Rumor: Sony To Reveal PSN+ Subscription Service at E3

According to sources close to Joystiq, Sony is going to reveal a premium version of the PlayStation Network at E3 next month in Los Angeles. The premium version, to be called PSN+, will not be like Xbox LIVE Gold in that basic PlayStation network members will still be able to play online games free, but it will focus on giving additional bonuses to paid subscribers.

According to the sources, many of the features available to PSN+ subscribers will be those that were featured in a survey last year. Those include having access to a rotating selection of PSP Mini and PSOne Classics, exclusive DLC, PlayStation Store discounts and “first hour” demo access to full retail titles, which actually sounds pretty sweet. The first hour demo will allow players to play the first hour of a game and then gamers can purchase the game if they enjoyed their experience. Accessing the demo will require gamers to download the entire game, which simply means that if they like the demo, they pay for the full game and immediately begin playing.

Also, according to the sources, gamers will receive protection for the PlayStation 3 consoles via the PlayStation Protection Plan and exclusive access to cross-game voice chat. Finally, PSN+ subscribers will reportedly have access to an auto-patch feature that will detect, download and install updates for games recently played on the PlayStation 3.

Apparently there will be other features included, which we’re certain will be revealed at E3. Speculation is that the cost will be $9.99 per month. As for now, this is just a rumor, but it sounds pretty viable.