Sony unveils subscription PSN option

Includes auto firmware patching service.

Sony has unveiled the premium PlayStation Network service that SCE president Kaz Hirai indicated was under consideration recently.

Speaking at Sony's E3 conference, the platform holder said PlayStation Plus would launch on 29th June worldwide.

Everything that is currently free will remain free, we were told, including online multiplayer gameplay.

However, punters will be able to fork over 14.99 for 90 days' access or 49.99 for annual access to exclusive features and content.

These will include special offers, and early access to some demos and beta trials.

We're also told that subscription will allowed limited-time play of full games - PSN releases, PSone classics, minis and also proper releases - with a changing line-up on offer each month.

There will also be a library of games available for indefinite play to subscribers for no extra cost.

Perhaps most interestingly - and definitely controversially - one perk of the service will be the option to schedule your PS3 to switch on and download demos, patches and those odious firmware updates automagically.

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