There’s been a lot of focus on Microsoft’s changing policies for the Xbox One, but little attention has been paid to a major policy change Sony has made. The PlayStation Network will continue to be free, but the ability to play multi-player games online on the PS 4 will be put behind the PlayStation Plus paywall.

Analysis by IHS Electronics and Media indicates that with this change PlayStation Plus could generate $1.2 billion in subscriptions for Sony by the time 2017 rolls around. That’s a big change from the estimated $140 million PlayStation Plus subscriptions generated for the company on PS3 in 2012.

In comparison, Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold generated $1.25 billion in subscriptions in 2012, according to IHS, and has made $4.7 billion from Xbox Live Gold since 2002. That’s a lot of potential revenue that Sony missed – but they don’t plan to miss it in the future.

Source: GamesIndustry International