21 January 2010

Playstation Network looking to better Xbox Live?


I recently took part in a survey from Sony on the future developments of their Playstation Network (PSN).

They are looking at possible subscription models, trying to gauge what services users might want, and how much they are prepared to pay. With potential costs aside, some of the suggested features are actually quite good. Take a look below at what Sony might offer in future.

Customer Service Priority Access
Priority access to PlayStation's customer service both online and via phone should you need technical help or have questions about your products. This feature gives you support with little to no waiting.

Exclusive Experiences with Sony Brands
Get member-only access to attend exclusive Sony events and experiences throughout the year, including those offered by PlayStation, Sony Pictures, and Sony Music.

Extended Console Warranty 3 Years
Get your PS3 warranty extended to 3 years as part of your overall subscription (requires you to keep your subscription active). The standard warranty on your PS3 is 1 year.

Access to Beta Games
Get access to Betas of popular games not yet released at retail (Betas offer bigger experiences than typical game demos). You will have the ability to play these games before others do.

Early Access to Store Game Demos
Get member-exclusive early access to PlayStation Store game demos. You will have the ability to play these game demos before others do.

Early Access to All Store Content
Get early access to select free and purchasable game related content on the PlayStation Store before it's available to everyone else. This includes games, add-ons, themes, avatars, as well as free game demos.

Member Demo Sharing of Full Game
Share a level of a game that you just purchased for your PS3 with a subscriber who doesn't own the game. Your friends could do the same. This would be an exclusive demo not available otherwise to those who haven't purchased the game.

Cross-game Voice Chat Access
Get exclusive member-only access to cross-game voice chat. This is the ability to use your headset to voice chat with friends on your PS3 regardless of what they are doing on the PS3.

Full Title Trial - 1st Hour Is Free
Download full versions of select Blu-ray and PSN game titles and have the chance to play the entire game (single or multiplayer) for free for the first hour. After that time you will have the option of purchasing the game to continue playing.

Token Wagering
Get a fixed number of tokens per month you can wager with other players in competitive online games. These tokens could then be built up and redeemed for free PlayStation Network games and other content.

User-to-user Challenges
Unlock developer-created challenges while playing games. Compete with your friends to see who can be the first to complete these challenges. The PS3 will automatically offer and track challenges and winners and would post results. An example of a challenge is 'first to get 10 trophies' in a particular game.

Free Access to PSOne Classics, PSP Minis, and PS3/PSP Themes
Get a fixed number of PSOne Classic games, PSP Minis (bite-sized games), and PS3/PSP themes per month to keep for free for as long as you are a subscriber. The PlayStation Store offers these types of content for £1.25-3.70 each.

Discounts on Store Content
Get weekly member-exclusive discounts on specific games, game add-ons and themes on the PlayStation Store. Discounts may range from 20-50% off regular retail prices.

Member Only In-game Content
Get exclusive member-only in-game content for your PS3 or PSP such as new game play options, unlocked in-game weapons or player slots, exclusive levels, costumes/skins, and PlayStation Home spaces.

Trophy Alerts
Get automated alerts on your PlayStation XrossMedia Bar, PlayStation.co.uk, and via text message (if you so choose) that alert you when your friends get any trophy or a specific one. This feature is customisable - you can choose which friends to receive alerts from and what kinds of alerts.

Cloud Storage Space for Games
Store your game saves on a virtual secure saver. This would allow you to access your game saves at any point in time, and from any PlayStation 3 or PSP console you are logged in on.

Online Music Service
Get a streaming music service that allows you to choose your channel based on music style, artist type, etc. and listen to an unlimited number of tracks. This service would be for use outside of playing a game and similar to Pandora or a Last.fm.

Automatic Downloads and Updates
Customise the types of updates you want your PS3 to download automatically. These include game updates (patches) for games that you own, firmware updates, and game demos downloaded on your PS3 without manually having to select them and wait for them to finish downloading. Your PS3 can be set to automatically turn on for updates and turn off after completion.

Loyalty Programme Rewards
Get rewards the longer you are a subscriber and also earn rewards by engaging with PlayStation such as buying games, downloading films, and rating products. Rewards can include full versions of PlayStation Network games and digital movie rentals from the PlayStation Store.

Facebook Connectivity
Access to member-exclusive Facebook features on your PlayStation 3, such as viewing and linking your Facebook accounts with their PSN ID's, updating your status, editing, uploading and sharing photos, and viewing photo albums of your friends on your TV.

Catch-up TV
Get access to popular TV programmes and films through service providers such as Hulu, simply by clicking an icon on your PS3 XrossMedia navigation bar.

Online Video Subscription Service
Access a video streaming service on your PS3 without the need to insert a special disc into the drive each time to access the service. A separate subscription would also be needed with the third party streaming service provider to enjoy the service. Enjoy thousands of popular films and TV programmes for streaming on your PS3.

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