Do you expect PSN (Online Play) to be Free on the PS4?

#1 Edited by BPRJCTX (705 posts) -

Simple question:

I just want to know how many people here expect Sony to offer Free Online Play with PS4.

Personally, i think there's no way, and the only reason it was free this gen was because, they just couldn't get ppl to pay for their very basic new online service, so the only way to make it competitive, was to make it free.

But now that, in many ways, it reached the level of Xbox Live, i think that, PSN being a paid service should just be a given'.

But i don't think a lot of people really expect that.

And i wonder if it could be a problem for PSN, when their user base is not used to pay to play online.

PSN+ was a good testing system for them, but i don't think it was that successful in the grand scheme of things, it certainly wasn't enough to prepare ppl for the possiblity that playing online might not be a given'.

Because i still see a lot of ppl who reallly believe in that.

So, what do you guys think?

#2 Posted by joshthebear (2700 posts) -

Nope, not with the amount of space bucks Microsoft makes with charging for it. I fully expect them to announce a pay service either during e3 or right around there.

#3 Edited by Sterling (1715 posts) -

Yes. They are making the money in PS+ subs, so there is no need to force a Live type service.

#4 Edited by msavo (7522 posts) -

Being able to play against other people will 100% be free. They have a premium service, Playstation Plus, and will bolt on new services or pricing options to that. I could see a thing like video sharing being tiered toward Plus. Say all users get the ability to have clips be up to 30 seconds long while Plus members can record and share up to 5 minutes at a time.

I'm not saying my example is smart or what they'll do I just don't see multiplayer itself going pay to play.

#5 Posted by Redbullet685 (5980 posts) -

I feel like they would make it free again. It'll be a system seller. Since both the PS4 and next Xbox will be coming out around the same time, PSN being free would be a good reason for people to go PS4.

#6 Posted by believer258 (11035 posts) -

I would be surprised if it wasn't, since that was one of the major selling points of the PS3...

...but I think the possibility is still there.

#7 Edited by tonyp2121 (169 posts) -

I assume it was a given it's free. One of the things the PS3 players held up over 360 players was always that they paid for Xbox Live and basically got the same service for free on PSN.

#8 Posted by probablytuna (3442 posts) -

I think they're gonna stick with the model they have now, free for basic and PS Plus for premium stuff, it's worked out for them so far. And I know a few people that are considering switching to PS4 because they don't want to pay for Xbox Live anymore (cause they rarely use it) so if Sony decides to charge for their online service then they're gonna lose that edge.

#9 Posted by Zeik (2104 posts) -

I wouldn't necessarily be against the idea of charging for online multiplayer, but they better not pull the same BS as MicroSoft and force you to pay to use subscription services like Netflix.

#10 Posted by BionicRadd (617 posts) -

It will stay free. There's a reason Dust 514 is only on PS3. Could they charge? Sure, but I think they will continue iterating on PS+ to try and get more people to sign up.

#11 Edited by Clonedzero (3719 posts) -

I wouldn't be surprised either way. They're clearly going to have a premium service available i have no doubts about that. If its required for basic online features is to be determined.

#12 Edited by EXTomar (4121 posts) -

I expect online play and access to apps will be free. If they are going to make a push into Free-To-Play it makes no sense to charge to access it.

#13 Edited by mandude (2667 posts) -

They already have a subscription-based online-service, and I doubt they have any good reason to change it.

#14 Posted by Vonocourt (2107 posts) -

Two or three years ago, I thought it was a given that PS4 was going to have paid online, and that PS+ was just a way to get people use to the idea. But now with the success of the current PS+ model I don't think they are. This is assuming that the profit of PS+ is covering the cost for PSN servers and maintenance...stuff.

#15 Posted by BPRJCTX (705 posts) -

@mandude said:

They already have a subscription-based online-service, and I doubt they have any good reason to change it.

Money.

The main (and only for a lot of ppl) reason people pay for Xbox Box, is to play online.

Fact.

Xbox Live is the biggest cash cow Microsoft has, It's pure profit, because they could pay the costs of running the service with ad money alone.

Fact.

Sony (like every other comany...) is a company with the main goal of making loads of money.

Fact.

2+2=?

And as you all know, Sony as a wholle has been having a lof of problems lately, so...

It all pretty obvious to me, it sucks, but i really believe there is no chance they will leave that money on the table.

#16 Edited by Draxyle (1717 posts) -

One thing's for sure, there's no way in hell that the gaikai features won't require a subscription. I imagine that PSN+ will be an expansion of what it is with those extra features included. I can't imagine they'd force multiplayer and other subscription services on top of PSN+ though, considering that's the one thing the PS3 did right compared to the XBox.

