Sony has confirmed with VideoGamer.com that auto-updates, social features and some entertainment on the PlayStation 4 will not be behind a pay-wall. In confirming this news Sony says that it is "trying to be as balanced and as fair as we possibly can." TV and online movie services will also continue to be free to all PS4 users.
A PlayStation Plus account will likely be required to access back-catalogue PS3 titles via Sony's Gaikai streaming service which is set for a launch early next year. A PlayStation Plus account will also be required to play the multiplayer portion of games, though some free-to-play titles may not - SOE has confirmed that PlanetSide 2 and DC Universe Online do not require a Plus account in order to play.
"It is time to charge, but it is time to charge and still continue to deliver phenomenal value," SCEE UK & Ireland MD Fergal Gara told VideoGamer.com during E3. "A PlayStation Plus subscriber for PlayStation 4 comes away with a hell of a lot. First of all, the subscription applies across all three platforms [PS4, PS3 & PS Vita], so if you have the three platforms then you have an instant game collection on all three. So that's hugely powerful in its own right. But it is true to say that the online multiplayer element for PS4, you do require the subscription in order to [make use] of that."
PlayStation 4 launches worldwide sometime during the holiday season.