Rumor: Most PlayStation 4 Online Features Will Require A Subscription

Citing “a reliable source”, Kotaku has unleashed a ton of unconfirmed details about the PlayStation 4 ahead of Sony’s scheduled February 20th event. The report claims that the machine will launch in two SKUs this November for $429 and $529 (which is in line with recent rumors regarding the console’s price), and will require a subscription to use “most” of the console’s online features.

According to the unnamed source (who gained some credibility by providing the above picture showing the back of the prototype PlayStation 4 controller), the new service will replace the current PlayStation Plus and will be called PlayStation World. Exact details as to what will be free and what will be locked behind the subscription were not provided, but it certainly sounds as if Sony is planning to go down the Xbox Live Gold road with the PS4.

The source also stated that each PlayStation 4 will come with a new PlayStation Eye that will allow you to watch people on your friends list play games from your console’s dashboard, even if you don’t happen to own the game they are playing. Additionally, the PS4 is said to support local network play though the PlayStation Vita.

Finally, the report also claims that the PlayStation 4 will include a feature similar to Microsoft’s SmartGlass. According to the source, you will be able to use a mobile device or tablet to remotely control the next generation console, chat with your PS4 friends, or buy games and then automatically download them to the console.

Sony is expected to officially reveal the PlayStation 4 tomorrow evening, so we should get answers to some of these rumors at that time. Most of this sounds completely reasonable, however, I’m a bit surprised to hear that Sony might change up the PlayStation Plus system from how it currently works. It has been a huge hit since it launched and is one of the few subscription services that I can think of that rarely gets negative feedback from users. If you ask me, it seems like a mistake to try and fix what isn’t broken.