Sony has announced that it is to launch a PlayStation Network (PSN)
pre-paid card for its Japanese fanbase. The card will be available via
52,000 store and post office-based ATM machines.
Called the ‘PlayStation Ticket’, the card is to be made available in
early June and comes in three values: YEN1,000 (GBP4), YEN3,000 Yen (GBP12),
YEN5,000 (GBP20) and YEN10,000 Yen (GBP40). You pays your yen and your card
produces a 12-digit number that can then be used to download content
from the PSN.
The Japanese press release makes no mention of any other territory but
Japan at this time. The size of the investment – 52,000 ATM integrations
in convenience stores and post offices – does indicate that Sony is
taking PSN incredibly seriously in the homeland.
The pre-paid strategy will also open PSN to those gamers too young to
have sent themselves screaming into debt via credit card plastic.
With gamers (and, we assume, shareholders) waiting for Home
(and Littlebigplanet) and the battle for online supremacy
hotting up between Sony and Microsoft, the former’s move to bring
ease-of-payment to the masses looks like a massive commitment.