According to VG247, Sony plans to announce a paid subscription for a premium version of PSN service some time this year. The british game blog claims the info came from a “highly-placed” source at Sony. Of course, with June 13th rapidly approaching, E3 seems like the natural place to make such an announcement.
According to the source, the premium service will not be required to do anything currently available via PSN – don’t worry, you won’t be forced to get it if you don’t want. For “less than £50 per year,” the service will give players access to premium downloads and new features. In fact, the premium service may allow players to download 2-4 PSN games for “free” every month. On the other hand, the source said that cross-game voice chat, a long requested feature by PS3 owners, will definitely not be a premium service feature.
Rumors about new premium service options for both PSN and Xbox Live have been circulating for the past year or so. The question has always been and continues to be whether the features provided by a premium service be effective in drawing in a large enough chunk of users. If the PSN subscription is just a monthly PSN gaming stipend, it probably won’t take off. Sony most likely knows this, so expect the service’s best features to be revealed at E3… Or whenever Sony decides to do so.