PlayStation Plus Explained

Illustration for article titled PlayStation Plus Explained

At E3, Sony skimmed over their new $50/year (or $18/three months) premium PS3 service called PlayStation Plus. Now, they've finally outlined exactly what's included in the offer:

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What PlayStation Plus Includes

Free, rotating monthly PSN games, minis and PS One Classics (at launch, those titles will be "WipEout HD, PSP minis and PS One Classics such as Fieldrunners, Age of Zombies and Rally Cross" — you keep them "as long as you are subscribed")
Discounts (20% to 50% off certain PSN games/content)
Free Qore
Early Beta/Demo Access
Full Game Trials (essentially one hour, full-game demos that can be purchased after testing)
Automatic Downloads (your PS3 will wake in the night, downloading system and game patches, as well as content like videos)

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What PlayStation Plus Lacks

Cross-game chat (this is the big current request)
Hardware Discounts (all offers are PSN-only)
Other Stuff (I'm sure that people will be crying foul about something)

Honestly, the reason I really want the service is the automatic updates. As a guy who doesn't play PS3 every day (or every week), I feel punished with a series of downloads whenever I do sit down to play. But I think what would justify the purchase would be all the free games.

If Sony isn't going to overhaul the backend of their online service for premium customers (and let's just admit it, our prized Japanese hardware companies have proven to be pretty lousy at this aspect of consoles), they really do seem like they've done the next best thing—bring on all the "free" stuff!

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I think that I may break down and buy Plus for year one. I'm interested, however, as to whether or not they'll keep me for year two. I guess I'll have to see whether Plus actually saves me money, or at least, gets me to spend enough to save, or whatever their profit model is here. [PlayStation Blog]

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DISCUSSION

Free Rotating Monthly Games:

How much do you want to bet that the "Free Rotating Monthly Games" are games that a majority of people already own? If vegas has odds, i'll put all my money that Sony will do this. For example, I already own Wipeout HD, Super Star Dust, Pixel Junk(Shooter, Monsters +Encore, Eden+Encore), Flow, Flower, Mushroom Wars, Gravity Crash, Crash Commandos, Pain, Bionic Commando Re-Armed, Bowling, Tank Battles, Matt Hazard, and probably a ton more that I can't think of at the moment. Yea, I own a solid $200+ amount of content on the PSN that are just games. Don't get me started on the Video store. I formatted my drive and tried to re-download videos...you aren't allowed to. DONT BUY VIDEO ON PSN, YOU CAN'T RE-DOWNLOAD IT.

Discounted Games:

If you discount the shit I already own, there is no point. What are you going to discount, MINIs, PSP games...thats a joke! I don't even want to risk any money on those. If you can't even make a demo of a mini, why should I risk my money for an unknown product?

Early Beta/Demo Access:

This was attempted as part of the Qore membership. Exclusive beta access = Demo 1-2 weeks before it is released to the general public on PSN OR pre-alpha build of a crappy game. I remember that Qore members got Home so late in the game, everyone else remember that too?

Full Game Trials:

Xbox 360 already does this and you don't have to pay a single cent.

Automatic Downloads:

This should be free and have been included from Day 1. Also, why do I have to install a game after I download it? Why can't the game download/install process happen in the background when I am watching a movie or browsing the PSN store...I understand that it wouldn't be able to install during a game or something like that. Come on Sony, get with the fricking program. Like 17 people own a 3d TV, stop spending so much time catering to those people and starting catering to the other millions.

Summary:

1. I'll pay $50 to play most/all of the games I already own "for free".

2. I'll get a discount on most/all of the games I already own, or games that suck so much you wouldn't buy them otherwise.

3. Early Beta Access = Joke

4. 360 has full game trials for free

5. Automatic downloads should have been on the PS3 since day 1.

Sony, What is my incentive to join PSN Plus???