Sony Computer Entertainment’s premium subscription service is bringing in the dough.
PlayStation Plus is growing thanks to the PlayStation 4, which launched in November last year. Sony boss Kaz Hirai revealed that a huge number of PS4 owners are picking up subscriptions to the PS Plus service, which is a special membership that gets players access to deals on games and online multiplayer on the console.
“More than half of the people that have now gotten their hands [on] the PS4 have actually signed up for PS Plus service, which bodes very well for us as well,” Hirai said on a conference call with investors (according to a transcript from financial website Seeking Alpha). “And we’ll obviously be sharing more details as the months go on.”
Sony sold more than 4.2 million PS4s before the end of 2013, which means PS Plus has added more than 2 million users since November. Sony did not provide the exact number of members the pay service currently has, but it did note that PS Plus is helping it to generate more cash.
“PlayStation Network has accounts of about 150 million,” Sony chief financial officer Masaru Kato said. “Now, with the introduction of PS4, that number is growing. What is very encouraging is that a lot of the gamers are signing up for our PS Plus services.”
PS Plus is best known for giving members access to full retail games at no extra charge as part of a program Sony calls its “Instant Game Collection.” For example, PlayStation 3 Plus members can get Metro: Last Light, Payday 2, and Remember Me right now at no additional cost. As long as gamers maintain their Plus subscription (and download those titles during the month of February), they will always have access to those titles.
Sony is continuing the Instant Game Collection on PS4. Survival-horror game Outlast is free to PS Plus subscribers on PS4 this month, but the company also decided to require the premium service for online multiplayer. That is similar to Xbox Live, and it is likely another big reason why so many PS4 owners are picking up the service.
“What is important is that, with the very good takeoff of the PS4 globally, it [has been] very successful in broadening our revenue stream,” said Kato. “Not just from our target sales. Not just from downloads and sales of our games, music, and video, but with paid subscription services and other new types of revenues. This is what is very promising for us, and I think that is what the success of the PS4 is for us going forward.”