The slide you see above is from a recent Sony Media/Investor conference. Please note the third bullet-point: "New revenue stream from subscription." As you might expect many people on the internet seized on that piece of info and were like: "ZOMG! Sony will charge us for multiplayer!" So, does that mean Sony plans to offer an Xbox style monthly pay-to-play service?
Actually, no. The reaction to the perhaps-poorly-understood slide was heated enough to cause Sony's president Kaz Hirai to leap into action. Someone must have shone the Kaz symbol above the city! Anyway, here's how Kaz explained the situation:
"SCE will further increase sales by offering users new entertainment through the combination of hardware, software, peripheral and PlayStation Network. Especially in the on-line area, we are studying the possibility of introducing a subscription model, offering premium content and services, in addition to the current free services."
So if you like The PlayStation Network exactly as it is (and who doesn't??), the immediate plan is to keep it the same, but Sony is apparently looking into providing better services in exchange for currency.
This got me thinking: Let's say Sony really did keep the multi-player gaming free, but charged for extra services -- what would you pay for? Netflix streaming, maybe? Or Twitter access? Use of PlayStation Home (lol)? Do you think this even makes sense as a revenue model for Sony? To give away what is no-doubt the most popular part of the network in order to charge for "premium content" that people don't want as much as they want to ability to game with their friends?
Source: Computer and Video Games