I do wonder if the Next Box will continue the XBox live forced multiplayer thing though; all signs are pointing to yes despite the increasingly aggressive outcry against it. I don't think they can get away with that twice, considering we've been enjoying free multiplayer for decades on the PC. It's a complete scam to charge for that.

#17 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4027 posts) -

Yup! $10 a month to play online. "But it comes with a bullet-point list of features including: .." Bundle on services like Sony Unlimited if they were smart about it.. And I don't know what the hell that Platinum Service is gonna be.

#18 Posted by Cold_Wolven (2167 posts) -

I expect it will stay free only because it's a nice bullet point to put in advertising to separate it from the next Xbox as a way of looking like the bigger better deal.

#19 Edited by Grillbar (1772 posts) -

@bprjctx said:

@mandude said:

They already have a subscription-based online-service, and I doubt they have any good reason to change it.

Money.

The main (and only for a lot of ppl) reason people pay for Xbox Box, is to play online.

Fact.

Xbox Live is the biggest cash cow Microsoft has, It's pure profit, because they could pay the costs of running the service with ad money alone.

Fact.

Sony (like every other comany...) is a company with the main goal of making loads of money.

Fact.

2+2=?

And as you all know, Sony as a wholle has been having a lof of problems lately, so...

It all pretty obvious to me, it sucks, but i really believe there is no chance they will leave that money on the table.

fact 1
people are sick and tired of paying for something they think, and rightfully so deserves to have for free, and even though they pay for something they still get insulted by getting ads thrown in there face

fact 2

as far as i know, and with a quick google search to back me up, sony will not say how many psn users have ps+ but it is estimated that a minimum of 13mil users have one, thats how they make the money instead of forcing it out people.

fact 3

2+2=4!
well they are doing fairly well, since its the most popular console in both europe and asia, basically they only loose to xbox in america.
granted they have a good amount of problems when they launched due to the fact that it was harder do develope for then xbox, and the fact that it was way more expensive but that kinda also had something to do with the fact that it had a blu-ray player in it. the ps vita is not doing great how ever but thats not what we are talking about.

i would actually be surprised if they do

and it would not surprise me if ms also stops charging money on the next console and try to mimic sony in some form or another

but the last one is more speculations on my part

#20 Posted by gkhan (360 posts) -

Since they've been behind this last generation, they need to pull out all the stops to catch up to Microsoft, so I bet that multiplayer will be free. It's entirely conceivable that stuff like video chat and and the video sharing stuff will be tied to PS+, but they need base multiplayer to be free just to have that bullet point.

#21 Posted by BradGrenz (57 posts) -

@bprjctx said:

@mandude said:

They already have a subscription-based online-service, and I doubt they have any good reason to change it.

Money.

The main (and only for a lot of ppl) reason people pay for Xbox Box, is to play online.

Fact.

Xbox Live is the biggest cash cow Microsoft has, It's pure profit, because they could pay the costs of running the service with ad money alone.

Fact.

Sony (like every other comany...) is a company with the main goal of making loads of money.

Fact.

2+2=?

And as you all know, Sony as a wholle has been having a lof of problems lately, so...

It all pretty obvious to me, it sucks, but i really believe there is no chance they will leave that money on the table.

Why do they have to have a subscription service that is pure profit? I think Plus is probably a lot more successful than people realize and Sony can set the profit level to whatever they want. Features like automatic updates and cloud saves cost practically nothing to provide, so all they're really paying for is the content deals. They can set whatever margin they want there. If I were running it I'd take half of the subscription revenue and spend that to secure the IGC games. That is still probably million of dollars per month per territory to negotiate with, and publishers (and especially indies) will be happy to take lump sum payments for games outside their primary sales period. But the end result is 50% of the revenue is profit. If they can make hundreds of millions a year on Plus while also making Live look bad and creating millions of loyal members who actually spend more on PlayStation games than before they joined then there is no reason to hide online behind a paywall.

#22 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (5794 posts) -

I wouldn't be surprised if they added tiered levels of membership, but I suspect the basics of the current PSN/PSN + will remain intact. It's an excellent service when they're not being douchey about communicating with consumers.

Moderator
#23 Posted by ajamafalous (11591 posts) -

I would hope that PS+ subs are making them enough money to keep basic multiplayer (and other services like Netflix, etc.) free. They're doing things right by consumers and I don't have anything bad to say about PS+. Really hope they can continue like they are now.

