One of the best reasons to buy a PlayStation 3: free online multiplayer. Over on Microsoft’s Xbox Live, a $60 per year Gold account is required to unlock the same feature.
That’s why it was so disappointing to hear that Sony will now require users sign up for a PlayStation Plus subscription in order to play PlayStation 4 games online. Now, the firm has explained why it made that change.
In a recent interview with Famitsu (subsequently translated by Kotaku), Sony Worldwide Studios chief Shuhei Yoshida says his firm is simply spending too much money on the PS4 online multiplayer infrastructure and therefore must charge gamers to access the service.
“The main pillar for the PS4 will be online play. We’re developing many new ways to play and connect which requires a large investment of resources,” Yoshida said.
“Considering the cost, to try to keep such a service free and consequently lower the quality would be absurd. We decided that if that’s the case, then it would be better to receive proper payment and continue to offer a good service.”
For gamers, a new and improved PlayStation Network will be exciting. However, as someone who’s spent many hours in both PSN and Xbox Live online multiplayer sessions, I can say the latter is not worth the additional $60 per year.
True, Xbox Live has a more intuitive interface that makes it easier to connect with friends, but Sony’s free PSN service generally gets the job done in an admirable fashion.
Here’s hoping Sony rewards gamers for investing in its online multiplayer platform with something Microsoft has never given us: lots of free downloadable content.