It’s hard to believe that the PlayStation Network started out as nothing more than a minimalistic friends list with simple online play, and an online marketplace which was definitely bottom-of-the-barrel in the user-interface department. Those days are long gone, and it shows with the impressive new subscription milestones being set through Sony’s PlayStation Plus service, which released just last year.
The fact that free online-play was such big draw for the PlayStation 3, especially in its early years, goes to show that the console now has more to offer than ever. Even with free online-play, large numbers of PSN users are opting to sign up for PlayStation Plus, which analysts claim has reached a whopping 100,000 subscriptions already. Additionally, the arms race between the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live is almost dead even, with Sony gaining momentum every day. Forecasting & Analyzing Digital Entertainment’s (FADE) director of research and analysis had the following to say regarding the stiff competition between the two platforms:
In 2009, Microsoft enjoyed a 2:1 sales advantage for multi-platform titles launching simultaneously,
Today, that advantage is nearly even with first-month typical sales being 55/45 among new titles like Costume Quest, Pac-Man CE DX, and X-Men Arcade.
With PSN users actually willing to fork over their hard-earned dollars for what PlayStation Plus has to offer, while a free-online play model is still intact, definitely shows that Sony is doing something right. After-all, PlayStation Plus is very much a PSN discount membership, and who doesn’t like saving money? With the plethora of bonuses that members have been receiving over the past few months, it looks as though the service really does provide a lot of bang for your buck.