Pretty much the only thing people didn't like about Sony's E3 conference was that tiny little part where they announced that you'd have to pay a subscription fee (PS+) to play games online with the PS4. It was kind of a bombshell for some, but for others, it made sense given the value of PlayStation Plus.
After being asked what went into the decision to charge for online gameplay, Sony explained that online features and services are going to be a "big pillar" of the PS4 experience. They go on to note, "we've already talked about the share button, sharing features, second screens...if we continue to invest into online infrastructures, that costs money. If we continue free service for online multiplayer, from a business standpoint, there's pressure to recover costs. That's when we decided 'let's ask the people who are most active in playing online to share some of the cost so we can invest more.'" It has also been noted that some F2P PS4 games will not require PlayStation Plus, including Planetside 2 and DC Universe Online (the latter of which will feature cross-platform play).
Sony ends with, "$399 is the price point we always wanted to hit. We carefully looked at the potential of the technology we put in the PlayStation 4. We believe that when PS4 comes out it will be the most powerful system inside."
I saw all of this coming, and I'm not really surprised. Sony can't afford to offer 10 more years of free online play with all of the cloud based services they're offering now. Still, as I said earlier PlayStation Plus is a tremendous value, and I'm willing to make that sacrifice to pay for online if Sony can provide a truly solid experience -- if.