Cross-game party chat coming to PS3, Playstation Plus Details

Cross-game chat is coming to the PlayStation Network. It allows PSN members to talk to each other, even while playing different games. The downside is that you have to be a PlayStation Plus member to use it.

PlayStation+ members will be able to send invites to any four members of the PlayStation Network, however at least one person must be a member of PSN+.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. today announced that it will offer PlayStation®Plus, a new subscription service package on PlayStation®Network. In addition to the current free to use existing features and services, PlayStation Plus brings value-added offerings including exclusive services and content on June 29, 2010, worldwide. PlayStation Plus will further enhance PlayStation Network, which has recently achieved a cumulative number of registered accounts of over 50 million globally.

By accessing PlayStation®Store via PlayStation®3 (PS3®), PlayStation Network users will be able to purchase membership*1 to PlayStation Plus, providing members with new options to expand and enhance their gaming experience and enabling them to gain an exclusive set of features and content. For users’ convenience, PlayStation Plus will be available in different subscription options of 30 days (Japan: 500 yen, Asia: HK$38), 90 days (North America: $17.99, Europe: €14.99) and 365 days (Japan: 5,000 yen, Asia: HK$233, North America: $49.99, Europe: €49.99).

PlayStation Plus will be available on June 29, 2010 for a 365-day package at $49.99. SCEA is also running a “limited time offer” giving subscribers 3 free bonus months for signing up for a 365-day subscription. Consumers also have the option to subscribe for 90-days for $17.99.

PlayStation Plus features include*2:

Full game trial*3

Members will have access to full versions of designated PS3® and PlayStation Network titles including PS one® Archives (PS one® Classics). The titles on offer will be available for download on PlayStation Store for a stated period and change every month. Members will be able to play the full version of the game for a designated period and even after the trial period expires, users will be able to continue playing the game by purchasing the game on-line*4.

Games

Member will be able to play the full version of designated PS3 downloadable and PlayStation Network titles including PS one Archives (PS one Classics) and minis*5 with no limit of time as long as membership is effective. These games will become available exclusively for PlayStation Plus members at no extra cost.

Special content

Content such as avatars and custom themes many of which are exclusive will become available for PlayStation Plus members at no extra cost.

Discounts

Members will have access to exclusive discounts on designated PS3 and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) titles. Titles will vary every month on PlayStation Store.

Early access

Members will have early access to designated new game beta trials, game demos and video content prior to public distribution.

Automatic content downloads and updates

PS3 will automatically download and install designated game demos and game updates and also download the system software update data*6. PS3 will automatically start up at a designated time to download content and will turn off after the download has completed.

*1 PlayStation users can purchase PlayStation Plus membership through PlayStation Store on PS3 only. Users need to install PS3 system software version 3.40, which will be released on June 22nd, to enjoy PlayStation Plus.
*2 Content will vary by region.
*3 Expiration date will vary by content.
*4 Users will continue to enjoy games with previously saved data. Any trophies earned during the trial will also be unlocked.
*5 “minis” are not available in Japan.
*6 As the install requires users agreement, it will not be installed automatically.