#24 Posted by Zaccheus (1770 posts) -

I think basic multiplayer will be free and PS+ continues expanding in other ways.

#25 Posted by mandude (2667 posts) -
@bprjctx said:

@mandude said:

They already have a subscription-based online-service, and I doubt they have any good reason to change it.

Money. The main (and only for a lot of ppl) reason people pay for Xbox Box, is to play online. Fact. Xbox Live is the biggest cash cow Microsoft has, It's pure profit, because they could pay the costs of running the service with ad money alone. Fact. Sony (like every other comany...) is a company with the main goal of making loads of money. Fact. 2+2=? And as you all know, Sony as a wholle has been having a lof of problems lately, so... It all pretty obvious to me, it sucks, but i really believe there is no chance they will leave that money on the table.

Don't patronise me. You're entire argument basically boils down to "Sony's a company and companies are greedy bastards so why wouldn't they charge?" I don't feel that I need to criticise this argument directly.

At the start of this generation, free online was a big draw touted by people that bought Sony, and pissing off your loyal fanbase isn't the best way to continue making money off of them. Especially in a market where you have serious competition, and even more so, if your competition has been winning for the most part.

Compare the goodwill generated by Xbox Live and PS+. Despite being the more popular console, I think it's safe to say that Live hasn't been winning over the hearts of many. On the other hand, PS+ is widely appreciated, and nothing would kill more goodwill than Sony folding online multiplayer into it. I'm sure that Sony are very aware of this, considering it's approaching the time where people are going to choose which console they'll be investing in for the next 5 or 6 years.

Also consider that in this generation, you don't have PC Games and Console Games. They're the same thing now; nearly any game coming out nowadays is multiplatform, across PlayStation, Xbox and PC (and lately, Mac). This means that PC is now a viable alternative to someone who would have otherwise only played console games, and coupled with Steam lowering the price-point for PC games drastically, and the winding down of this generation, a lot of console gamers have invested in gaming PCs, where free multiplayer is more than just a given.

#26 Posted by Gaff (1486 posts) -

Online play will probably stay free for the PS4. Whether or not that is smart, that is a different matter.

In 2010, Bloomberg reported that about 50% of the 25 Million XBL users paid for online play. In the meantime, this year Microsoft claimed there were 46 Million paying subscribers. Despite everything Microsoft is doing to ruin the Xbox (putting subscription services behind the XBLG paywall, Dashboards becoming bloated, etc), the number of subscribers is going up. There are a lot of people out there who still pay for online play, though judging by gaming forums' attitude towards XBL they might not be happy about it. Business-wise, Sony missed an opportunity to earn some money.

Now, will this carry over to the next generation? XBLG subscription numbers show a fair amount of users willing to pay for online play. Microsoft is probably happy to ignore the wails of the hardcore minority of the forums. Sony on the other hand has offered online play for free for a long time and for everyone. If they changed that, who knows?

Of course, Sony does need something to set themselves apart from Microsoft in the eyes of the average consumer.

Online
#27 Edited by LostDonuts (21 posts) -

I don't think it will be free anymore, to get online and access other features like Netflix and YouTube you must pay a monthly fee, but it will be cheaper than Microsofts.

#28 Posted by Castiel (2416 posts) -

I expect them to continue the formula they got going right now: it's free to play online but if you want all the fancy extra features you have to pay up.

#29 Edited by Hunter5024 (5165 posts) -

I guess it depends on how well Playstation Plus is doing for them. It seems like it's doing well, so maybe they don't feel like they need to add online play to increase its value? I think it would be stupid of them to start charging now if such a big selling point of PS4N is the interconnectivity, you don't want to exclude people from that or the whole idea will fail. It's well within their rights to charge, and I could see them going that route, but if they do, I certainly will not be paying for it.

#30 Edited by M_Shini (548 posts) -

I believe so, charging for it just makes then go in the opposite direction for all the good will psn plus has been getting and they will need all the bullet points they can get if they want to get off to a good start, esspecially if the xbox and ps4 are going to potentially be coming out within a few if not the same month this year.

Also your ps4 psn will still in theory be the same account as your ps3 stuff, so suddenly cutting off access to all ps3 online games for non psn plus people would be a shitty move and would easily get a internet shit storm for them.

#31 Posted by Zero_ (1970 posts) -

Yeah, multiplayer will totally be free. It's what they've been doing this generation and I think it's their edge over Microsoft. Having said that, everything we've seen about PS4 doing all that cool streaming stuff and everything else online will be charged in some sort of tiered PSN+ paid system.

