Sony will not require Play Station 4 owners to have a premium "Play Station Plus" subscription to use popular online features like chat or video streaming, the company explained in a video posted online Monday.Sony revealed on Monday that it will not charge Play Station 4 owners any additional fees to use online features like the console's chat features or popular third-party apps such as the video streaming services Hulu and Netflix.Sony detailed the policy in a short online video, posted to field questions about the Play Station 4.
Gamers weighing the pros and cons of one console over another have often seen the difference between the PS3 and Xbox 360's online offerings as a trade-off between convenience (or frugality) of PSN and the slightly sleeker "premium" features of Xbox Live Gold — although having free access to online multiplayer and video streaming started to sound like much less of a bargain after the Play Station Network suffered a massive security breach in 2011.
Security and privacy obviously remain open issues for both of the next-generation consoles, but Sony has now made the Play Station 4 the cheaper alternative both in terms of the console's starting price ($399 versus the Xbox One's $499) and in terms of its online fees.
In June, Microsoft said that it planned to keep Gold membership fees the same on the Xbox One as on the Xbox 360 — though if the Internet's ongoing popularity contest between the two consoles has anything to say about it, the company might be in store for another 180 sometime soon.
Sony also confirmed in today's video that that it has increased the cap on PSN friends to 2,000—up from the current-generation limit of 100 and double the amount Microsoft has promised for the Xbox One. Yannick Le Jacq is a contributing writer for NBC News who has also covered technology and games for Kill Screen, The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic.
You can follow him on Twitter at @Yannick Le Jacq and reach him by email at: Yannick.
The Play Station 4, Sony's new gaming console, has a camera that can be used to record gamers while they play.But after only two weeks on sale, the PS4 is already being used to broadcast sex sessions with the virtual-reality game "The Playroom," which lets gamers share feeds of their living rooms through a video platform called Twitch.This Play Station Network (PSN) news likely comes as a relief to Play Station fans anxiously awaiting clarification.Gamers first got the news about multiplayer gameplay and premium PS Plus subscriptions via a short video meant to poke fun at Microsoft's controversial used games policy.The Play Station 3's free online features have long been a selling point of the console, which offers basically all the same services as the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) without the annual $60 "Gold Membership" fee that Microsoft charged to access any of the console's online tools.By keeping the majority of its online features free, Sony positions itself as the more cost-efficient console developer.