E3 2013: Shuhei Yoshida Speaks About PlayStation Plus Requirement for Online Play On PlayStation 4
Out of the very few negative aspects to the PlayStation 4, perhaps the biggest one is that starting from the next-gen console, gamers will need a PlayStation Plus account in order to play online. Sony Worldwide Studio President Shuhei Yoshida provided some answers and details as part of a larger interview on the Japanese gaming site Game Watch.
Before I get there, to anyone wondering, Sony basically has confirmed that this was done to help the company make up for its freely available media services, reduced console cost and many added features to PlayStation Network.
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Firstly Yoshida-san was reassured gamers that “multiplayer on PS3 and PS Vita will remain free of charge” as it is currently, and he continued on to explain why the company is moving towards a required subscription model with PlayStation 4.
“We’re focusing on new services and online, like the “Share” button I previously mentioned and the ability to play using mobile devices with the cloud feature. Our plan is to continue to invest in the future, but investing like this is not compatible with our previous policy that involved reducing costs by every mean to keep the service free.”
The man even apologised for placing an extra cost on consumers.
“I apologize for the financial burden on our users, but on PS4 it’ll also provide early access to beta versions, free games and discounts like on PS3 and PS Vita. In addition to that PS Plus members will receive for free a special edition with slightly reduced functions of DriveClub.”
Yoshida was sure to specify that not all online functionality will be closed of to those that don’t sign up for PS Plus.
“While direct competition in real time won’t be possible [without PS Plus] for instance in the case of DriveClub, asynchronous online gameplay and receiving data from other players will still be free of charge.”
Lastly, Yoshida was asked if players need a PS Plus subscription to play MMORPGs such as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and The Elder Scrolls Online.
“You will need it to enjoy online multiplayer. This will also depend on the judgement by the publishers, and there will be some free to play titles that you’ll be able to play without needing a PS Plus subscription, like PlanetSide 2 and DC Universe Online.”
Some very interesting details from Yoshida-san here, but the thing I admire the most is how Sony has seemingly humbled since its arrogance with the PlayStation 3’s launch. Even if you’re cynical and consider it nothing more than good PR, it still feels pretty damn good to be spoken to with consideration, and given good explanations for our fan concerns.