Last week, we reported that Sony will be starting subscription access to the PlayStation Network but core services will remain free. Kaz Hirai has confirmed that premium access will be added on top of the current services for the PS3 and PSP. Sony is planning a two-tiered subscription model for the PlayStation Network similar to – but also fundamentally different from – Xbox Live. Kaz has confirmed that online gameplay will remain free as will access to all the services the PlayStation Network currently provides.
“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.”
Of the subscription plan goes ahead, you could see new services and premium content in 2010 when the premium subscription model is expected to launch.