PlayStation Plus, the pay for use service, will now be required for online play for the PS4 console. Traditionally, PlayStation users have been able to play titles online without having to drop a pretty penny. In a recent issue of Famitsu
(Translated by Kotaku
), Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida called the idea of keeping the service free "absurd", with reference to the "large investment of resources" Sony has made for online infrastructure.
The direct competitors to the PlayStation brand has been the Xbox, which was the first of the two consoles to implement their pay for play online (Xbox Live) service. PlayStation fans might not be too excited to be paying for a service they once received for free, however, they will not be paying as much annually for the service as their Xbox One counter parts. The PlayStation Plus will be priced at $50 per year where as the Xbox Live service will be priced at a little under $60 annually.
When Shuhei Yoshida was further questioned regarding the PlayStation Plus service for the PS4 he had the following to say:
"The main pillar for the PS4 will be online play. We're developing many new ways to play and connect which requires a large investment of resources. Considering the cost, to try to keep such a service free and consequently lower the quality would be absurd. We decided that if that's the case, then it would be better to receive proper payment and continue to offer a good service."
The move seemed inevitable for the PlayStation 4, as a huge amount of constant maintenance is required with online services. The only way to truly sustain the service was by implementing some kind of online fee. The PlayStation service has been synonymous with having several issues in the past, with hacking as well as regular outages. With the new implementations introduced by Sony, we should expect these issues to be drastically reduced.
What do you think about having to pay for online play? Do you think Sony have shot themselves in the foot or taken a step in the right direction?
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