Yesterday, the PlayStation Network turned three, with Sony highlighting the free nature of the service. However, data from a Sony slide presentation, viewable here, appears to show that some form of a subscription service will be coming to the PSN as a future source of income for the company.
This “new revenue stream from subscription” was later confirmed by SCEE, who sent out a quote from Kaz Hirai, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment:
“SCE will further increase sales by offering users new entertainment through the combination of hardware, software, peripheral and PlayStation Network, especially 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.”
As the subscription service is to exist only “in addition to the current free” PlayStation Network, online play, as well as access to demos and betas, should remain free and untouched, without a charge for their use. However, what the “premium content and services” will actually include is yet to be seen.