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How Long Can PSN Remain Free?


Five words clearly mentioned on the above  image provided by Sony at a November investor conference caused a bit of a stir.  Those five  words “New revenue stream subscription”  led gamers to believe that Sony plans to soon add charges to the currently free PSN. Sony quickly calmed the masses with the following statement:

..if any subscription-based service was created, non-paying users would still be able to play their favorite games online for free, as the company stated that the subscription would only apply to “premium content and services”

Crisis averted…or was it?

As some have mentioned, the significant increase in worldwide sales of the PS3 means more gamers online playing their favorite games, more accounts being created and more servers being needed.  To keep things running smoothly will require more money. Is charging for PSN inevitable?

A recent quote from Sony may have you thinking, yes:

“Servers and the like have running costs, and we would face difficulties if our business depended solely on the sell-and-forget model. After we sell the hardware, though, we continue to sell products such as content and services. We expect to see considerable growth in digital content, such as game download services, avatar items and the like. We can also accept payment in a growing number of ways. In addition to single-payment packaged software, there are also schemes like monthly fees or per-item charges. I think this variety of payment methods will bring about a diverse range of playing methods, too.”

Having free online play has been a bragging point  for PS3 owners versus the console’s immediate rival.  How would it affect you if PSN as a whole was no longer free to play?

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