Sony Boss Says Paying For Online Multiplayer On PS4 Helped Reduce Cost Of Console

Sony Entertainment UK boss Fergal Gara has said [via] that charging for online multiplayer on PS4 – the first time the company has done this – helped reduce the price of the console, although it was something Sony had to “agonise over for a very long time.”

On PS4 online multiplayer is now integrated into PlayStation Plus. That means that – for most games – if you want to play against others over the internet you’ll need to be a Plus subscriber. Plus is excellent value though, and most gamers didn’t really have too much to complain about when it was revealed during last week’s pre-E3 conference.

“First of all,” says Gara, “we wanted to introduce the console at a healthy price-point compared with PS3,” and that was apparently “front and centre in our thinking and our planning for years.”

Charging for online, or at least bundling it within Plus, will mean that the service can more realistically approach the levels that Xbox Live does. Gara says that PSN will mirror “the social features you’ve seen demonstrated on more of a world-class network” and has seen Sony “investing in a higher performance network” that will offer “better performance and reliability”.

PlayStation Plus currently costs around £40 a year.

Gara also confirmed what a couple of press releases have mentioned recently: that cross game chat – the ability to talk with other players online who aren’t playing the same game as you, or are in different teams – is definitely in as part of the PS4’s network. “It’s there,” he says.

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49 Comments

  1. Hopefully this will mean playing online with PS4 will be as good as playing online on the original Xbox was :-)

    • I honestly cannot get my head around comments like this, no sniping intended; it’s just that I’ve never once had a bad experience on PSN.

      I hear all the time that Live is the place to be for reliable service but that is all I’ve had on PSN since day 1 over 5 years ago.

      Could someone please enlighten me to the benefit of live over PSN?

      • I own both consoles and I have to say that, whilst I haven’t had any problems with the actual playing of games over PSN, I find the all-round experience of Xbox Live much more fluid and intuitive.

        Set up a party in Xbox Live with the press of a few buttons, no matter where my friends are or what they’re doing, enjoy crystal clear chat and invite them all to my game with the press of a single button. It’s just so straight forward.

      • PS3 – Terrible experience online with GTA IV. Utterly atrocious. So much so it was spoiling the fun for a good portion of us. Connection troubles galore. People were trying for an hour for god’s sake and this was a private match with us all added as friends.

        One of my best mates has all the consoles (along with many of his friends) and they all, religiously choose the Xbox 360 for online shenanigans when it’s a multi-platform title.

        My connection, here, is a wired 80Mbit up and 16 down. It’s stunning so there’s no problem this end.

        Also, GTA IV has been almost flawless on the PC with friends as of recent. Even with the added chore of signing into Rockstar’s own service as well as Microsoft Games Live thingie.

        I really do hope Sony get this sorted for the PS4.

      • If you ever owned a PS2 and whent online and then owned an original Xbox and whent online you would understand. Today the PSN and XBL are close to equal, XBL still wins because of several features, but at the beginning of the PS3 XBL was ALOT better. Its mostly because MS has had XBL since the original Xbox and Sony just started PSN with the PS3, its the extra few years of refinement thats given XBL the top spot. But I will say this, Sony has done alot more than MS to improve their online service and that’s allowed them to bridge the gap to a point where some people don’t notice a difference.

  2. If you own one PlayStation console then PS+ is great, if you own more than one then it’s essential.

    Having 3 for the same price is simply excellent value. What Sony have managed to do is make an add-on essential to have because of how good it is not by building a system that won’t function without it.

    Now they have that it doesn’t feel anywhere near as painful to have online included in the cost. I certainly wouldn’t have paid for online play and could live without it.

    • Exactly right. Look how many people already pay for Plus purely because it offers great features and value for money. I would have continued to subscribe even if it wasn’t required for online play.

  3. So will this mean no change in pricing (at least initially) for Plus when PS4 comes out?

    • I’m sure I’d read somewhere the price isn’t changing.

      I’d image the number of PS4 games will increase when they reduce the PS3 game number.

      What I really want to know is where Gaikai fits in to this.

    • That’s the impression I got from interviews. Cannot see why that would change.
      If you’re in any doubt though, why not buy a couple of year’s worth now, while they are around £35-40? I believe they stack don’t they?

    • They said $5 a month, although I expect a cheaper rate if you buy by the year. Not sure what that works out to though.

      • They said it was for less than $5 a month.

      • I’m pretty sure they said “from as little as $5 a month” during the E3 conference, so i got the impression there woud be different tiers.

      • No Bonyman they definitley said for less than $5 a month.

      • Cool, thanks for clarifying that Wardy, i was a bit sleep-deprived at the time :)

  4. I’m sure given the investment that Sony can make the plus service every bit as good as the xbox gold was, those 360 players that may migrate to PS4 will no doubt welcome the news and already accept the cost of online play they had with the 360.

  5. Happy to pay for PS+ to get online, plus all the free games (although I’m guessing they won’t be as generous with the free games for he PS4 PS+ when it launches). I rememember when Microsoft forced people to buy a remote so they had the ability to play DVDs on the first Xbox.

  6. You can also still also apps like Netflix without paying for PS Plus, whereas on Xbox you need Live to use even that. I was also glad to hear that the free-to-play titles coming to PS4 such as DC Universe Online, Warframe, Planetside 2 and Blacklight: Retribution won’t need PS Plus.

  7. Would be good if they offered online multiplayer seperately too, imo. £20 a year basic, or £40 with Plus, for example. Wonder if Plus people will still be happy if adding online multiplayer considerably bumps up the price?

    • The price is staying the same………for now.
      I reckon when Gaikai becomes available there will be different levels and pricing for PS+. Although I think the basic package will cost the same.

    • I’ve had Plus since day one and it would’nt bother me if it dearer like £60 for year,Plus is a great service it a one of payment for a year and any extra to help the Network fair do’s, Sony need to be applauded for providing a free service all these years it can’t be a cheap do.

      • it’s a one off payment, that was meant to say.

  8. So if I have PS+ on my PS3, will that automatically continue onto the PS4? If I keep my PS3 can 1 PS+ sub be active on both PS3 and 4?

    Mine has just elapsed, and wondering whether to renew for a year or not!

    Apologies if I have missed this

    • One PS+ subscription will cover PS3, PS4 and Vita. Bargain.

  9. Reading between the lines, is that comment about social networks Sony actually admitting that PSN *isn’t* a world class network, and that XBL is?

    • That’s the badger, fella. Admittance through omission of facts and that they want to make things better. Not “improve on things because it’s all a bit shit right now!” :-)

    • Oh, i read that as meaning that they’re building a more ‘global’, multi-device network, like the way the Facebook/Twitter networks etc can be accessed from a multitude of devices.

      • Ah, it means everything hopefully. There’ll be a more robust network that we’re all hoping for plus all the trimmings with regards to any new services they’re hoping to offer. We can wish for them all with “new” Sony, can’t we? :-)

        Let me dream! :D

  10. I am not sure i will pay really only because i rarely play online games. But if PS+ on PS4 ends up as good as PS+ on the PS3 then i might ‘Jump in’ :D + I am thinking of getting a PSVita to if all this Remote Play goes well so ‘ONE’ :D price for PS+ for all 3(PS4/3&Vita) is excellent value for money really + I just hope everything ‘Just works’ right on day 1 of the PS4 launch & it has a really good fast PSN Store because the PS3’s is still slow :-( & erm sticky to(you press a button & nothing happens for a second) & that is just not good enough for 2013 & beyond :-/

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