Uh-oh: Sony hints at monthly fees for PlayStation Network

Panthro’s concerned, I’m concerned, Jesus, everybody is concerned. That’s because a Sony executive has once again uttered those feared words while discussing the PlayStation Network: “monthly fees.”

One of the PlayStation 3’s biggest selling points over the Xbox 360 is its entirely free online service. You need to cough up $50 a year to get the most out of Xbox Live, but the PlayStation Network is free out of the box.

But for how much longer? Sony Europe technology platform boss Masayuki Chatani has suggested that becoming dependent on the “sell-and-forget model” will mean the company might “face difficulties”:

“Servers and the like have running costs… after we sell the hardware, though, we continue to sell products such as content and services. […] In addition to single-payment packaged software, there are also schemes like monthly fees or per-item charges. I think this variety of payment methods will bring about a diverse range of playing methods, too.”

Yikes. Here’s hoping Chitani isn’t preparing the ground for an unwelcome announcement.

[Nikkei Japan, via CVG]