In an interview with The Guardian, Sony’s head of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida suggested that the future of PlayStation Plus and the PlayStation Network could become more like Xbox Live Gold.
According to Yoshida, Sony considers a subscription-based model for the PS4 “our dream.”
“We’re shifting our platform more and more to the digital side—PS4 will be similar to PS Vita in that every game will be available as a digital download, and some will also be available as a disc,” Yoshida told The Guardian. “The Witness will be a digital release and because of the flexibility of the digital distribution scheme, we can have more small games that might be free or available for a couple of dollars, or different services like free-to-play or subscription models.”
“So hypothetically we can look at different models—like a cable TV company,” said Yoshida. “We could have gold, silver or platinum levels of membership, something like that. We can do subscription services when we have more content—especially now that we have the Gaikai technology available. With one subscription you have access to thousands of games—that’s our dream.”
Of course, it’s worth nothing that what Yoshida describes is essentially how PSN operates now—PS Plus adds more to your PSN experience, but Plus membership isn’t a requirement to enjoy PSN apps like with Xbox Live and Gold. He doesn’t mention making their content dependent on subscriptions, but if they want more subscription services, there has to be incentive—there has to be exclusive content that ropes you into a subscription (or demands a subscription, as is the case with Xbox Live).