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Hirai: PSN subscription a "possibility"

Would co-exist alongside free service.

Sony appears to be considering a subscription model for PlayStation Network that would sit alongside the existing free membership.

Such a manouevre would bring PS3 in line with Xbox Live, which offers a premium Gold subscription and free Silver membership.

"SCE will further increase sales by offering users new entertainment through the combination of hardware, software, peripheral and PlayStation Network," said PlayStation head Kaz Hirai in a statement.

"Especially in the online area, we are studying the possibility of introducing a subscription model, offering premium content and services, in addition to the current free services."

Sony referred to the PlayStation Network as "gaining momentum" in a new presentation spotted in a dark corner of the internet (by VG247).

The same document mentioned a "new revenue stream from subscription" under the PlayStation Network tab, and also talked of reiterated Sony's plan to support 3D on all consoles via a firmware update.