#32 Posted by iam3green (14388 posts) -

i hope so. i have a feeling that it won't be. i do hope that it's free with netflix. one reason why i bought a ps3 was because of that.

#33 Edited by SomeJerk (2966 posts) -

Confirmed free (just after the presentation) is what's free on the PS3 right now, right here, today, but in that Q&A I only saw buying games and playing them online mentioned, not things like Youtube and Netflix - which shouldn't cost anything in the first place, your money goes to those two!

Gaikai BC will cost you, Streaming and uploading videos could come with a price tag and I would not be bothered by it, cloud saves could become a separate thing from PS+ for a low cost since it's the future.

I guess it depends on how well Playstation Plus is doing for them. It seems like it's doing well, so maybe they don't feel like they need to add online play to increase its value? I think it would be stupid of them to start charging now if such a big selling point of PS4N is the interconnectivity, you don't want to exclude people from that or the whole idea will fail. It's well within their rights to charge, and I could see them going that route, but if they do, I certainly will not be paying for it.

PS+ is doing extremely well and gamers around the world love it. The cash cow you and others may be surprised to hear of is PS Home, which is a great argument towards PS4 online staying free - they certainly won't make Xbox Live Gold subscription amounts of money from it but they make enough that they would notice it if it went away in a bad way.

#34 Edited by Seppli (9733 posts) -

I expect basic online play to be a free-of-charge out of the box experience. Hell - in an environment, where paying for a game I'm actively playing isn't a given anymore, why the hell would anybody pay for that? Every unnessecary gate keeping players from potentially spending time - and eventually money down the line - is a gate not worth putting up. I'd be surprised if Sony wouldn't try to leverage free online play against Xbox, if MS doesn't change their policy on basic online play.

#35 Posted by Andorski (5107 posts) -

I would be surprised if online play wasn't free. Sony is not in a dominant position to add more charges to their online services, unlike MS with XBL. I do think though that all the Sharing features and Gaikai stuff will be behind a paywall, either through PSN+ or another service brand.

#36 Posted by isomeri (1172 posts) -

I think that both consoles will have free online play in the next generation. Microsoft announcing a free tier of Live at E3 would be huge news, and I think that they will move in the direction of PSN+ with added content for paying members.

#37 Posted by RJPelonia (840 posts) -

Yes.

Online
#38 Posted by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

I dunno. If they do I want different subscription models, that's for sure. At the very least I want to be able to opt out of shitty multimedia apps and all that shit X-Box has been trying to do. Obviously if I could do all my online gaming for free I would not be paying for Gold right now.

#39 Posted by onarum (1945 posts) -

of course, ps+ worked for them, no need to force you to pay like MS does, we will still be able to play online, download demos and everything for free but there will be a premium service for those who want it.

#40 Edited by PenguinDust (12414 posts) -

Yes, I expect straight-and-simple multiplayer to be free again, but anything more to be part of PS+. I have a PS+ membership for all the benefits it offers above multiplayer. I do not have an XBL Gold account anymore because the only reason to have it is multiplayer. I very rarely play online, so paying for multiplayer is not something I am prepared to do. If Sony or Microsoft want my money, I am willing to give it to them, but I need a service I actually use.

Now, if Microsoft expects their next system to always be on and to fully benefit from that on single-player games you need a Gold account, then that's just one more reason to pass on the next Xbox. Of course, I suspect with both systems, a lot of the implementation of online benefits will be left to the publishers.

#41 Posted by Turtlebird95 (2140 posts) -

I believe the online gaming will be free, but many of the social features will be locked behind a subscription. Think Xbox Live Gold without the online multiplayer.

#42 Posted by EXTomar (4121 posts) -

Why would anyone, let alone Sony or Microsoft, think that access to Twitter or Facebook needs to be a subscription when you can get it for free on the lowest powered laptops and phones?? This is the kind of nickle and dime stuff that is going to ruin platforms causing unexpected prices and frustrations that I really recommend all platforms stay away from.

#43 Edited by BPRJCTX (705 posts) -

@grillbar said:

@bprjctx said:

@mandude said:

They already have a subscription-based online-service, and I doubt they have any good reason to change it.

Money.

The main (and only for a lot of ppl) reason people pay for Xbox Box, is to play online.

Fact.

Xbox Live is the biggest cash cow Microsoft has, It's pure profit, because they could pay the costs of running the service with ad money alone.

Fact.

Sony (like every other comany...) is a company with the main goal of making loads of money.

Fact.

2+2=?

And as you all know, Sony as a wholle has been having a lof of problems lately, so...

