Premium Service – Would You Pay to Play Online?

Right, some of you won’t want to agree with me here but there’s no use in pretending otherwise – Xbox Live Gold provides a more stable, reliable and feature-rich way to play online multiplayer than Sony’s PSN. I don’t think there’s any disputing that. But it costs money – £40 per year, if you don’t shop around.

[drop2]Now there are rumours kicking about this morning that the PlayStation 4 is going to lean towards a “premium online service” when it is (oh my god, we hope) announced later today. Those rumours suggest that the new online services will come under the moniker of PlayStation World, a name which will even replace PlayStation Plus.

I think renaming Plus, a service which has blown away anything that PlayStation’s competitors could offer, would be a bit silly. The subscription service is not only very popular but has captured itself a well-loved place in the minds of many a PlayStation fan. Renaming it would be discarding all of that good will and brand recognition. But regardless, there’s a new slate here so it’s not beyond the realms of possibilities.

More interestingly, though, is the assertion that “most” of the PlayStation 4’s online services will be premium, paid-for subscriptions. Personally, I would have absolutely no problem in paying a fee, similar to Live Gold on Xbox, which ensures a similarly robust network infrastructure. With all the talk surrounding PlayStation Cloud – potentially the new name for Gaikai – there might be a lot more than just online multiplayer up for consideration when weighing up the virtues of any paid service.

So, the PlayStation 4 is widely expected to be revealed this evening. There probably won’t be a price for the console until E3 in June, at the earliest, but what about subscriptions and services? The entire industry is learning the incredibly profitability in monthly fees and microtransactions. What would you be willing to pay for and how much?



  1. Wouldn’t bother me either. I don’t love online gaming but £40 over a year really isn’t much. £3.33333333333333333333333 to be far from exact.

  2. I’d happily pay £40 a year for PS service similar to Xbox Live. As long as it still includes the benefits of PS Plus and the money you spend goes towards lots of good premium features. I have no problem paying for Xbox Live every year for this reason. You get back what you put in.

  3. nope, i wouldn’t consider paying a subscription with the main feature being online play or access to online features BUT if ps+ was changed to include online play and it still continued to have the services it provides right now I wouldn’t mind paying that premium.

    I’ve been a big supporter of PS+ from day one just due to its very different model and ideas and that model encourages the user to keep the subscription up as the more they have it the more beneficial it is.

  4. Yeah I don’t think I would be bothered by a subscription to play online – as long as it’s worth it, and runs a hell of a lot better than PSN today.

  5. This wouldn’t bother me as such, giving Sony a reason to improve their online offering can only be a good thing. But the simple ability to play games online should not cost the user any extra, and should remain without subscription.

    • i agree with your second point, online gaming should be kept free (as much as i hear that plus is great, i’m just not that interested) but if they decided to charge even for the online gaming component…then unfortunately i’m out. (there is no way i’m paying twice to play a game online)

  6. Would be the end of console gaming for me. I have 2 kids here who also have PS3’s so £40 a year trebles to £120. At that point it’s cheaper for me to put the £120 towards a PC upgrade.

    • And all of you would play the pc? ;)

    • It can be had for £30 so £90 isn’t much to keep 2 kids happy for a year. It costs half that for one trip to the cinema these days!

  7. If it was £40 a year for a Premium service, like Cloud storage and P+ games and more features that Xbox Live has, then possibly. But if its just to get free games that are old and PS3 games online then no.

  8. The moment I will “HAVE TO” pay extra money for online multiplayer, while game price won’t change will be the end of my multiplayer console life. 200 PLN per year for the PS+ subscription is a great deal, which I’m willing to continue to support.

    • This. Exactly my though … I don’t like to be “forced” to pay extra to be able to play multiplayer games.

      So … if it’s mandatory … I’m out.

  9. It’d only be worth playing with substantial infrastructure improvements, more server capacity to combat downloads slower than anything else I download over my line & various other benefits too.

    XBL isn’t the gold standard either, Steam is imo & that’s free.

    • Steam isn’t on consoles though… yet ;)

    • Absolutely agree with this. PlayStation’s infrastructure isn’t worth paying for as it stands and with the increase in advertising lately, XBL is becoming less attractive as well. Both of them need to improve greatly next gen, if they want my money.

      • With you on this one. God knows how it is now but our GTA IV days online (a couple of handfuls of TSA folk together) were terrible, at times, on the PS3. Quite how they thought they had a network that was worth boasting about is beyond me. Hell, most of us were on Skype just to get around the effing awful network/voice conditions they’d employed. Meh.

  10. If they provide a service comparable with Xbox live then I wouldn’t mind paying for it.

    PS+ works so well due to the large catalogue of games on PS3. It will take a while for PS4 to be able to provide a decent instant game collection, unless it relied on the streaming of PS3 games we have heard rumoured for the new machine.

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