Shuhei Yoshida, bossman at Sony Worldwide Studios, has told GamesIndustry.biz that they are "learning how" to provide services without people coughing up the dosh.
PS3 and PSP network services are free however there's a "variety of revenue sources" like advertising that helps pump money into the coffers.
Admittedly those alternate sources of income don't seem to cover the expenses as he continues, saying "we still get our operation running with funding from somewhere so that we can maintain the level of quality we want."
"We like to provide as many services as possible for free - we already provide our network access for gameplay for free - and the interesting thing about the network side and the Internet business is that there’s a variety of revenue sources," said Yoshida at the Games Convention last week.
"Not necessarily getting people to pay, but with advertising and so on."
This is probably going to be seen as a little dig at rival Microsoft who charges for Gold level membership with their Xbox Live program.
Silver members can use most but not all the services for free and face a week's delay getting their hands on the latest demo's or major content updates - with no online multiplayer access on Xbox 360.
"We're more open about approaching and bringing services in to PS3 and PSP," Yoshida explained. PC users are partly the reason for going "free" on their online services, to help appeal to the gamers and the companies.