Sony followed Nintendo's Wii strategy instead of Microsoft's path with Xbox Live when they decided to make the PlayStation Network a free service for online play. That model may not be set in stone, however, and a couple of Sony's biggest decision-makers have now indicated that price tags could be showing up on their PSN services sometime in the near future.
"It's been our philosophy not to charge for [the PSN] from launch up until now, but [chairman and group chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment] Kaz [Hirai] recently went on the record as saying that's something we're looking at," Sony's senior vice president of marketing Peter Dille told IGN. "I can confirm that as well. That's something that we're actively thinking about."
Before you go online multiplayer binging in preparation for a paywall lockdown, take a few deep breaths, though, as Dille doesn't yet know what Sony would want to charge for or how such a plan would be implemented.
"What's the best way to approach that if we were to do that?" he asked when faced with the question. "You know, no announcements at this point in time, but it's something we're thinking about."
I hope for Sony's sake that they're also thinking about their established user base and how such a move would affect their current PSN infrastructure and activity. In cases where users own both a 360 and a PS3, I could see some hard choices being made when they get faced with monthly budgets and and they realize they have two subscription services to choose between.
Would you pay to play on the PSN? What do you think of Dille's outlook on the possibilities of charging? Sound off in the comment section below.