The Asian PlayStation site has been hinting at this for a little while, but now it’s finally hit the internet (via N4G) we thought we’d better step up and get this post published. Essentially, the Hong Kong PlayStation brand works slightly differently to ours, and on the 18th they’re changing the way a few things are handled. The Asian site says that “Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong Limited shall launch a new upgraded PlayStation®Network Membership service on 18th August, 2009. The new PlayStation®Network membership will provide our customers with more complete and value-added services.” From this, the internet has decided that Sony are scrapping the free gaming model and charging people extortionate amounts just to download things from the Store.
Naturally, this isn’t the case at all. It’s just that product registration is changing and that customers who have already owned PlayStation Membership will be receiving an email notification with instructions of transferring the old memberships to new PlayStation Network Memberships. This not only doesn’t affect anyone outside of Hong Kong but also doesn’t imply that there’s any charges added to any of the currently free services. SCEE community spokesperson Muster Buster also hasn’t heard anything that would contradict with our assessment above, stating that he has “just had a chat with our honcho about this” and that “a value added PSN account is not coming. Such a thing would need to be done on a global scale and we’ve heard bob-all about it.”
There won’t be a second tier of PSN account, at least not based on the above, and Sony won’t be charging for anything they’re currently providing for free.