While Sony distracted the audience with news about their classic take on used game policy, they slipped in this bit of news as the last bullet point on a slide on-screen for less than ten seconds. Online multiplayer for the PlayStation 4, for all games, will require a PlayStation Plus subscription. Yes, while Sony didn't follow Microsoft's used game policies, they have given into subscriptions for online multiplayer.
Just look at this language that Sony uses in their PlayStation 4 E3 press release:
"PS Plus members will be able to enjoy a variety of other amazing PS4 titles, while enjoying new ways to share their experiences with friends via online multiplayer, broadcasting and spectating games, cross-game voice chat, and the ability to seamlessly join a friend’s online game."
Fortunately for Sony, they already provide an outstanding service in PlayStation Plus, at least compared to that provided by Microsoft's Xbox Live. Free games every month, deals on other games, exclusive content and more, and all of that will keep going on the PlayStation 4. In fact, the same PlayStation Plus account users have right now will cross over to the PS4, making a triad of great content for Vita, PS4 and PS3 going into next-gen.
Still, it's rather heart breaking that Sony couldn't figure out a way to keep their online services free. After all, we do already pay for our own internet. It's even worse that Sony tried to slip this fact in as a the fifth bullet point on a spreadsheet almost ignored by Jack Tretton. Currently PlayStation Plus costs $18 for three months or $50 for a year.