Sony made a controversial decision earlier this year when they announced that they would now be requiring that users pay if they want to play online on the PlayStation 4. The move is one that will generate income for Sony, and hopefully allow them to expand on the service by plowing some of that money back into the PlayStation Network.
And from the sounds of it, they’ll be making a ton of money off of the new pay to play service. Analysts are saying that Sony is set to make over a billion dollars a year on the PlayStation Plus pay to play online scheme. This represents a huge increase from their assumed 2012 earnings on PlayStation Plus service, which are estimated at around $140 million.
Sony using this money to improve the online network isn’t a shot in the dark. Shuhei Yoshida explained back in June that the new pay to play fees would fund improvements to the PSN. The real question is, ‘Did Sony make any improvements up front? Or will players be paying for an equivalent service that was once free? Sony has likely had to dump a lot of cash into the PlayStation Network to get it ready for the PlayStation 4 launch, regardless.
At the end of the day, these online networks for both Sony and Microsoft are huge sellers for the companies. And with Sony now charging for theirs, they’ll likely have a better shot at keeping up with features and advancements on that front, something that Microsoft has proven they are continually looking to do.