if they copied the zune pass approach I'd consider it
Though I'm happy with buying mp3 albums off of amazon.com for $5 when they have their promos
Yeah again, all this is the beginning of a change. It's not to say tomorrow you're going to pay to play online. Not by a long shot.
The point is that for the longest time I've been hoping that as the two companies had their own online services we've seen MS charge for a service and lead the way, but with the PS3 and recent firmware updates they seem to come closer and closer to bridging that gap. I'm looking a bit further out and saying that by the time the next consoles start launching in the next few years we might see a level playing field. Sony after all was mostly a generation behind on the online service and it's taken some time to iron out the kinks (things like a centralized user name). My hope was that Sony could catch up, or close the distance to a point where MS couldn't justify the cost of their service any longer. Even at a $1-4 a month for Live when compared to free… I think MS would need to change their game plan.
But instead of seeing ANY sign of MS easing up on their pricing structure, instead I'm seeing Sony start imposing one of their own. That's the issue here. It's that instead of seeing signs that MS was pressured to lower their rates, Sony is making the logical transition to test the waters of subscription models and premium content. Just as MS would be unlikely to drop their rates IMMEDIATELY, it's just as unlikely Sony would suddenly charge to play online. Both moves would almost certainly be done gradually.
I should say this isn't meant in a negative way towards Sony. It's meant as the slow crushing of my dreams. As I said my hopes was that Sony's online service would eventually compete with Live and force them into a free model as well. I was hoping we'd see MS move towards a lower price first. That's the bummer. Sony is doing what a huge corporation eager for profits should do… go after more profits. It's working for MS, why shouldn't they at least be considering it. It's just a bummer from a consumer stand point.
I do hope that's all it is Jimmy, an iTunes style subscription. But based on the quote from the link I posted, even if it were it seems clear it's one of many things to come. "premium content and services" sounds to me like their's more than any one idea in mind. I hope that they keep providing free access so that MS may eventually change their tune instead… it's just starting to sink in that it's becoming less and less likely. Also, while he says that online gaming will remain free, keep in mind that's what these guys are paid to do. Remember back to the PS3 launch when Sony used their backwards compatibility as a major advantage over the 360 and look how quickly they shut that off. So for as long as they can get milage out of free online gaming, rest assured they will. Until the day they unveil their own pricing structure you can be confident that they'll use it as a selling point. It's what corporations do. My guess is that unless MS is forced to drop the price on Live by the next round of consoles Sony will be charging for their service in some form or other.
If $50/year gives me better online play, then of course I\'ll pay. 75%+ of my PS3 play time is spent online. I many times envy friends with X-Box live. PSN Premium is fine by me.
However, tons of the Microsoft fanboys will be making fun off PS3 fanboys for loosing one of their most overused PS3 advantage.
No need to worry about the fanboys. Goodness knows I encouter enouch of the Sony variety on this site. It doesn't keep me from enjoying great games and services regardless of which monolithic corporation stamps their brand on it. Let the companies duke it out, but the fans should just be reaping the benefits!
If there was a $50 a year charge for the PSN I'd quickly drop it. I can barely justify paying for XBox Live! Plus I only have a handful of friends with PS3s, but I have a good twenty friends and family on XBox Live already. And keep in mind, even if they charge $50 you'll almost certinaly be able to get it for less. I haven't payed full price for XBox Live since I bought the first kit. Since then I've always purchased at discount. Last year I bought my wife and I both subscriptions for under $40… I think they were $16 a piece but I've forgotten. It was a pretty wicked sale at NewEgg. Our subscriptions are about to run out and I'm a little scared to look, with the state of the economy I figure a deal like that might be hard to come by now.
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