Sony is going to introduce a new charge service for its PlaysStation Network and the end of this month. Don’t worry, it will stay free and nothing from the basic accounts will get taken away, now you have the choice to upgrade the account.
12 Month: $49.99
3 Month: $17.99
Sony will gave away 3 months of the service for free to get you hooked, and then you pay for it. I’m not sure if you have to provide a payment option to use the demo, but knowing Sony, you probably do.
PSN Plus will give you access to some free** stuff as well as the regular PSN services. With PSN Plus you can get early demos, access to some betas, themes, automatic downloads of upcoming demos you might be interested in (probably based on your game history) and discounts on PlayStation Store games. You’ll also get access to free full games, which change monthly, and exclusive in-game DLC.
The first month of service (July) will feature Wipeout HD, free themes and avatars, a trial of Infamous, Fieldrunners, Age of Zombies, and Rallycross. In August, Sony is adding Qore support.
**If at any time you choose to stop subscribing from Plus, the content downloaded to your HD that was available only through Plus will go away. Sony has mandated you only to keep the “free” stuff if you stay with the service. This might be to avoid people ripping them off, but it’s probably mostly because they just want to be jerks.