while one of the most appealing aspects of playstation network was the fact that it was free for gamers to use for online multiplayer, that is now going away – there will be a charge (less than $5/month).
xbox one supporters are quick to point out that in the past, playstation supporters consistently used the fact that PSN was free, where as xbox live gold required membership as a selling point, yet now, are somehow “okay” with the fact that they will have to pay for the service.
a meek argument.
one can only look at it this way. over the past 7 years, PSN users have had a “free” experience. however, being “okay” with this now-required nominal fee is looked at in the way of acknowledging the users would, by and large, rather pay this cost than deal with the restrictive measures being implemented on the new xbox.
additionally, upon further investigation, they are seeing there is added value to the service with the discounts and free games available to them upon signing up.
at this juncture, it seems sony is realizing in order to build a larger, more stable online architecture, they are going to have to ask for a small fee in exchange for a great service. it is also likely they were losing money by providing the servers required to run such a network free of charge for so many years. they are after all running a business, not a charity.
another thing to consider is that while online multiplayer will need this ps+ membership, it is NOT required for the use of other apps, like netflix, hulu, crackle, etc. in this sense, sony is not requiring their users to pay an additional fee for a service they are already paying for, like netflix.
a last thing to consider is that if you are content in just completing the campaign of a game, or enjoying a massive single player open-world game like skyrim, or any of the fallout installations, then you can carry on, business as usual with ps4, you won’t need to pay for ps+.
while people of this disposition may represent the minority of gamers, they still represent enough of a constituency for sony to realize hey, we don’t need to be always online, and maybe not everyone will need ps+.