Sony to adopt Xbox Live-esque subscription model?

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by Mike
Posted December 16th, 2009 at 8:13 am

psnBefore you freak out and wet yourself, make it known that there is nothing concrete about any of this. It is merely a theoretical assumption and think pot of ideas…

Recently Nikkei Japan asked Sony executive VP Masayuki Chatani about how Sony maintained the cost of running the PSN network — a free online gaming network. Several options were highlighted with the most interesting being “single-payment packaged software” as well as the possibility of monthly fees or per-item charges.

Keep your finger off that freak button a little while longer. Just because monthly or yearly subscriptions are mentioned doesn’t mean the PSN as a whole is going to or even looking at an all out subscription model like Microsoft’s Xbox Live. There are plenty of things that can have a monetary amount attached to them without encompassing the bigger picture. Namely, game updates, extra game content, movies, online storage, and more are but a few of the many ways Sony can begin an influx of cash via the PSN without making everyone pay an entrance fee.

To me it makes sense. Keep the entry gate free and open and charge more for what users want to do. Of course, Sony can’t get too greedy or too stupid with their payment schemes as it will only push people away — something they don’t really want to do know that the PS3 is finally getting some sizable market share. I do think a blanket subscription fee for the PSN would be a bad idea. The PSN’s main talking point is that “FREE” tag slapped on the front. Playstation Home has stalled in development as of late and still hasn’t really caught on big like Sony has hoped. Finally, let’s be real here. Xbox Live is extremely well developed and robust providing (in my opinion) a better online gaming experience. If Sony is thinking of an all out subscription model, the PSN is going to need some more work. At the end of the day however, you can’t beat free. Some people simply won’t or can’t pay.

So I leave with two questions for current and potential PSN users: What would you pay, if anything, for certain features and services on the PSN? Would you even be willing to pay a base subscription fee if Sony enacted one? Leave it below.

Joystiq

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