You can purchase a three-month package or a one-year package on the PlayStation Store now. The three-month package is available for $17.99 and the one-year package is available for $49.99. Sony will also be offering three additional bonus months for free if you purchase the one-year package – that's 15 months total for $49.99.
Previously we reported that PS3 Firmware 3.40 was slated to be released on June 22 as confirmed via Sony Press Release, however, Sony has since updated the release to now state it will arrive next week on June 29 to coincide with the launch of PlayStation Plus.
Additionally, PlayStationLifestyle.net (linked above) spotted one other caveat for those planning on subscribing to PlayStation Plus- it's a requirement to download and install PS3 Firmware 3.40 prior to purchasing PlayStation Plus.
To quote from a footnote on Sony's updated Press Release: "*1 PlayStation users can purchase PlayStation Plus membership through PlayStation Store on PS3 only.
Users need to install PS3 system software version 3.40, which will be released on June 29th, to enjoy PlayStation Plus."
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I have no clue where you got your information, but only PSN+ will include cross game chat. Also, if you're so worried about internet usage then why do you have your PS3 online in the first place? Let alone a PC. They constantly use your bandwidth even if they are not updating. Updates are a good thing anyway.
I'm looking forward to PSN+ and once it's released I'll be testing it out. It's much cheaper than I anticipated.