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Paid subscription a possibility for the future of PlayStation Network

Paying for a subscription would certainly seem to be a possibility, especially as the long-rumored feature upgrades come filing into the PlayStation Network. When speaking with Geoff Keighley on the latest edition of Gametrailers' Bonus Round, Eric Lempel spoke about the PlayStation Network's current free service and that, "in time, anything can change." Comparing the PlayStation Network to Microsoft's Xbox Live service, Lempel, Sony's director of Network Operations reconfirmed "we're working on an achievements system," describing its inclusion as "an important feature." Voice-chat across all games is also something (thankfully) that Mr. Lempel touched base on, saying "talking across games ... definitely builds momentum for games and actually migrate(s) users to other games and keeps you in touch with your gaming community." We couldn't agree more.

Exactly when these implementations will make it to a PS3 near you, via firmware upgrade, is uncertain. "It's not in the next firmware update but it's something we're working on," says Mr. Lempel. We certainly hope so, though we are catching wind of the potential trade-off here. What do you think? Would you pay a subscription fee (similar to Xbox Live) for a plan that allows cross-game invites, built-in voice chat for all multiplayer games and a similar achievement points implementation? Or would you rather say the heck with all that, and voice to keep the PlayStation Network free for all, setting it apart from Microsoft's Xbox Live service?

[Via Next-Gen]

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. no paid subscription pls!

Posted at 4:07PM on Jun 18th 2007 by d1s

2. Why did he say "in time, anything can change"? Now all those anti sony sites like Joystiq, digg, kotaku etc. are going to post news like "Future of PSN: inferior xboxlive with subscription" or "PSN is not free afterall". It's kinda sad now that anything one says will be viewed the wrong way or scrutinized even if it doesn't mean it.

Posted at 4:10PM on Jun 18th 2007 by shase

3. I think theyre going to stay free for quite a while yet, that's what they have to really separate them from the 360.

Posted at 4:12PM on Jun 18th 2007 by Toby

4. free

Posted at 4:16PM on Jun 18th 2007 by tilsley

5. the only thing that PSN has over XBL is the free subscription.. they need to keep it free so they can atleast compete with XBL

Posted at 4:18PM on Jun 18th 2007 by DxG

6. Wow, I watched that video and man, can you ever twist things just to make a controversial post title.

My respect for PS3 fanboy just dropped quite a bit.

Here's a transcript:

Keeley: And you guys will, I mean, NEVER charge for online, that's sort of the philosophy is that, y'know, everything will be free?

Lempel: Right now that's our model. Y'kn.., in time, anything can change but right now we're happy with it, consumers like it, and we're happy to offer it.

Keeley: And it will be ad-supported? Cuz it's an expensive thing to run....

Then Lempel goes on to explain that the basic Home is free but you can buy a bigger apartment, etc.

I think Vrabel is making a huge and fundamentally unwarranted leap taking two disparate parts of the interview and coming up with a headline based 100% on his own speculation.

No official representative ever says "This is how it will be forever and always." They *always* leave themselves wiggle room or else the community will come back and accuse them of lying if something fundamental changes 5 years from now and Sony has to charge $1/year because of a change in the tax laws with regard to virtual items and currency (I'm making that up...but point is, no one can see the future).

Bad, bad reporting job, PS3 Fanboy. I expect better of you.

Posted at 4:20PM on Jun 18th 2007 by GRT

7. Quote:

Tretton doesn't shy away from direct comparisons to Sony's biggest game-industry rival. "We offer everything that Xbox Live does. The big differentiating factor is that we're not charging you" to sign up for the network service, he said.

If this is true then that would make a Jack a liar...

Posted at 4:24PM on Jun 18th 2007 by silence

8. Yup, this is the eventual death knell for the PS3, we should all unearth our burried Dreamcasts and fill the hole with the black obelesk that is the PS3.

Come on, yes, I WHOLE HEARTEDLY agree that this is a BAD idea, charging for PSN, but come on folks, there are a lot more simple minded folks out there, more than willing to pay the fee than there are of us who will flail against the hollow promises of a free community, some after spending several thousands in anticipation of not having to make any future outlays of cash (i.e. me... fool that I am).

All I can say is to echo what the sony execs have been saying since launch...

Tough, it works for microsoft, why should we deviate...

Posted at 4:25PM on Jun 18th 2007 by SlavedHeart

9. Crap! Not having to pay for online subscriptions for online play was what separated gamers from xbox fans, what are you thinking sony?

Posted at 4:25PM on Jun 18th 2007 by Michael K.

10. way to put on spin on that headline! im still a lil dizy. read post#6, as of now it will be free and stay free for a lil while longer, will they charge eventually, maybe maybe not. but i figure they make the income from furnitrue and apartments and clothing for your avatar and anything else they can charge for in HOME and those psn games should bring in some cash as well.

Posted at 4:28PM on Jun 18th 2007 by pete


Posted at 4:34PM on Jun 18th 2007 by aj Romero

12. Another vote for the Free.

Sony can get their money charging for things in Home.
I myself would pay a small fee for a Michigan Wolverines, Detroit Lions (yeah we suck), Pistons, or Red Wings Decor package for my Playstation Home.
When Home actually comes out of course.

Please Keep the Free part of PSN.

Posted at 4:35PM on Jun 18th 2007 by Scott Krueger

13. That would suck because the only reason I'm on PSN is because it's free. No games = no reason to pay for something I won't be using.

Posted at 4:44PM on Jun 18th 2007 by Jermaine Pulliam

14. they would have to drastically improve the network, I can download from xboxlive in no time but when it comes to downloading from psn I can go run errands go play some sports smoke a cigar and come back and it still isn't finished.

Posted at 4:51PM on Jun 18th 2007 by Jovah45

15. reaching .. foul. i am about to jump on the same boat as #6 ..

Posted at 4:52PM on Jun 18th 2007 by WhackMushroom

16. All I want right now is to be able to listen to my own music during gameplay through the XMB. Somebody kidnap a Sony exec. and make it happen please! I'm so sick of NHL 2K7 beats....

Posted at 4:55PM on Jun 18th 2007 by Ally Mohamed

17. Flamebait post for sure.

Until the PS Store even approaches what the competition is offering (yes, there is only 1 competitor on the same level), they'd be nuts to charge for it. At this point what would we be paying for? Demos which sell games? Movie trailers that sell movie tickets? Who's gonna pay for advertising?

Posted at 4:57PM on Jun 18th 2007 by Popfrogs

18. Well they could simply let it free, and for those who want the new options, upgrading to a paying account.
There are always people to buy those options, after all, some people are ready to pay 8€ for 3 Resistance maps...

Posted at 5:07PM on Jun 18th 2007 by Khaliel

19. People, stop being lemmings. Instead of just reading PS3Fanboy's totally made up drivel, go watch the source material and THEN decide if you need to be worried.

This is what is wrong with so-called "gaming journalism." Some irresponsible person, Peter Vrabel in this case, makes up some crap and you all accept it as truth!! He feeds you lies and you say "More, please!"

Don't be so stupid! The source is available, check it out for yourself.

Posted at 5:13PM on Jun 18th 2007 by GRT

20. well...right now...i want free...because their is not alot of games out anyways..but when the games start flowing..then i wouldn't mind to pay for online (thats if it has the same features and no lag etc). I would like it to be cheaper than XBL just so it still stands out..

Posted at 5:17PM on Jun 18th 2007 by Franchise03

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