PlayStation 4 should have a subscription based pricing model.

Posted October 23, 2012 by Shamarri Miller in Editorials

It has recently been revealed  that Microsoft is widening its offer with retailers to allow customers to buy an Xbox 360 with a two-year service contract. The contract consists of users paying a reduced upfront cost for the 360, $99 and they must subscribe to two years of Xbox live service for $14.99 a month. While many people may be against the subscription based pricing model, it is done all the time in the cell phone industry. Most people don’t buy a new iPhone until their contract is up. If people had to pay the upfront cost on their iPhone like they did with the PS3 at launch, than the iPhone might not be the runaway success it is today.  I really think the subscription based pricing model could benefit Sony moving forward, in particular, with the launch of the PlayStation 4.

A major benefit of adopting the subscription based pricing model would be that Sony could go a bit more cutting edge on the technical side of the PlayStation 4, thus future-proofing the console for the life of the console generation. We all know how long this generation has been, and the graphics are getting a bit long in the tooth. The better the graphical output the longer gamers will stick around. The subscription based pricing model would help alleviate some of the cost of developing such a cutting edge console too, Sony could possible turn a profit on the interest rate of the contract as that is usually how they are arranged. This generation Sony got left holding the bag on PS3 , taking nearly a $200 dollar loss on every launch model PS3 sold. Sony can’t afford to make this mistake again as the slow launch of the PS3 really hurt Sony and made third party interest in the PS3 wane.

If Sony leverages PlayStation Plus, as the crux, the way Microsoft is doing Live in their subscription deal, then Sony will be in great shape. PlayStation Plus has won the hearts of many gamers since it’s launch and has done so, not by being a requirement to truly enjoy your console like Live, but by offering compelling content and deals for gamers. PlayStation Plus would also endear many gamers to the PlayStation ecosystem and would strengthen Sony’s and their third parties online sales. Using PlayStation Plus as the crux of the subscription based pricing model would also help to alleviate a lot of the sting brought on by being under a contract for consumers. The same things probably apply to Gaikai as well, but with little known about it right now I won’t speak on it, but it more than likely will become a factor.

A subscription based pricing model could also possibly help to increase Sony’s install base, sooner rather than later. This would be good for both Sony and third parties as we all know software sales are king. The increased install base would also ensure that third parties prioritize the PlayStation version of multiplatform games, which has truly been beneficial for Xbox 360 this generation. Sony would also acquire more weight with third parties if they have a bigger install base, which could lead to the return of third party exclusives. All those things should provide a snowball effect for Sony and its partners.

The subscription based pricing model may seem foreign to some gamers, but in this day in age of the; iPhone, iPad and numerous tablets on offer, Sony has to do something to stay relevant. And the past pricing model seems antiquated and should probably be put out to pasture. For console gaming to stick around Sony and the others, must evolve their pricing models. Cell phones and tablets are becoming more emergent by offering many of the things once exclusive to consoles; like gaming and media playback. And for those that want to stay contract free let them pay the upfront cost. Everybody wins when you offer consumers choice. Well gamers let me know what you guys think. Am I on to something or am I on a delusional rant?

About the Author

Shamarri Miller




    As an option? fine who cares, if people want to get ripped off by paying MORE later? thats on them

    If its the only way?

    Fuck that, I hope playstation goes under


    Even if it happens, i hope we can still buy it, paying the full price.
    I’m not rich, I’m far from it, but even if the ps4 costs 700$, I will buy one day 1, along with 2 or 3 games.
    People , specially gamers ,casual or hardcore already know next Xbox or ps4 will be out in 2013, or maybe 2014.they already know it since 2010. There is one thing called ‘saving’,for those kind of things.
    Even a student, or a guy that only earns a few hundreds bucks, if he starts saving 50$ every month, and I’m sure every gamer out there can do it, if he can buy games, he can save some cash.even by only saving 20-30$ each month, which represents a big icecream, a meal at McDonald’s or KFC, or even on some beers or cigarettes, when the new ps4 is released, the guy will have saved at least 400-500$, and may able to buy it.
    Saving.saving.saving.20-30$ each month, and you may able to buy the ps4 or x720, instead of whining on all the forums ‘Sony sucks, ps4 is too expensive, bla bla bla’.

