Sony backs "free services" for consoles

Yoshida not keen on the Live route.

Sony will seek to provide "as many services as possible for free" on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable, according to Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida.

"We already provide our network access for gameplay for free - and the interesting thing about the network side and the Internet business is that there's a variety of revenue sources. Not necessarily getting people to pay, but with advertising and so on," The New Big Phil told our internet sibling GamesIndustry.biz.

"Those are things we're looking at, and learning how we can provide a service without people having to pay - but we still get our operation running with funding from somewhere so that we can maintain the level of quality we want."

As Yoshida pointed out, PlayStation Network multiplayer is free - compared to Xbox 360 costs of around GBP 40 per year - and Sony has also blanketed both systems in extra features at no extra cost, including all manner of internet services.

The latest of these, unveiled at Leipzig's Games Convention, is streaming music video service VidZone, which will allow PlayStation owners to download their favourite songs and create playlists, etc, for free.

"We can't support all the needs of the consumer and there are great companies providing services on the PC already," Yoshida agreed, when asked if VidZone was an acknowledgement that people already use YouTube and other services to access equivalent free content on the PC, "so we're very open to provide the opportunity to those companies to reach our user base as well."

For more from Yoshida, head over to GamesIndustry.biz.

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