Sony has explained the reasoning behind requiring PlayStation Plus subscriptions for online gaming with the PS4.
The PS4 will require a PlayStation Plus subscription for gamers to play online, like the Xbox Live Gold subscription at present, and access streaming services like Netflix.
However, Sony has explained the reasoning behind the new paywall, saying the PS4 online gaming network requires “a large investment of resources.”
“The main pillar for the PS4 will be online play,” said Yoshida. “We’re developing many new ways to play and connect which requires a large investment of resources.”
Currently, PS3 online gaming is free, with a PlayStation Plus subscription an option affair that lets users gain access to a free Instant Game Collection, full game trials, PlayStation Store discounts and other benefits.
“Considering the cost, to try to keep such a service free and consequently lower the quality would be absurd. We decided if that’s the case, then it would be better to receive proper payment and continue to offer a good service.”
The PlayStation Plus service for the PS3 costs £11.99 every 90 days or £39.99 per annum. It is unknown whether the price of the PlayStation Plus subscription will rise for the PS4. Current memberships will transfer to the PS4 from the PS3 though.
The PlayStation Plus account will be mandatory for anything that offers “realtime online play”, but anything outside this remit would be available to non-members on the PS4, which sounds fairly cryptic but similar to the functioning of the Xbox Live Gold and Silver tiers.
Yoshida did say that the PS4 would allow all users to reap the benefits of PlayStation Plus as long as the main account on that PS4 console had a subscription.
Next, read 10 things we learnt about the PS4 at E3 2013.