Sony Computer Entertainment America's SVP of marketing Peter Dille has reiterated comments by SCE chief Kaz Hirai regarding the possibility of charging for services on the currently-free PlayStation Network.
One of PlayStation Network's main selling points, as highlighted by Sony Computer Entertainment, is that users can access multiplayer gaming and other community features and services with no subscription fee, whereas the competing Xbox Live charges $50 per year.
But PSN's ongoing free-to-play status was again brought into question
recently by consumer website IGN. Sony Computer Entertainment America SVP of marketing and PSN Peter Dille stated, "Will we charge for [PSN], or why don't we charge for it? It's been our philosophy not to charge for it from launch up until now, but Kaz [Hirai, SCE CEO] recently went on the record as saying that's something we're looking at
He added, "I can confirm that as well. That's something that we're actively thinking about. What's the best way to approach that if we were to do that? You know, no announcements at this point in time, but it's something we're thinking about."
Following an investor presentation released in November 2009, Hirai said, "...In the online area, we are studying the possibility of introducing a subscription model, offering premium content and services, in addition to the current free services."
Sony is currently looking for more ways to increase sales through more content and services associated with PSN. SCEA also said that October saw the highest revenues on record for PSN, with PlayStation Store downloads up 60 percent year-on-year for the month. The company claimed PSN had over 650 million downloads at the time, with users creating 31 million accounts.
Dille also said that Sony is working on the heavily-rumored full PS2 full-game downloads for PSN. "From our side, we're going through our own studio organization and trying to make sure all these old games are out there so that we can lead by example, but we're also communicating with all the third-parties about the success of the Final Fantasy
games, and other PS1 and PS2 classics," he said.