By Jared Newman | Monday, December 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm
Sony’s been grumbling a bit lately about how it’d like to charge monthly fees for the Playstation Network, not for the online gaming and video downloads that Playstation 3 and PSP owners already enjoy, but for additional services.
The first mention came a few weeks ago in a Sony investors’ conference slide, and re-emerged in a Nikkei interview with Sony’s Masayuki Chatani. The company has avoided specifics, which makes me think Sony is still toying with ideas. Seems like a good opportunity to toss out a few ideas of my own. Here are some ways I could be persuaded to pay for PSN:
Help me replace cable: Instead of forking over $200 for a Boxee Box, I’d consider a monthly payment — say $20 — to Sony, especially if the service went above and beyond existing free Web TV offerings. Throw in live sports, and the deal is sealed. Licensing TV content is a sticky mess, so I’m calling this one unlikely in the near future.
Give me game rentals: I’m somewhat happy paying $25 per month for GameFly, but I’d be happier if Sony let me skip GameFly’s occasionally unbearable wait times by offering full game rentals for download. Because the service would only include Sony consoles, pricing would have to be less than GameFly, or more creative. Maybe a certain dollar figure for a limited number of play hours every month. I’d say this is unlikely, but Sony reportedly surveyed PSP owners about a game rental program in May, so it’s not absurd.
Stream me some indie games: The Playstation Network is home to some great small-scale games, such as Flower, Noby Noby Boy and the PixelJunk series. I’d think Sony has more control over these titles than big-budget releases, so why not let PSN subscribers play an unlimited amount of them every month?
All of This, Plus: If Sony could roll my entire wishlist into one attractive package, I could be persuaded to pay as much as $60 a month for it all (after all, I’d be relying on the service for television and a lot of gaming), but I’d like some perks in return. Maybe a monthly discount on a particular retail game, or a free movie download. Incentives go a long way towards keeping the customer roped in; GameFly’s discounts on used games are one of the reasons I’ve never canceled my subscription.
Am I asking for too much?