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Do we need a premium PSN?

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Rumours have popped up once again that the PS3’s online service is to be augmented with a premium service. That’s as in ‘one you have to pay for’. This second bout of rumours make it all too clear that Sony, apparently, aren’t planning on making the pay service mandatory and that the current free service won’t suffer as a result.

So how could it be anything other than A Very Good Thing?

When you sit them down next to each other, PSN and Xbox Live are very different beasts. They each have a multitude of positives and negatives, but from a purely objective standpoint it’s Live that will come out on top with regards to feature set, ease of use and whatever other criteria you want to apply to the test. Unless that criteria is ‘is it called PSN?’, in which case Live will lose.

But what can you expect? One is a free service, open to all from the day they get the console and so having to provide as much as it can with no extra income coming the way of Sony. The other is propped up by millions upon millions of dollars, which could easily be held separate from any of Microsoft’s other earnings and used solely on their Live platform – ‘upkeep’ is the word I was thinking of but didn’t actually remember until now.

So if Sony are indeed to introduce a pay version of PSN it can only lead to good things. As long as they put enough in there to encourage us to actually pay the fee in the first place – monthly free games are one of the early rumours – then there will be enough sign-ups for the service to become self-sustaining. When it reaches that point it can do nothing other than grow and become better, and so long as Sony resist the temptation to refuse access to basic features like cross-game chat for the free subscribers it will only ever be a very good – and absolutely necessary – step forward for Sony, the PS3 and PSN.

I mean, I’ll still find any way I can of getting the subscription cheaper, just like I do with Xbox Live, but that’s beside the point.

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  • Liam

    I can only see It as being a good thing as long as like you said they put In enough features making It worthy of paying for, If so than I’ll be purchasing day one… Also rumor has It Sony are going to reveal a new XMB at E3, If so I hope they don’t alter It to much, I like the XMB’s ease of use, I find It far easier and more attractive than my 360 Dashboard. What do you reckon?

  • Jeff

    In the current free PSN I do all I want and need, play games with other people so if Sony realeases this Premium version I won’t get it. If Sony takes away features from the free PSN I’ll just switch yo Xbox Live because I’m happy with the current PSN and if it turns to anything less I won’t be happy and also I know Xbox Live will still be better.

  • megulito

    you are a fool. a consumers job is to get the best for the least and companies job is to seller the least for the most bottom line. will they resist?? lol if they have idiots like your self lining up to pay for features and happy to trhow away dollars for slight usablity then they will do what make the most cents. “how can it be anything other than good huh?” the short sightedness of people like you astound me. every dollar is a vote even before you spend it. even the inkling of a spent dollar is a reason to do something. I dont blame you for liking easy to use systems but 1 the ps3 isnt bad and the game to game is equal. sony dosnt owe you a thing and you dont owe sony anything but it is in their best interest to acquire new customers and retain existing one by building feature rich systems everything we wanted would come in time with out paying. this wouldnt be us being unfair because they need us we buy 60 dollar games preopherial and dlc that would be them trying to regain dominance and build value. by demanding pairity from two system that are and should remain very different and by open out cry of wanting to pay for these features you change the economics of the situation to a place where the consumers not only have no real say but will pay for anything shoved their way no matter what. this is why companies have been making more of an effort to appeal to the masses because you the fool are a guaranteed buyer, pay attention. things like these are what my career has been about since i was much younger and the main rweason it bothers me is tat i see the signals from far off and i know th repricussions and if i had a hobby with people who understood how the economics of spending and decision making really worked i wouldnt ever have to worry about the impending commoditizing of all online play and game companies would get away with less because the majority of us would only buy the games and the machines that are the most we could get for the least amount of money (true value) please undertsand that your articles affect public opinion and that sadly help set the temperature about how things are received in the gaming sphere your comment should reflect teh absolute best interest of the gaming community more than the companies. if people want more feature u show them why these features should be coming for free not jump on the band wagon about paying. microsoft has broken the system. things companies felt lucky if u played or looked at and used to get you exicted about the gane they are not charging you for, you are paying to view ads this is backwards open your eyes

  • Dave Moore

    think your kinda missing an important point here though.sony need to get the european PSN up to the standard of it’s american counterpart before even considering charging.look at the dynamic themes they have,south park,star trek,family guy to name a few compared to our pathetic choice.look at some of the games, especially the psone classics like resident evil.
    sony shouldn’t even consider any form of charge yet without addressing this issue first.

  • Mataleon

    I think its a great thing, people dont have to pay.
    And if PSN Premium is really good, it would be an totally awesome thing.
    I like PSN, but i wouldnt mind paying a little it makes it worth
    entering the PSN store not just to check out new stuff to download once a week.

  • Tok1879

    Reading comments such as yours give me hope that there still exist people out there who are capable of reasoning. What you said is EXACTLY how I feel. I can’t believe this idiots who would actually announce to these already filthy rich companies that they are ready to be charged for things that would have probably come to them for free. It’s not like Sony doesn’t have a reason to make the PSN the best that they could make it. But yeah, to the author of this POS article, good luck on getting that cross-game chat to the free users.

  • Ian Dransfield

    If Sony actually charge for cross-game chat I will be very, very, VERY surprised. It just isn’t going to happen.

  • megulito

    thanks tok1879 the thing that still surprises me is even after reading my post people still say i wouldnt mind paying. sometimes i feel crazy. and im sure that these same people who now say they wouldnt mind paying are the same ones who trashed microsoft for charging for online. I too believe paying for online is stupid but i think charging for it is smart… if you can find idiots to pay. to me this is like telling your own husband/wife youd pay her/him everytime she/he gave you a sexual favor. the real question is why? theyd have done it anyway