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. I’m still a bit annoyed by this, but I want to see if they add any extra features (e.g Gaikai), or I want to know if F2P online games and other features are also behind the paywall.

    • On the first page I commented answering some of these queries.

      You can use apps like Netflix etc without being subscribed to PS Plus (unlike Live). Free to play multiplayer titles can also be played by people who aren’t subbed to Plus.

  2. Mods, why cant i reply to a discussion im involved with? all I get is the permalink button.

    • Were you not logged in, fella? Hope it’s okay now.

      • Yep logged in, im just trying to reply to a reply on the very first comment Michael left but everywhere else the reply button appears as it should :(

      • Ah, we banned someone a couple of weeks ago and I noticed that it then threw the “replies” out of whack and they didn’t look “replied to” at all. They all looked like new comments. I think that’s happened this time too.

        I’ll let the powers-that-be know. Cheers for the heads-up. :-)

  3. @Eldur
    So it’s not even a case of saying Live is a better network than PSN, it actually all comes down to the friends list/matchmaking software implementation rather than the network. This makes more sense to me now, thanks for clearing it up.

  4. I don’t talk to anyone online, so psn is fine for me.
    Plus is fine with me, take my money, give me games. Win win.
    now, when can I buy a PS4?

  5. I don’t have time to play the games that Plus provides but I do play online a lot so having to pay for it doesn’t really bother me. Having new PS4 games to play for free is certainly a brucie bonus though.

  6. What I like is that Sony isn’t ashamed of admitting that MS has done something better than them: Xbox Live. While Xbox One PR is like: ‘Please do not look at anybody else, just us! PICK US! STICK WITH US!’.

  7. I think Sony have offered a very good compromise. I especially like the fact that plus is not needed to use apps or F2p games if the producer decides. Sony really are leaving themselves lots of options for the future that will still bring them income, without taking all the consumers choices away….well done Sony.

  8. I don’t mind paying for online as long as we still get some decent free games I’ll keep paying. I love PS+ it’s great value.

  9. I remember when PS+ was revealed and everybody was afraid and angry that they’d need PS+ to play online. Sony then responded by saying they “would NEVER charge for online gaming”. And now everybody forgot Sony’s promise and are actually happy about PS+ being required. lol.
    I’d rather pay extra at launch then $50 for 5 or 6 years. Adding a subscription basically doubles the consoles price. I highly doubt the PS4 would cost $7-800 without a online subscription. But, if Sony improving the PSN keeps publishers online networks in check I’ll be happy to pay the fee. Hopefully this will mean no longer needing an Orgin, Steam, or similar account to play a console game.

    • Yeah, they said they’d NEVER charge for online gaming on the PS3. Not the PS4. With all of the features, and knowing – like you said – that PSN will be more stable and reliable because of this, I’m willing to pay. And that’s not even mentioning all the perks of PS+.

      • they never specifically mentioned the PS3, just the PSN. Its been a while so I don’t remember the exact quote, but I remember thinking that it was a bold statement to make until I realized they only mentioned the PSN and I figured they would just change the name of the PSN before they started charging.
        Although if you’d go back in 3 years and compare peoples comments to now its funny how the viewpoint has changed. I wonder if its because of the improvements to PS+, or if people have finally accepted the online gaming subscription based model?

  10. Sounds great as I’ll be having all three consoles. Now we just need a sequel for Fat Princess on all platforms with functional matchmaking.

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