Well, Sony may have once downplayed the notion of "catching up" with Xbox Live, but it looks like it is now set to take at least one big cue from its rival. As oh-so-quietly revealed during a presentation on Thursday and now confirmed by Kaz Hirai himself, Sony will be adding a "premium level" subscription service to the PlayStation Network sometime next year. According to Hirai, that subscription will get you "premium content and services," although exactly what those are remains a bit unclear, as the current level of service will apparently remain free, and continue to include features like Facebook, Netflix, and the ability to play games online. Also up in the air is any word on a price or launch date, although the timing of the announcement does seem to suggest that we might just be hearing more about this at CES.

[Thanks, Erick]

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Sony's Kaz Hirai confirms 'premium level' subscription coming to PSN