During Sony’s surprise-filled 2013 E3 conference (no DRM and the ability to play used games), one of the more shocking announcements was that PlayStation 4 will require a Playstation Plus account in-order to access the online multiplayer component of games.
In the latest issue of Famitsu, the popular Japanese video game magazine, they spoke to Sony’s World Wide Studio boss, Shuhei Yoshida. He states that keeping the service to play online free would’ve been “absurd” due to the large investment of resources that Sony has made for the online infrastructure.
Additionally, Yoshida also had the following to say (thanks Kotaku for the translation):
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, 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.”
PlayStation owners who currently have PlayStation Plus accounts won’t need to worry as PSN accounts will transfer over to the PlayStation 4. Those who don’t will be able to purchase the PlayStation Plus subscription for either $5 USD per month or $50 USD per year.
Though a PlayStation Plus account is mandatory to play online, some of PlayStation 4’s free to play titles such as DC Universe and Planetside 2 won’t require a PSN account to play online. The Playstation 4 is set to launch sometime this holiday season for $399 USD.