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Sony's PSN+ - It pays for itself. Updates and more ...


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File it under rumor for now, but....

 

http://www.joystiq.com/2010/05/25/rumor-sony-to-reveal-psnplus-subscription-service-at-e3-2010/

 

Sony is set to reveal a premium tier of the PlayStation Network service, labeled PSN+, during its 2010 E3 media briefing. Unlike Microsoft's Xbox Live Gold service, PSN+ will focus on giving paid subscribers additional bonuses without limiting online multiplayer between paying and nonpaying users.

 

Many of the features included in the premium service mimic those featured in a supposed survey released late last year. Sources tell us that subscribers will have access to a rotating list of PSP Minis and PSone Classics, exclusive in-game DLC, discounts to the PlayStation Store and "first hour" demo access to full retail titles. Following the first hour of gameplay, players will have the ability to purchase the full title; however, demo access will only be available once the entire title has been downloaded.

 

As PSN+ subscribers, gamers will also receive protection for their consoles with the recently announced PlayStation Protection Plan, as well as exclusive access to the long-awaited cross-game voice chat. Additional features are said to be in the works following the launch of PSN+, including the previously rumored cloud-based saving system.

 

Joystiq has been informed that PSN+ subscribers will also have the ability to enable an auto-patching feature, which will detect, download and install updates for recently played PS3 titles on the system.

 

Pricing and a release for the PSN+ service is unknown, though one source speculates PSN+ may cost $9.99 per month. When contacted, a Sony representative said the company does not "comment on rumors or speculation."

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The idea of having free access to digital games for a limited time (which is the implication from that article) is interesting, but it's about the only feature there that seems to be a premium service.

 

What'll be really funny is if Microsoft announces Live Gold going free the day before the Sony press conference, although the odds of that happening are slim to none. The ongoing revenue is too good to pass up.

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Yeah, near zero chance of Gold going free. I see more "value adds" like Netflix integration, FB etc to encourage users to subscribe. I also don't believe that $120/year price, but we'll see.

 

Well, there's really only two benefits for XBox Live Gold over silver - online play & access to demos one week before Silver users... Oh & you get the weekly deals.

 

And Netflix etc. What have the Romans ever done for us again?

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Joystiq has been informed that PSN+ subscribers will also have the ability to enable an auto-patching feature, which will detect, download and install updates for recently played PS3 titles on the system.

 

If that includes system updates, it might be worth the price of admission alone.

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If that includes system updates, it might be worth the price of admission alone.

 

You're asking for autoinstallation of system updates without any input/control? GreenMonkey's head is spinning in his DRM-free OtherOS powered chair right now. :) I can't see auto-installation of system updates being something Sony wants to do just for 'safety' of updates being interrupted etc. Game updates, sure, and I'd love to see it done as suggested - we've talked about that on here before I think.

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You're asking for autoinstallation of system updates without any input/control? GreenMonkey's head is spinning in his DRM-free OtherOS powered chair right now. :) I can't see auto-installation of system updates being something Sony wants to do just for 'safety' of updates being interrupted etc. Game updates, sure, and I'd love to see it done as suggested - we've talked about that on here before I think.

 

Yeah, I'm the guy that wouldn't care, but I can see your point of updates being interrupted causing problems.. Maybe just downloading the update information in the background and then, asking you if you want to install it.

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It looks like this is definitely happening and we'll see more about it at E3. House reiterates that the PSN as it exists today will remain free.

 

http://g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/704971/Sony-Confirms-Premium-PSN-Service-Details-Coming-Very-Soon.html

 

"I can assure you that the current PSN as you know it will remain a free service," he told a user asking about the possibility and implications of a paid PSN. "It is something that our competitors don?t offer and something that shows our loyalty to the PlayStation Community. However, Kaz Hirai stated a few months ago that we were looking at a premium service to sit alongside the current free service and that objective has not changed. You?ll learn more about it very soon."
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You're asking for autoinstallation of system updates without any input/control? GreenMonkey's head is spinning in his DRM-free OtherOS powered chair right now. :) I can't see auto-installation of system updates being something Sony wants to do just for 'safety' of updates being interrupted etc. Game updates, sure, and I'd love to see it done as suggested - we've talked about that on here before I think.

 

LOL

 

That's right! I don't use PSN really anyway, my last usage was for Tekken 5 DR about 2 years ago, I hate overpriced VOD rentals (Netflix FTW), and for me, digital versions of PS1 games are inferior to real PS1 games (no DRM, resellable, etc). I prefer XBL for most of this kind of stuff anyway.

 

$10 is pretty steep though, considering a year of XBL is like $40 (assuming you pay even that much).

 

I agree, the biggest problem with autoinstallation of system updates would be accidental bricking - imagine someone unknowingly turning off the console during an update, or an auto-update during a thunderstorm, or whatever. Too much potential for problems, I think.