It all pretty obvious to me, it sucks, but i really believe there is no chance they will leave that money on the table.

fact 1

people are sick and tired of paying for something they think, and rightfully so deserves to have for free, and even though they pay for something they still get insulted by getting ads thrown in there face

fact 2

as far as i know, and with a quick google search to back me up, sony will not say how many psn users have ps+ but it is estimated that a minimum of 13mil users have one, thats how they make the money instead of forcing it out people.

fact 3

2+2=4!

well they are doing fairly well, since its the most popular console in both europe and asia, basically they only loose to xbox in america.

granted they have a good amount of problems when they launched due to the fact that it was harder do develope for then xbox, and the fact that it was way more expensive but that kinda also had something to do with the fact that it had a blu-ray player in it. the ps vita is not doing great how ever but thats not what we are talking about.

i would actually be surprised if they do

and it would not surprise me if ms also stops charging money on the next console and try to mimic sony in some form or another

but the last one is more speculations on my part

1. Yes, everybody is sick of paying for Xbox Live, but you know why people will keep paying for Xbox Live?

Well, it's the same reason ppl pay for XBL right now, achievements and friends.

If all your friends are playing on XBL, and all their game history is on XBL, why would they leave that behind, and why would you leave your friends behind?

A lot of ppl don't realize how important achievements were for the 360's success, and how import they'll be for the next console initial success, i don't care about it, but subconsciously, i probably do, as do a lot of ppl, even if they don't realize it.

And friends are even a bigger thing, Microsoft "kidnapped" your friends, and they won't let you play with them again, untill you pay the ransom money...

2. There's no way in hell Sony has 13 million active PSN+ subscriptions, that's probably the all time collective number.

I would have a hard time believing Microsoft has that many active gold accounts at any time.

And about Sony's problems, i said Sony, the wholle company, if you watch the news you'd know that the wholle company is in pretty bad shape, i wasn't talking about the Playstation side of the busyness.

Now, to think think that Microsoft would ever stop charging ppl to play online...

That's just straight up insanity...

They would go out of busyness before they stop charging you to play online.

#44 Posted by kingkill221 (1 posts) -

I really hope they don't cuz if they do that I won't be able to play with my friends thats what happened with Xbox 360 I thought Xbox live was free but NOPE! £60 a year! I was so pissed of when that happened I just want to play online NOTHING ELSE!!!!

#45 Edited by Brendan (7511 posts) -
#46 Posted by LiquidPrince (15601 posts) -

@isomeri said:

I think that both consoles will have free online play in the next generation. Microsoft announcing a free tier of Live at E3 would be huge news, and I think that they will move in the direction of PSN+ with added content for paying members.

Ahh, the theories people had before E3. That crazy point where everyone is throwing out all their hopes and dreams before having them dashed. At least by some of the presentations.

#47 Posted by McShank (1628 posts) -

I dont like how they are forcing it for online play but its better then Live's bullcrap and I have been paying for PS+ for about a year now and dont intend to stop.. Just like my wow account, I always go back -.-

#48 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2259 posts) -

This is the most interesting thread. A month ago I would have said Sony wouldn't charge or bundle online play behind a pay wall. And, a month ago I would have been extremely disappointed in having to pay. But at this point I'm just happy the DRM on physical discs isn't an issue.

I already pay for PS+ so this won't effect me at all really. But, even so I think Sony choose the far lesser of two evils. Turning every $60 game a gamer buys into junk is far more of a financial hit then charging me $60 once. It sucks that there has to be a lesser of two evils policy, but that how it is.

Up until Sony's conference I was not panning to buy either system, I was that disgusted by the way DRM was heading. For me Sony allowed a way to buy a next gen system, so for taht I am thankful.

Online
#49 Posted by bitcloud (645 posts) -

You guys have to remember that Sony will be hosting dedicated servers for multiplayer games with this. They already do now in many cases, they are not blocking all online portions of games, free to play and MMOs will not need PS+. XBL does not do this type of hosting for any of their games with the exception of Gears of War 3 for a short time. The smooth experience they keep talking about and extending the servers used for games like Killzone, Resistance, SOCOM and MAG to everything is worth the $50 a year alone.

We have been getting completely free servers for gameplay, which is unsustainable. Battlefield 3 solved this problem by cutting back on official servers and renting out player servers. Much like their PC version have been doing for years.

#50 Posted by Morrow (1828 posts) -

I never used the PSN a lot, mostly for DLCs of games I really liked, so I doubt I'll pay for that service. I'm completely fine with an offline console.

Except for when I'm updating my trophies :D

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