Hiding rather inconspicuously at the wayside of Sony’s E3 press conference was the news that their online service for Playstation 4 will require a subscription similarly to Microsoft’s Xbox Live upon launch. The fee, which will equate to approximately $5 a month, will grant players access to PSN via Playstation Plus – a service which bodes benefits such as free games every month and exclusive access to demos. In tandem with this announcement, Sony CEO Shuhei Yoshida confirmed that the console will also be region-free.
And yes, PS4 is region free 😀
— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) June 11, 2013
While the freedom to purchase international games will come as music to gamers’ ears – especially considering the vibrant Japanese market for RPG’s – the affirmation that Sony’s network for the Playstation 4 will not be free may tarnish the otherwise promising console architecture, given the free-to-play nature of the Playstation 3.
It’s worth nothing, however, that Sony confirmed that some features will still be available for console owners who don’t hold a PS Plus account; “PS4 gamers who aren’t Plus members can still enjoy single-player games for free.” It’s also safe to stipulate that streaming services such as Netflix and LoveFilm will remain free of charge, too.
For account owners who hold a Playstation plus subscription in this generation: fear not, for Sony also stated that current memberships will carry over from Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita to the Playstation 4 when its released this holiday season. For all news regarding Sony’s E3 conference, keep it tuned right here and give us your opinions about the ongoing console war in the comments below.