Assuming PS will spread this sub money to more than just online services, and use some of it for hardware purposes going forward, if there were 2 possible outcomes for PS5 hardware based on PS Plus subs, which would you prefer?
1. PS4 having free online this entire gen, leading to a $399-$499 PS5 that cost $399-$499 to make. (imagine another PS4 type launch basically)
2. PS4 having paid online as it has all gen, leading to a $399-$499 PS5 that cost $599-$699 to make. (imagine a PS3 type launch but affordable)
I think PS would be crazy not to use some of this money for extra manufacturing costs to make the next gen hardware better than it otherwise would be, while also using some of those sub funds, as well as the next gen subs, to offset the cost of the subsidy for that better more affordable hardware.
It's possible that PS just offers choice 1 no matter what and only uses the sub funds for online since that's where it came from, but I think that would be foolish of them. Using it partially for better more affordable hardware to get as many people into the ecosystem as quickly as possible would help justify the sub cost for many people. Others won't care regardless though and would just rather have free online.
This is similar to how I was trying to explain to someone about why Online is free on PC and Mobile. They were going on about how they don't have to pay to play online on their PC and Smartphone so they shouldn't have to pay on Consoles. I said, you could have online for free on consoles, all you would have to do is pay $1,200 for a $400 console. PC's and Smartphones are sold at 2 - 3x cost, consoles are sold at break even or a loss. PC and Smartphone sellers make money off the hardware, console makers make money off software and services. In the end, you pay the same, it is just a matter of whether you pay up front, or over time.
It is really hard for people to understand that Sony and Microsoft are basically giving you a Console for Free so that you will spend money in their ecosystem.
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