Until now, you had to be a member of the Sony PlayStation Plus family in order to be able to watch videos from the TV streaming service over your gaming console. No longer; if you are in the United States. Sony has announced that this facility has now been opened up for all PlayStation 3 users in the country and that they do not need to be a PlayStation Plus user to avail the service.
This however does not mean you get to have all of this for free. Users must still sign up for the Hulu Plus subscription that is available at a price of $9.99 per month. So as I see this, the move is a win for Hulu in getting access to more paid members while Sony may now have to focus on other compelling aspects of PSN in order to get members paying up for the premium service.
Sony has announced a new program for loyal PlayStation gamers – the PlayStation Rewards program that will offer exclusive status and extras to PSN members who have been around for long periods of time. In the initial invitation-only beta stage, the PlayStation Rewards program will be targeted at the US members of PlayStation Plus and Gamer Advisory Panel.
Once into the Rewards program, users need not do anything different and all of their activities including playing games, purchasing and downloading content, answering marketing surveys,etc. will be counted towards building the loyalty that shall be ultimately rewarded with additional benefits. Sony notes that the Rewards program will begin with things like
- Exclusive PSN avatars that display member status in the program
- Exclusive dynamic themes and PlayStation Home content
- Opportunities throughout the program year to participate in members-only sweepstakes and giveaways for experiences and merchandise you won’t find elsewhere (The first of which is an all expenses paid trip to the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, as PlayStation’s guest)
The invitations to select members to join the new rewards program is noted to be already on the way. Continue reading “Sony PlayStation Rewards Program For Loyalty Recognition Launches”
Sony announced earlier this week that the PlayStation Protection Plan – a warranty service for console owners who are too accident-prone will now be offered via the PlayStation Network. The PS Protection plan will offer extended coverage for manufacturer’s warranty for both PS2 and PS3 owners and is an optional service.
The service is available for those users who are within the first year of purchase of their console and extends the warranty period from 12 months to 24 months at a cost of $44.99. A two year extension plan is available for $59.99. These rates are however for those users who are not subscribed to PlayStation Plus. If you are a PlayStation Plus subscriber, you can avail the two-year plan for $44.99. The plan will give users access to console hardware experts besides prepaid shipping boxes to ship defective consoles.
As we had expected, Sony is out with its announcement on the new PlayStation Plus subscription service at E3. Unveiling the new service, Sony has said that the subscription will get users “hundreds of dollars of products” every year.
What do these Plus users receive? For starters, the first three months for free. These users may get access to exclusive demos, trailers, DLC and beta version of new releases. The cost is set at $49.99 for a year of subscription and $17.99 for three months.
This sounds like a good deal – at least, better than what we had earlier thought.
Earlier this month, we had written about a Premium PSN that could be launched by Sony next month at E3. The service, that was expected to cost $70 a year, was expected to bring a free new game to the user besides offering a Spotify-like music streaming service to the PlayStation Network.
Now, there are more confirmed rumors about the service. According to a report on Joystiq, the service shall be labeled PSN+ and it will include a lot more things than just a music streaming service. Here is what we hear are the offerings
- Rotating list of PSP Mini and PSone Classic games
- Exclusive In-Game downloadable content
- PlayStation Store discount
- Full access to retail titles for one hour, dubbed “first hour” demo
- PlayStation Protection Plan
- Cross-Game Voice Chat
- Cloud-based saving system
- Auto-Patching feature for automatic installation of updates
The pricing is expected to be around $9.99 a month which is pretty higher than earlier speculations.
Starting today, gamers on Sony Playstation 3 and PlayStation Portable will be able to download original television content from HBO from the PlayStation Network. The videos can be downloaded via internet from PSN and may be watched on TV.
The move is in an attempt to score a point against Microsoft that has become pretty successful in luring users to XBox 360 via video content downloadable via XBox Live. The new partnership will mean Sony PSN users may be able to download and view True Blood, Big Love, Entourage, Eastbound and Down, The Sopranos, The Wire, Sex and the City, Rome, Da Ali G Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Flight of the Conchords on their television.
Given the massive access to such shows via alternate channels as well, I do not see this as offering Sony a competitive edge. However considering that similar content is available via XBox, it makes sense for Sony to bring on a level playing field through striking such a content deal with HBO. Your thoughts?
[via Venture Beat]
Rumors are doing the rounds that a Premium PSN service may be unveiled by Sony next month on the sidelines of E3. According to sources, the premium service will not be a forced upgrade to existing PSN users and shall be completely optional. However, the features are pretty good that there is likely to be a good number of takers.
For one, users may be offered to download a new Playstation game every month for free. Sony is likely to offer a choice of 3-4 games for the users to choose from. Secondly, the service is likely to bring a music streaming service on the lines of Spotify to PSN. Details are sketchy, but I believe you get the idea.
And the price? A good £50 ($70) per year. That’s less than $6 a month, technically. But how many would be willing to go for the upgrade? Will you?