Can Sony charge for multiplayer gaming?

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PSN

Xbox Live currently has 23 million members, if we take an educated guess here and predict that just less than half of those are gold paying members we can then work on 10 million gold members.

If everyone pays for year memberships you are looking at Microsoft receiving around R400 000 000 ($53 800 000) a month in income. That is a figure that has surely gotten Sony salivating. According to the latest reports the Playstation department is still losing money and an $50 million a month would surely help solve that problem.

But the problem is that one of the biggest selling points for Sony is that it offers free multiplayer, something you will notice isn’t mentioned much by Sony anymore. So how do you backflip against and early election promise and not suffer from to much community hatred?

Well you don’t, you just happen to improve the service with some great new ideas and charge for those instead. Then after a short while you implement these new ideas into the online gaming environment and only allow the people paying to use them.

The first obvious improvement would be to add some cross game chatting and clan abilities. The ability to create and manage clans has been something that the Xbox 360 community has been asking for since the dawn of time and would be an easy win for the PS3.

Once you have people paying for the ability to be part of a clan then you can extend this to only allow members of this new PSN to be able to chat to each other while online (due to the different technology being used).

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This would get a lot of negative feedback that Sony can manage by simply stating they are trying to offer the best service to their core demographic while still allowing the casual observer to play online for free.

Then they can drag in the ability to download demo’s, enter beta’s and receive free themes if you are in this new PSN level. Then take in the ability to connect to a custom Facebook API and early access to movie tailers to grab some casual gamers and you will be nearly there.

Sooner rather than later you have the perfect 2 tier PSN and Sony are smiling all the way to the bank.

So what do you think, far fetched fantasy or inevitable future?

Last Updated: May 4, 2010

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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