Fergal Gara on what PS Plus gets you on PS4 – a better network and cross game chat (finally)

At E3 Sony Computer Entertainment UK boss Fergal Gara spoke more about PS Plus on PS4, the move to a paid online service and how cross game chat is so on this time.

Fergal Gara on what PS Plus gets you on PS4

When PS4 arrives at the end of the year you’ll now have to pay for a PS Plus subscription to play online. Something Gara says Sony had to, “agonise over for a very long time”. Ultimately two things drove the move to new paid model. “First of all, we wanted to introduce the console at a healthy price-point compared with PS3,” admits Gara, who claims that was, “front and centre in our thinking and our planning for years”.

The second decision maker was a desire to introduce more network features. In that respect Gara lists things like, “the social features you’ve seen demonstrated or more of a world-class network”. That last point has seen Sony, “investing in a higher performance network”. This will apparently not only only add, “new things”, but will also provide a, “better performance [and] better reliability”.

Fergal Gara Sony UK VP & MDAs he points out: to improve or add to the current infrastructure, “there’s investment required”. PS Plus, in Gara’s own words was, “a tremendously well-received service” and thus Sony saw an, “opportunity to extend that”. Gara admits that does mean, “we’re charging for online multiplayer” but that it offers, “immense value for that subscription charge” (currently £39.99 annually) adding that it, “it applies across three consoles, includes content across all three consoles”.

An interesting move on PS4 is also adding free, albiet feature limited, versions of full games, such as DriveClub. That’s due in part to what Gara says is a desire to make PS4, “exciting right from day one. So we’ve introduced a version of DriveClub right from day one in there so you could argue [your PS Plus subscription] is sort of paid back almost immediately. So we still think it’s tremendous value”.

So to clarify, is cross chat
a part of PS4? “It’s there”

One interesting thing that’s finally, finally coming is the near mythical cross game chat. Gara admits, “I suppose wasn’t delivered upon for PS3″, the explanation apparently because, “it became technology that would be difficult to place on the architecture we had in place”. As a result Gara says, “it was one to fix for PlayStation 4, and it is fixed”. So, just to clarify: is cross chat a part of PS4? “It’s there”.