As previously rumored, at E3 2010 Sony PlayStation Network Product Manager James Thorpe has confirmed that a paid-for PlayStation Plus service is indeed on the way with the official PlayStation Plus site going live, but reassured fans that the normal PSN will also remain free.
Additionally, he stated that those who subscribe in time will receive a free copy of LittleBigPlanet for PlayStation 3!
To quote: You may have heard in all the E3 hype that we are launching a new premium subscription service called PlayStation Plus, so I just wanted to give you all a quick heads up on what you can expect to get from this great new service so you have all the info before launch on the 29th June.
The first thing to note is that PlayStation Network is still free to join and all the current features will remain free.† PlayStation Plus will be offering you a service above and beyond this, including loads of content and exclusive, member-only, PSN features.
From 29th June you'll be able to purchase a 1 year or 90-day membership from PlayStation Store and instantly get your hands on the following premium features.†Plus, if you sign up for a 1 year membership between 29th June and 3rd August, we'll also throw in a free downloadable copy of the award winning LittleBigPlanet.
As a member you can expect to get your hands on at least four games a month at no extra charge.† Each month there will be a selection of one PSN game, two minis and one PS one classics available on PlayStation Store for you to download. You also get premium avatars and dynamic themes each month, many of which are exclusive to members.†
Talking of exclusive, there will also be discounts available on loads of PlayStation Store content, just for members, so make the most of them as these will change each month as well.
Finally, wherever possible we'll be making sure that members are included in some selected demos and beta trials before they go live to the public so you can be the one to tell all your mates about the next big game they 'must' get.
Just the games, avatars and themes alone are worth at least £200* per year, so even before the other benefits, this service is great value for money
Full Game Trial:†
This premium feature gives you the chance to try PSN and Blu-ray disc titles before you buy them in a whole new way.† We are not talking normal demos of selected parts of a game here.†
With Full Game Trial, you can download the full game and play it as if you owned it for approximately one hour, depending on the game, before you decide if you want to buy it or not. So you can check out the online modes, play against friends or anything else you'd normally do with a game.†
The other great thing is that your progress and trophies from the trial will all be unlocked if you buy the game so no need to go back and start again.
We wanted to offer members the speediest service possible so sign up and you can set your PS3 to automatically receive the latest game updates for all the games you play, PS3 system software updates and even have game demos sent directly to your PS3 without lifting a finger.
Just set the time you want to receive them and your PS3 will automatically wake up and download everything, ready for when you next want to play. No more waiting to play your favourite game because there is a new patch or having to remember when the latest system software is launching, let your PS3 do the work.
Details of this great new service, including a list of content available for the first 2 months will be on playstationplus.com between now and the 29th, but don't forget to get on the Store and sign up before the 3rd August to get the added bonus of a free copy of LittleBigPlanet.
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