Money: Stop developing Home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021834)

Seriously, what an absolute waste. Sony jumped in to develop this when Second Life was generating tons of (unwarranted) press.

I'm all for it if it stops the spam (1)

TheTyrannyOfForcedRe (1186313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022258)

I hope they do charge for it. I'm sick and tired of being spammed with movies/games/etc every time I fire up my P3. I use it to play bluray. That's it. I have no interest in online movie rental or ps3 games. The giant thumbnail previews littered throughout XMB interface really piss me off. Don't even get me started on the ticker thing.

A threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31022260)

If they charge I will never buy another sony product in my entire life. That would be the absolute dirtiest trick in the book leading people on about a free service then changing it over. And advertising campaign designed to manipulate the consumer to buy the product, based on the fact that it's "does everything" is horrible. This bait and switch is the worst thing sony could do for the life of it's current console and any future consoles. Hope fully their retarded marketing team will walk up and smell the caramel macchiato or whatever the hell they drink.

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