Speaking with VG247, IHS analyst Piers Harding-Rolls explains how Sony has made significant strides towards prosperity by making PS Plus a requirement for online play.
“While this battle to engage publishers and consumers ensues, Sony has already taken a major step towards a more profitable and competitive PlayStation business with a single but significant commercial decision to place online multiplayer gaming behind the PlayStation Plus subscription paywall.
“IHS forecasts that Sony’s change in strategy will help generate $1.2bn in annual consumer spending on PlayStation Plus subscriptions by 2017 and will give Sony access to an essential and substantial new revenue stream, one which Microsoft has enjoyed since the launch of Xbox Live way back in 2002.”
“In contrast, Microsoft Xbox Live users, who only have access to online multiplayer gaming through Gold accounts, spent nine times as much – $1.25 billion – on service subscriptions in 2012,” the statement continues.
“And since the launch of Xbox Live in 2002, total spending on Xbox Live subscriptions has reached a very substantial $4.7 billion. Over the past decade, the revenue derived from this spending has enabled Microsoft to invest in and build a world-class online platform and digital content service, allowing the company to stay ahead of its console competitors.”
“IHS believes that lower research and development costs for PlayStation 4 hardware, additional revenue streams from online service subscriptions and a more aggressive transition to higher margin digital content sales are combining to strengthen Sony’s games business outlook even in the face of increased competition from cheap Android consoles and alternative devices eating into consumers’ gaming time, including smartphones and tablets.”
The firm claimed that to-date, PS Plus subscriptions have earned Sony $140 million as it is not yet a mandatory requirement for online play.
While free online gaming does have its benefits, those benefits are heavily on the side of the consumer leaving the manufacturer scratching their head while the competition rakes in billions. Or do you believe Sony should keep the online experience free and business as usual? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.