Yes because theyu upgraded their networks. The only reason PSN used to be free is because it wasn't worth paying for. Now it's gonna be less laggy. I know, the slowness of PSN is usually exagerated, but it was still worse than XBL.
Ps plus will be 50 bucks a year,and provide discount and free games throughout the year.for example, subscribing to ps plus will give you assassins creed 3 for free.they will also release many indie developer games.check the Sony games-com conference for more.