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I believe a premium service would be a great thing for Sony. Many of us may already know about the rumors that have spread across the internet about its contents and price. Late last year Kaz Hirai, Officer in charge of Networked Products & Service Group of Sony Corporation, confirmed that PSN will get a premium service sometime this year. Details on the content the premium service will include is still unknown but everything that has been discussed so far should help PSN greatly.
One of the rumored premiums is cross-game voice chat access. This service is highly prized by most Playstation 3 owners and is a service the Xbox 360 has had for a long time. I believe that with this service alone many Playstation 3 owners would buy a premium subscription to PSN. There are many PSN users who wish they could chat with friends while playing a game. With a log in/log out option, those who do not wish to be bothered could opt out.
An extension to the Playstation 3 warranty is yet another rumored idea that may come with a subscription. Most Playstation 3 owners already know of the infamous YLOD (Yellow Light of Death) which can make your Playstation 3 into a waste of space in your living room. The usual warranty for the Playstation 3 is a year, but the rumored extension is said to be three years which is slightly less than a third of the Playstation 3's ten year life span. This sounds great to me. The regular price of an extension to the warranty can be anywhere between $40 to $100 and Sony couldn't possibly be dumb enough to price the premium service any higher than that. Sony can really get some kudos out of this service since no one really likes having to pay so much money to extend a warranty.
I know that almost everyone loves betas and loves getting into them. The premium subscription is rumored to allow you to get invited to all of the betas without having to do any work. This is another service I feel can really help Sony get it together with PSN. I have heard of people paying hard cash just to get into a beta that only last a month or less. This would definitely make some Playstation 3 owners put some cash in Sony's pockets other then make some guy or gal that they don't even know a bit richer.
A subscription that pays itself is an awesome subscription indeed don't you think? Discounts on the playstation store is yet another great service that may possibly come with the premium service. There are a lot of Playstation 3 owners who purchase video games, add-ons, themes, and even movies from PSN. With this service they can save some big bucks on their purchases. Eventually they would save equal to or even more than what they paid for the premium service to begin with, or at least come close to what they paid.
Most of us love watching television and keeping up with our favorite shows, but paying those cable bills every month really sucks. Sony is rumored to be exploring a partnership with Hulu to bring viewers their favorite shows. This will be possible through a Hulu icon on the Playstation 3's Xross Media bar. This service would also help save some cash for consumers with them not needing to pay cable bills or purchase Tivo just to watch their favorite shows. Of course people can already do this for free without the Playstation 3 but to be able to do this with it makes it easier.
Token wagering is an odd yet interesting rumored service that could possibly come with a subcription. Every month or so subscribers would be given a certain amount of tokens that they can wager against their friends in online competitive games. After a user has aquired a large amount of tokens, he or she may redeem them at the Playstation store for prizes. I think this service can be very fun and can see everyone going crazy over this and gamble away all of their tokens on one wager! That would be hilarious.
A free hour to all games on the playstation store is another rumored service that would be granted to subscriber's and is a great idea for Sony. I believe this can help both the consumer and Sony greatly. Sony can easily sell more games on the playstation store by giving consumers a free hour of the actual full game, it would be better than the crappy demo's that are given to us. Speaking of demo's, most of the games on the playstation store don't even have demo's, so purchasing a game is like taking a chance on something your not sure about. Would you buy something from someone when they said its awesome and you can get a lot out of it without even knowing what its like? Some of us would and some of us wouldn't and that makes this service really great. It would also help consumers make that choice much easier, especially since there are no refunds on the playstation store.
The rumored price of the premium service is ranged at around $20 to $60 a year or $6 to $9 a month, which to me, isn't that bad if it were to actually offer these services.
These are all great ideas for Sony but they are also all rumored ideas. The premium service is also rumored to be announced at this years E3 or maybe even sooner at GDC 2010. I believe if Sony were to offer these services that PSN can truly become something really great. I know that we all can agree that Sony has to do something with PSN, so lets hope what Sony does is as great as these services sound.
There are many other rumored content for PSN's premium service and you can find them all at endgadget.com.