In an interview with Famitsu (translated by Kotaku), SCE Worldwide Studios head Shuhei Yoshida talked about the requirement of PlayStation Plus, which is a paid service, for playing online for the next-generation PlayStation 4 is due to difficulties in keeping the service free given the amount of resources already invested.
“The main pillar for the PS4 will be online play. We’re developing many new ways to play and connect which requires a large investment of resources. Considering the cost, to try to keep such a service free and consequently lower the quality would be absurd. We decided that if that’s the case, then it would be better to receive proper payment and continue to offer a good service.”
About support for the PlayStation 3, Sony Japan president Hiroshi Kawano stated elsewhere that the console would still be receiving support for games going forward. “It’s been seven years since the release of the PS3 and the console continues to sell at a constant pace, plus we have many upcoming titles. We have no intention of immediately shifting from the PS3 to the PS4.
“With the 2014 launch of our cloud service in the US allowing users to play PS3 games on the PS4, some people may switch consoles from the PS3 to the PS4,” he added. “But that’ll be a gradual process, and to say ‘we’re releasing a new console, so trade in your old ones for it’ would be a maker’s ego talking, plain and simple.”