    And for the Xbox guys, for those who bought the console day one, I remind you that microsoft made you pay all these years like 50-60$ , for what? For playing online.what a shame. Xbox was released on 2005, until 2013, its like 8 times 60$, so you paid like 500$ on gold live, even if you only play online.500$. If online playing was free, like the ps3, you could have saved 500$ for the next Xbox. But instead, Microsoft shareholders became more rich…

    So guys, stop whining about the ps4 or x720 being probably too expensive,when they get released, in 1 or 2 years, and start saving ,NOW.
    Remember, saving 20-30$ each month is enough.

      Da GeeZ

      Remember the shocking PSN Hacker FAIL?! Remember how sony couldn’t give a shit about the customer? You the sonyfanboy… got totally screwed over by sony.

      PSN is a shoddy experience… it’s not up to the professionalism Xboxlive. The online gaming experience is very poor on PSN, I continually got booted out of games. Xboxlive is as solid as.

      And remember you get all the best DLC on Xboxlive 1st… if you wanna go bargain basement, yeah sure, go with sony… but don’t expect to get DLC within 1-12 months of Xbox360 players.

      Basically you get what you pay for folks… and if you ain’t willing to pay for a professional service… you get a ramshackle, hackable second rate mess… the PSN.


        PSN is fine, XBLive is riddled with Ads and one of the worst userbases of all time. Young teenagers who think they know better than everyone else. Those of which who were manipulated by Microsoft into thinking it’s “proper” to pay $60 a year. To pay MONEY just to gain access to certain online features.

        Also, Sony gave away a bunch of free awesome games after the outage, and PS Plus gives you a lot of content and amazing discounts. All of which you would probably not know of, because of course XBox is the best console ever made.

          Da GeeZ

          ‘… XBox is the best console ever made. ‘

          Yep, you got a good point lad.

          It’s the best for around 9 out of 10 multiplatform games, and let’s face it, the overwhelming majority of the best games are now going multiplatform. It’s the only way developers can make any money 99% of the time. 9 out of 10 multiplatforms are superior graphically on the Xbox360 across many factors(frame rate, resolution, texture resolution, the 360 typically has more PFX on screen, draw distances are greater and more defined on 369 and generally it has less screen tearing than the ps3). DLC is nearly always 1st on XBox360, the online experience is superior for developer and gamer…. the ps3 = EPIC FAIL.

          As for the Xbox360 community containing more kids/teenagers… well I’m not exactly sure I’ve seen any stats to back that up, won’t dispute it if there is though. However, of note, I think it’s undeniable that the sonyfanboy is easily the most delusional, bigoted and the most ill-informed individual I’ve ever encountered in a couple of decades of gaming. The amount of nonsensical drivel that’s been spouted by the sonyfanboy around the power of the ps3 shows a phenomenal amount of ignorance about the console they’ve chosen to own. Stuff like… ‘ps3 more powerful than a $5000 PC… ps3 is 10x more powerful than the fagbox… cell processor makes it a super computer’… … you seriously bought that idiocy from sony didn’t you… swallowed it down hook-line-&-sinker.

          Man you guys must be dying inside…as you watch sony circle the plug hole.

            True Gamer

            I could not have said it better my self and it’s nice to see an internet article with at least someone with common sense instead of the typical Sony drones poring hate because of MS and Nintendo’s success this gen compared to Sony’s failures LOL.


            @Da GeeZ

            Please shut your stupid ignorant pie hole. We get it you like Xbox and you want to have sex with Bill Gates now that he is retired and has so much time on his hands.

            PS3 provides many values that Xbox 360 does not. They each have their strengths. Stop being a partisan ass-hat.

    Da GeeZ

    I find it astonishing that anyone serously thinks the ps4 is actually going to come out !!!

    sony is dead… it’s not worth talking about the playstation brand as if it’s going to be relevant in the near or far future.

    Just enjoy the Last of Us next year… then let it go.


    I think it’s mandatory for Sony to do this. This and also not to include an HDD, just like the Wii U. This will allow them to beef the console up more and still keep the price at a relatively decent level.

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