Speaking to The Guardian, Sony Worldwide Studios’ grand poobah, Shuhei Yoshida, revealed that the company is positioning the recently announced PlayStation 4 to be a much more digitally focused system its predecessor. While the company has no plans to abandon physical game discs, Yoshida says they hope to one day provide consumers with subscription packages that offer different “levels” of digital services.
“I believe it’s very important for the platform to have a wide variety of developers making things that are unique and creative. We’re shifting our platform more and more to the digital side – 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. The Witness will be a digital release and because of the flexibility of the digital distribution scheme, we can have more small games that might be free or available for a couple of dollars, or different services like free-to-play or subscription models.”
“As more and more services and contents 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, something like that. 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.”
Overall, I’m more than happy with how PlayStation Plus works now, so I was a bit uneasy about the PlayStation World rumors that circulated shortly before the PlayStation 4 was revealed. With that said, Yoshida’s statements about offering different subscription models for the system have put me at ease.
One of my biggest worries about the PlayStation 4 was that streaming games over the PlayStation Cloud would jack up the cost of PlayStation Plus. Considering game streaming is a feature that I have little interest in — especially since the limited Internet speeds available in my area would probably make it impossible — paying extra for it was not that appealing of an idea.
If Sony really does come though and offer multiple subscription levels for a PlayStation Plus type service on the PlayStation 4 (or better yet, just let us put together our own subscription package) that is a change I can support wholeheartedly. Here’s hoping that Yoshida’s plan actually works out that way.