Sony has long offered online play on the PlayStation Network to anyone that owned a PlayStation device. Whether that be the PS2, PS3, PS Handhelds, or other devices, the PlayStation Network has been free to use for online play and chatting with friends. Sony’s revelatory announcement that they would begin charging for the online play part of the service was a bitter pill to swallow for those that had grown accustomed to free.
Considering the cost, keeping the service free would be absurd
But there’s a good reason for the changes, and it’s to make the PlayStation Network a stronger, more featured filled online network. “The main pillar for the PS4 will be online play. We’re developing many new ways to play and connect which requires a large investment of resources,” explains Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida. “Considering the cost, to try to keep such a service free and consequently lower the quality would be absurd. We decided that if that’s the case, then it would be better to receive proper payment and continue to offer a good service.”
Not all features on the PlayStation Network will require a subscription. Sony hasn’t outlined exactly which features will be stuck behind the paywall other than online play, but Yoshida did say in this interview that the subscription would be necessary for “real-time services” video or games related.