Eurogamer picked up a report that Sony will put online play behind a pay wall.
Never have i heard so many features of new consoles i hate. Blocking used games, persistent internet connection needed, online behind paywalls. Makes you wonder what isn't revealed/leaked as they never annouced that things like online passes were supported this generation.
Persistent internet connection is going to be in every game a few years from now. The MMO path of DRM looks to make life a bit worse for pirates at the cost of some convenience for legitimate owners. When you constantly have to communicate with a server, perhaps some files are accessed from the server entirely, and your save games aren't stored locally will make it more complicated to crack. Like some guys said on here a while ago, if they can buy themselves a week or two, it'll do wonders for the number of sales.
I already refuse to pay for Xbox Live, the same policy will be applied to PSN if they put multiplayer behind a pay wall. Especially since, for me, "multiplayer" is only the major component of two games in existence: Battlefield 3 and the variations of Counter Strike. For everything else, multiplayer is a side thing that you play around with after beating the campaign.
So, for me, it's a terrible idea. For Sony? It all depends on how many people they can sucker into paying for it. This is quite a gamble, though. If a decent number of people decide to pay for it, but not enough people pay for it, then they may have to remove it, which will piss off the people that did pay for it in the first place no matter their compensation. And afterwards, people may have already just moved on to the Xbox or maybe even taken the dive into PC gaming.
The article doesn't really specify that online play will be behind a paywall; I'm under the impression that stuff like cross-game chat will be premium features. I think Sony is aware that offering online multiplayer for free is an advantage they have, and they are even more aware that locking that away would not go over well.
It was inevitable and I don't blame Sony, hell they can't do much worse than Microsoft where Gold is an absolute rip-off. Even if they continue to build this new service from the ground works of Playstation Plus they'll be offering a better service unless Microsoft get their act together.
Fixed: Eurogamer picked up a Kotaku article that refers to a "reliable" source somewhere that made some claims that may or may not turn out true.
And as for the paywall: Sony is in a unique position to force Microsoft to go for feature parity. Following the XBL model might be a profitable decision, but giving the impression that they're playing catch-up / aping the competition is going do nothing for them to distinguish themselves.
I think it makes sense for Sony to charge for online since Microsoft would be foolish getting rid of it, since everyone in the console market basically expects to pay for it these days, but I expect there to be value adds to it from today's proceedings (some new hooks along the lines of Playstation+ or whatever the Gaikai aquisition was about).
Edit: or maybe you don't bring up the "you gotta pay for this" aspect of it til a later event.
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