Sony is usually a bit reluctant to release detailed figures on how many gamers have got involved with PlayStation Plus, an add-on service which delivers free content, discounts and additional features to users on the online PlayStation Network.
The service rivals Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold package, and whilst Sony’s free to play multiplayer on the older Playstation 3 did attract a lot of users, Sony made PS4 multiplayer PS Plus only in order to to compete with Microsoft’s multiplayer money spinning on Xbox Live.
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Recently a usually tight lipped Sony revealed that PlayStation Plus is doing fantastically well, racking up 7.9 million users on the service, all paid subscribers, all receiving the many bonuses PlayStation Plus has to offer.
The Playstation 4 is largely responsible for the influx of users on PS Plus – indeed, Sony CEO Kaz Hirai stated that almost half of the Playstation 4 user base has signed up for the optional service since the console arrived on the scene. Multiplayer on the PS4 requires PS Plus, meaning that users wanting to get online simply must use the service.
If you’re on PS3, Playstation TV or Playstation Vita, multiplayer is still free, but it seems that Playstation Plus is also a big attraction for users of the older generation of Sony machines, since the service promises myriad discounts and free games, even on the older consoles.
Behind the scenes at Sony, execs have pointed out the great performance of Sony as part of the wider gaming industry in the earlier quarters of the business year, citing titles such as Destiny and The Last of Us as big attractions for Sony consoles, and in turn Playstation Plus.
Even further behind the scenes is Sony’s latest push into the unknown – finally getting the Playstation ready for export to China. The Chinese government banned games consoles in 2000, and for 13 years the ban stayed. Of course in 2013 when it was lifted Sony noticed the opportunity, and are apparently planning to enter the Chinese video game market early next year.
For Sony, the obstacles will be large, as China keeps tight regulations on almost all aspects of the economy, and whatever suspicions that the country had about consoles before last year are likely to remain.
Source: Games Industry