"We don’t charge for the basic functions of the network like matching services. Things like that are taken for granted on a PC, aren’t they? There’s the feeling of why a game console gets to charge for a service that’s normal on a PC. So, we just made the basic services available, and based our business on the contents," he said.
This seems like pretty concrete evidence for free online play on the PS3.
Kutaragi also stated that he wishes to sell "content" online although it is unclear what type of content (though that 60GB HD could hold a lot of "content").
This seems like a logical explanation and makes me wonder why I am paying for my Xbox Live. I wonder what Microsoft will do in response by hope they make Xbox Live free (doubt it). This could be some justification for the high price of the PS3 and some users may just see it this way. We'll just have to see if it'll work.