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Free Ride on the Playstation Network Comes to an End.

The latest update to the Playstation Network includes the launch of PlayStation Plus, an enhanced feature set to provide enhanced online gaming content and features.  These enhancements bring the PSN experience more in line with that on XBLA including having to pay a subscription fee.  That’s right PlayStation Plus is a subscription based program. Standard PSN features remain free of charge including online game play while Xbox Live gamers still need a Gold Subscription to play multiplayer games online.

This is still a major cultural shift in the Sony gaming world so it will be interesting to see how the community responds.  Here are the full details of the Playstation Network v. 3.40 update:

June 28, 2010 – Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) LLC today announced system software update (v3.40) for the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) system will be available soon, adding the PlayStation Plus subscription service package, enhancements to the connection between users’ PlayStation Network and Facebook accounts and other new features. Additionally, system software update (v6.30) for the PSP system will launch simultaneously with PS3 system software update (v3.40), adding PlayStation Plus compatibility as well as other minor features.

Main updated features from PS3 system software update (v3.40) include:

* PlayStation®Plus: A new subscription service package on PlayStation®Network, PlayStation Plus offers gamers exclusive services and content on June 29, 2010, worldwide. PlayStation Network users will be able to purchase membership* to PlayStation Plus, providing members with new options to enhance their gaming experience and enable them to gain a special set of features and content. All PlayStation Network users will continue to have free access to its unmatched and expanding suite of new and exclusive content, services and community focused tools – including online game play – while PlayStation Plus subscribers will gain access to an exclusive and expanding set of evolving features, content and functionality.
* Photo Gallery: A new network based photo sharing feature is now available on the Photo Gallery. The enhancement allows PS3 users to upload, browse and comment on photos on sites such as Facebook and Picasa Web Album. PS3 users can also opt to share their photos between their PlayStation Network friends.
* Video Editor & Uploader: Video Editor and Uploader is a new function found on the XrossMediaBar (XMB), which enables users to edit, save and upload video files stored on the PS3 system to sites such as Facebook or YouTube.*
* Five Star Rating Support: Users can rate PlayStation Store content they have purchased with one to five star ratings.
* Power Save Settings: The default setting for PS3 System Auto-Off will be set at two hours, providing users with additional power save options and further improving power save features on the PS3 system.

Additional Facebook Enhancements

In addition to the latest features introduced in PS3 system software update (v3.40), a separate, new PlayStation Network application will be made available on Facebook Platform. This builds upon what was previously launched with Trophies and the ability to share purchases from the PlayStation Store. Users can further integrate their PlayStation Network and Facebook accounts with this new application. The application allows them to display their PlayStation Network profile on Facebook, find out which of their Facebook friends have a PlayStation Network account and send them a PlayStation Network friend request, view the PlayStation Network friends’ online status, and add the PlayStation Network application tab on their Facebook Profile. More information will be available at: http://apps.facebook.com/playstation/.

June 28, 2010 – Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) LLC today announced system software update (v3.40) for the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) system will be available soon, adding the PlayStation Plus subscription service package, enhancements to the connection between users’ PlayStation Network and Facebook accounts and other new features. Additionally, system software update (v6.30) for the PSP system will launch simultaneously with PS3 system software update (v3.40), adding PlayStation Plus compatibility as well as other minor features.

Main updated features from PS3 system software update (v3.40) include:

* PlayStation®Plus: A new subscription service package on PlayStation®Network, PlayStation Plus offers gamers exclusive services and content on June 29, 2010, worldwide. PlayStation Network users will be able to purchase membership* to PlayStation Plus, providing members with new options to enhance their gaming experience and enable them to gain a special set of features and content. All PlayStation Network users will continue to have free access to its unmatched and expanding suite of new and exclusive content, services and community focused tools – including online game play – while PlayStation Plus subscribers will gain access to an exclusive and expanding set of evolving features, content and functionality.
* Photo Gallery: A new network based photo sharing feature is now available on the Photo Gallery. The enhancement allows PS3 users to upload, browse and comment on photos on sites such as Facebook and Picasa Web Album. PS3 users can also opt to share their photos between their PlayStation Network friends.
* Video Editor & Uploader: Video Editor and Uploader is a new function found on the XrossMediaBar (XMB), which enables users to edit, save and upload video files stored on the PS3 system to sites such as Facebook or YouTube.*
* Five Star Rating Support: Users can rate PlayStation Store content they have purchased with one to five star ratings.
* Power Save Settings: The default setting for PS3 System Auto-Off will be set at two hours, providing users with additional power save options and further improving power save features on the PS3 system.

Additional Facebook Enhancements

In addition to the latest features introduced in PS3 system software update (v3.40), a separate, new PlayStation Network application will be made available on Facebook Platform. This builds upon what was previously launched with Trophies and the ability to share purchases from the PlayStation Store. Users can further integrate their PlayStation Network and Facebook accounts with this new application. The application allows them to display their PlayStation Network profile on Facebook, find out which of their Facebook friends have a PlayStation Network account and send them a PlayStation Network friend request, view the PlayStation Network friends’ online status, and add the PlayStation Network application tab on their Facebook Profile. More information will be available at: http://apps.facebook.com/playstation/.

3 Comments

  1. Ouimer says:

    Reason 28 why I never play, nor will I start now, playing online with friends over PSN.
    After playing XBL for so long, I just find PSN’s online play unappealing.

  2. DDGW_Ronin says:

    The pricing changes are already showing up in today’s Playstation Store update:
    See below…

    inFAMOUS Full Game Trial (Free and Exclusive to PlayStation Plus subscribers)
    File size: 6.88 GB

    WipEout HD (Free to PlayStation Plus subscribers)
    File size: 977 MB

    Rally Cross (Free to PlayStation Plus subscribers)
    File size: 103 MB

    Age of Zombies (Free to PlayStation Plus subscribers)
    File size: 21 MB

    Warhawk Fallen Star Pack (Free to PlayStation Plus subscribers)
    File size: 66 MB

    Collision Theme (Free and Exclusive to PlayStation Plus subscribers)
    File size: 3.6 MB

    Fat Princess: Pink Princess Avatar (Free to PlayStation Plus subscribers)
    File size: 100 KB

    Fat Princess: Blue Princess Avatar (Free to PlayStation Plus subscribers)
    File size: 100 KB

    Fat Princess: Fat Roles Expansion Pack (PlayStation Plus price $3.99, original price $4.99)

  3. Playstation Plus is a great idea, it’s part of the move to “entertainment as a service”. It looks like the “Plus” items will be Sony 1st party, with some discounts on 3rd party stuff. So paying a service fee of $4/month on a month when WipeOut HD is added is cool, but are there 17 months worth of great Sony 1st party PSN games? They should give out Pain in the early months and each month throw in one of the add-on until Plus members have the complete set.

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