Sony has revealed that its PlayStation Plus service will play a prominent role in the PlayStation 4's ecosystem. This was revealed by Jim Ryan of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. He had said that the PS Plus take-up has increased by three times over the last year, and Sony wants to keep the ball rolling for its next-gen console.
“We're very happy with the service that we've been able to offer with PS Plus,” he said. “It's been really well received – the value is quite extraordinary and the take-up has trebled over the course of the past year. We definitely see that as a core part of the way forward. We're not yet in a position to disclose our plans for the future of PlayStation Plus, but there will definitely be a prominent role to play for it in the PlayStation 4 landscape.”
Plus will be important for Sony
While this is no big deal for gaming in general, it's still a pretty important next step for console gaming. Until recently, digital distribution wasn't even an option for consoles. Even with the current-gen systems, digital distribution isn't that much of an option, especially with the Xbox 360. The major reason for that is, some models of the 360 bundle a very low capacity HDD, which doesn't leave much room for downloaded games, especially with most gamers using the console for smaller indie titles or installing games from discs to cut down on loading times.
The prominence of the service may mean the tiered system Sony spoke about in February would be implemented. Sony Worldwide Studio head Suhei Yoshida had revealed that “the PS4 will be similar to PS Vita in that every game will be available as a digital download, and some will also be available as a disc.“
Talking about a tiered service for PSN, Yoshida said, “As more and more services and content become available digitally, we'll have more of an option to create attractive packages. So hypothetically we can look at different models – like a cable TV company. We could have gold, silver or platinum levels of membership… We can do subscription services when we have more content – especially now that we have the Gaikai technology available. With one subscription you have access to thousands of games – that's our dream.”
SCEA CEO and President Jack Tretton recently revealed that PS4 games may cost anything between nothing to being full-priced at $60. When asked if gamers would be interested in buying full-priced games after the prevalence of free or cheap mobile games, Tretton said, “People are willing to pay if they see the value there and I think there's more choice than ever before for consumers. We're going to welcome free-to-play models, games from $0.99 up to those $60 games.”
“If you really see where the heat is for the true gamer, it's on the console and it's still that big-form experience that typically runs upwards of $50 million to develop, and we'll justify that $60 price point and we'll give people hours and hours of gameplay on a daily basis for months and years to come,” he added.
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