Introduced upon the release of the PlayStation 3 the PlayStation Network is a service that provides a number of additions to the PlayStation platform. Firstly the PSN allows players to compete online against other players. Online multiplayer can be seen on all platforms in some form. Secondly the users can download online content from the PSN. This includes demos, videos, and full games.
The Playstation Network currently has two types of accounts. Accounts are used for the consumer to buy their products from the Playstation store. The two most common ways of being able to purchase is using a credit card & a PSN card. PSN cards can be found in stores to like Wal-Mart or 711.
The Master Account
The standard account used for the network. Master accounts can hold certain usage conditions on associated sub-accounts. A email address is required to make an account, as well as: date of birth, street address and an Online ID. A note to know is that when you purchase items from the Playstation store your products will stay with the account and cannot be transferred to another.
Users who do not have the requirements for a master account in their region can only make a sub account. Sub account holder cannot make wallets but can use them from the associated master account to pay for products or other goodies. A sub account cannot be created without if a master account does not exist.
The Online ID is where you register a name that will be shown to the public in the Playstation Network. One important factor is to ultimately create a name you can stick with because once the Online ID is created it cannot be deleted. If you decide to create another Online ID, you will have to create another account. Your Online ID profile is what holds your friends, messages, and trophies. You will have an option to choose an avatar to show upon your Online ID.
The Playstation store has been a fundamental part of the PSN service. In the beginning it was exclusive only to the system, providing online games and downloadable content. However titles for the PSP have been slowly added. You can now buy or rent full movies through the store as well depending on the region of the PSN account. It also provides demos and videos for upcoming PS3 and PSP games. The PS store is also divided up between areas, so Europe and Asia do not get the same games or services at the same time. PS1 games have also been added for sale as they are playable in all of the current ps3s.
What you see available in the Playstation Store as well as the prices of the games, depends on the region in which your user account was created. It is possible to have multiple user accounts in multiple regions to allow for downloads of games or other services unavailable in your local area. However it is not possible to purchase different region DLC for a game, all DLC must be purchased from the native region of the disc.
Currently the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Portable can access the service. The PlayStation Vita will gain access to the PSN as the Vita is launched in each region. Unlike Xbox Live the PSN is free to use. A number of new additions have been added. Both PlayStation Home and Trophies are an example.
Playstation Home is for online users only. The user can talk to friends and meet new people around the world. The user can talk to one another by using text or voice chat. While Playstation Homes Voice chat is glitchy and faulty, mostly all users in home uses text. Home has rules about Profanity, if a user constantly says foul language in text, it will result in a ban. Playstation is always tracking the text, while it is a hard chance to get banned from PSN the user should still use proper words. Most users get away with it by replacing one letter with a hyphen or something else. Playstation home has great areas for friends to hang out with. There is the Mall, where a user can buy apartments, houses, clothes and special gear. There is also an area in the mall where users gather together to play chess. Most essential clothes items either cost $.99 or $1.99. Bigger things like houses cost $14.99 or less. Playstation home has an arcade where the user can bowl or play pool, or get on an arcade machine. Playstation Home also has a feature where they always add a location from popular games. Examples are, Uncharted 2, Residents Of Evil 5, Buzz, and numerous others. Playstation Home always gives users some free stuff when they do a certain task. Also in some games there are add ons that will allow a user to have a special item. An example is, Batman Arkham Asylum, this is only for users that buy the video game. The special item is the Arkham Batcave. Playstation Home continues to deliver the best products to keep the user happy and for He/she to have fun! Playstation Home recently became one year old, from 2009's Christmas.
During E3 2010, Sony announced PlayStation Plus. PlayStation Plus is a subscription version of Playstation Network. It will be offered to users at the end of June 2010. Playstation Network will stay the same but the user will have the choice to upgrade to Plus. One year subscription to the service costs 49.99 while a 3 month subscription costs 17.99. The first month is free.
The service will offer exclusive content. You'll receive exclusive demos, free PSN games, PlayStation Minis, PlayStation Classics and free episodes of Qore. PlayStation Plus will also push firmware updates, demos and patches directly onto your PS3. Note that these games will only be available to you while you're subscribed to Playstation Plus.
The first month of the service will offer to users a trial version of Infamous, Wipeout HD, 2 PlayStation Minis (Field Runners and Age of Zombies) and a PlayStation Classics (Rally Cross).