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I prefer XBL for most of this kind of stuff anyway

Which is kind of amusing since XBL's DRM is in many cases more draconian than Sony's. I don't see any game or content sharing on XBL or XBLA as I do on the PSN and I don't see the rules being any different when dealing with downloading original Xbox games as opposed to PSX games etc or movie/music content.

 

I can understand wanting to use Netflix etc. but outside of that I don't see any advantage to XBL DRM over anything on the PSN so the preference seems to be cosmetic at best.

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Which is kind of amusing since XBL's DRM is in many cases more draconian than Sony's. I don't see any game or content sharing on XBL or XBLA as I do on the PSN and I don't see the rules being any different when dealing with downloading original Xbox games as opposed to PSX games etc or movie/music content.

 

I can understand wanting to use Netflix etc. but outside of that I don't see any advantage to XBL DRM over anything on the PSN so the preference seems to be cosmetic at best.

 

I haven't bought any Xbox 1/PS1/PS2 titles on either service as I prefer a real disc that I own and can resell or loan out or do whatever with it. I have never rented a single movie or downloaded music on either service either.

 

When all things are equal I stick to XBLA simply because they are mostly time killers, so I have something to play while waiting for something else, or for a friend to come online, or something, and for this stuff I prefer XBL. I wasn't talking about DRM when I said I prefered XBL. They both suck.

 

This is part of the reason I won't buy much over $8 or so game on either service (made a few exceptions on a couple of 1200 point titles). My only exception was Tekken 5 DR on the PS3 for $30, which probably wasn't a smart idea, but man, I REALLY wanted an online fighting game at the time, and there was no SC4 out yet.

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  • 4 weeks later...

PSN+ got formally announced at E3 & I haven't seen much (if any) discussion about it. Here's the US announcement and the Euro announcement.

 

Essentially, $50 a year subscription service giving accesses to one PSN title, 2 Minis + 1 PS1 game a month, avatars, themes & a "full game trial" of a PS3 retail title now available to purchase & download on PSN (e.g. Infamous, Little Big Planet etc), plus betas/early demos & discounts on PSN DLC each month etc. Additionally in the US, we'll be getting Qore each month & 15 months for the price of 12. Europe gets a download of Little Big Planet (to keep regardless of sub status).

 

The key is that you only have access to these items during the subscription period - as soon as you stop paying, you stop having access to the games.

 

I can see the value in it for certain users. It's basically a game rental service for PSN at a price of $50 a year, with Qore thrown in & various free (to keep) avatars/themes etc. If you don't have any PSN titles, it's especially worthwhile - by the end of the year, you'll have gotten access to 12 full PSN games, 24 minis etc. Depending on the games, that could be quite a bargain for a rental service.

 

As an example of content, the first two months' content is listed for the European market:

 

Month 1: June 29th – August 3rd

Intro offer: LBP (standard edition)

PSN PS3: Wipeout HD

minis: Field Runners, Age of Zombies

PSone: Destruction Derby

Full Game Trial: Shatter, Savage Moon

Discounts: LBP God of War Pack – 50%, LBP: LocoRoco costume pack – 50%, Gravity Crash – 20%, Fat Princess DLC – 20%

 

Premium Game Element: KillZone 2: Steel & Titanium DLC

Push demo: ModNation Racers, Heavy Rain

Dynamic Themes: LBP Theme, SCEE produced: PlayStation “Game Is Just The Start” Dynamic Theme

2 x Fat Princess Premium Avatars

 

Month 2: August 4th – September 1st

 

PSN PS3: Zen Pinball

minis: Blast-Off, Alien Zombie Death

PSone: Medievil

Full Game Trial: inFamous, Mushroom Wars

Discounts: Zen Pinball Earth Defence Table – 20%, Warhawk Triple Combo Pack – 50%, Super Stardust HD – 20%, WipeOutHD Fury – 20%

 

Premium Game Elements: Motorstorm Pacific Rift: Adrenaline Pack

Push Demo: Flower, Pixel Junk Shooter

Themes: “SCEE produced: PlayStation Plus Dynamic Theme, Heavy Rain Crime Scene Theme

2 x Heavy Rain Avatars (Bird and Butterfly)

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It's basically a game rental service for PSN at a price of $50 a year, with Qore thrown in & various free (to keep) avatars/themes etc.

 

I don't really see it like rentals at all really. The full game trial is going to be restricted to games that are available for download purchase... plus it seems like a bit of a waste to take the time to download a full game and then be restricted to only an hour or so of play.

 

The only real benefit I see are the free games, but even that's not much as you don't get to choose the games you get, and you only get access if you subscribe. Considering how many PSN games I play, I think I'll just keep buying them.

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I don't really see it like rentals at all really.

 

Game rentals for PSN games. You get 12 PSN games, 24 minis & 12 PS1 games. As soon as you stop paying per month, you stop getting access to those games. How is that not a game rental feature? The one hour trial of a "full" game now available to download on PSN is just one part of it & not that part I was meaning by rental.

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