Community: PlayStation Plus, Is It Worth It? – My Take

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So I passed a forum post and couldn’t help but noticed it was worked on too hard to not get noticed by everyone, so here you go. I’ll keep my eyes on the forums and If anything else like this is written, I may post it up guys.

Written By: Lord_Orpheo

“I dislike PlayStation Plus. Sony tried pulling a marketing scheme which in all honesty isn’t that clever and that’s what initially soured my take on it. Let’s take a look at what it offers point-for-point. (SOURCE)

  • Automatic Downloads
  • Exclusive Offers
  • Free Games & Downloads
  • Full Game Trials
  • Priority Beta Invitations
  • PS Store Discounts
  • Select Early Demos

Automatic Downloads:
This feature “Downloads content such as game patches, system software update data, and video items we recommend to you, automatically. This system will start automatically at the scheduled time, and will begin the download. [SOURCE: PS3 XMB]” I’ll give Sony partial props on this as I think it’s a cool feature, however, I believe this service should be free to everyone not just subscribers. Charging for media auto-updates in a product is something I’m unfamiliar with and I think others are too.

Exclusive Offers:
Exclusive Offers on what? Granted, PS+ hasn’t been out that long but I’ve only noticed a couple of exclusive dynamic PS3 themes on offer which I wouldn’t use anyway.

Free Games & Downloads:
If you’re paying a subscription fee than they’re NOT free games. Again, nothing in the subscription is free, that’s why you’re paying for it. Also, both the games & DLC you acquire “for free” become inactive (meaning “can’t be used”) after your subscription period ends, should you choose not to renew. This means you don’t actually get to keep any of your “free” content, well, except avatars & themes; whoopee-doo. The avatars cost pennies to make and the themes perhaps a dollar or two; decent trade-off for Sony since you had to shell-out $50 for them (assuming you get the year). To make matters worse the games you get “for free” are mainly one or two PSP Minis a week (valued at around $5) and one monthly full-fledged PSN game (“WipEout HD” for first-month subscribers) that are selected for you. I have blown quite a bit of money on PSP Minis already, I’m addicted to those bite-sized games, but none on offer through Plus I’d recommend. The PSN game, in this case “WipEout HD”, is not to my liking and also happens to be one year and nine months old. So what if you don’t like those games, or worse yet, what if you already own them? Tough cookies! No alternate games for you; you’re stuck with them. These dated and sub-standard selections only exacerbate the issue of not being able to CHOOSE your games. This means you’re now partially paying for something (via subscription) that you either don’t want or already own; fail! Having to pay to RENT games I don’t CHOOSE is ludicrous. The reason I’m nitpicking over this one facet of PAID game RENTALS that I don’t CHOOSE is that right now that’s the touted HIGHLIGHT of this service. It unnerves me when I hear fanboys state: “It’s okay that I would never have payed to play this [crappy] game otherwise, because now I can experience something different.” Really, are you serious? That’s like saying “I feel hot, please urinate down my back to cool me off. I’d prefer water, but urine is “free” and I’m up for trying something different.” Wake-up, fanboys!

Full Game Trials:
In my opinion, Full Game Trials are inferior to Game Demos for two reasons.

  • Full Game Trials cost as a part of your subscription while game demos are FREE.
  • Full Game Trials last for only one hour. I need to expand upon this second point.
    • First, lets address the issue of Re-playability. Say you’re considering a purchase of a cool new game. You try out the Full Game Trial for the hour offered but still aren’t sure if you want to buy the game. If you haven’t made your mind up within that hour, you either have to take a chance with a purchase or go the rental route. On the other hand, with a demo you usually have unlimited play-time. The demo itself may be an hour or even only half an hour, but once you’ve finished you can go back and replay the demo over and over again to your heart’s content.
    • The second issue is Varied Gameplay. Let’s take Sony’s first month offering, “InFamous”. The 1-Hour Trial gives you a taste of what that game has to offer, and the first hour of any game is mainly a tutorial anyway. The free demo of “InFamous” is basically divided into three parts. Part one places Cole, the main character, a partial ways through the game so he has access to more varied powers. You play out this section as the “good” Cole possessing some offensive but mostly defensive powers. In the second part of the demo you play as “evil” Cole using a slightly wider array of offensive abilities, and in the final part of the demo you play as a neutral Cole with a somewhat balanced play-style. Now wouldn’t you say the latter varied gameplay experience is worth more than the tutorial & a taste?

Priority Beta Invites:
What priority beta invites? I know of only one person who may or may not have received a beta invite (to the “Medal of Honor” Close Beta) just two days before me and keep in mind that I’m NOT a Plus member. With the exception of one other person on my Friend’s list (so two in total), everyone else on my Friend’s List, including Plus Members, got a hold of the “Medal of Honor” Closed Beta because I hooked them up. I’ve also helped connect people to the “DC Universe Online” Beta & the OnLive Beta (got into OnLive with some friends; still waiting on DC). So far I’ve gotten more people into Priority Beta Invites than Sony, at least on my Friend’s List. This shouldn’t be how it is.

PlayStation Store Discounts:
I went through the PlayStation Plus part of the PlayStation Store and averaged out the savings on each item to be $2.93 (I rounded, it’s actually 2.933333). Keep in mind these aren’t discounts on everything, only select items. To be fair, a lot of the discounted games and DLC are fun to experience but a few are quite old; having released either early this year or years’ past. This means that most people who want to play these games, like me, already own them. But again, to be fair, if you should choose not to renew your subscription you still own your discounted PSN purchases for life. I know it may hurt some people’s heads but lets do a little math . At $50 per year with an average savings of $2.93 I would have to purchase roughly 17 pieces of downloadable content to break-even. I’ve owned the PS3 since Jan. of ’07 and currently have downloaded 80 pieces of paid DLC (including games, themes, and expansion content). If you divide that by 3.5 years it equates to roughly 23 items per year, saving me roughly $17.39 in the long haul after the $50 subscription deduction. This assumes, however, that every item downloaded was an item which Sony chose to discount so this is a crap shoot. Calculating the savings I would’ve had if I hadn’t purchased any DLC till Plus, my savings would come to $14 ($5 from “Super StarDust HD”, $2.50 from it’s Solo Add-On Pack, $2.50 from it’s Team Add-On Pack, $2 from “Interpol: The Trail of Dr. Chaos”, and $2 from “Mahjong Tales: Ancient Wisdom”). Multiplying this $14 by 12 months gives you $168.00, now subtract the initial $50 subscription fee and that’s an overall savings of $118.00 if those savings stay consistent month to month. This is HUGE! So when it comes to the perk of discounts, PSN+ could turn out to be quite profitable if you’re lucky. Still, it’s a gamble that many would understandably not want to take.

Select Early Demos:
I’m patient; I can wait. Only early demo Plus Members have gotten so far is “Kane & Lynch 2″ which is a game no one I know is actually looking forward to. Decent perk but not worth the $50 a year.

I can see what Sony was thinking with this launch, “Let’s release a service we know is sub-par and then let fan demand steer us in the right direction towards something more to their liking”. Instead they got, “This is great Sony, keep it up!”. Ugh, I can only hope Sony doesn’t think they can just keep the same model now. It may get better. I’m sure many hoped QORE would be a great deal in the end, but… yeah. Does PlayStation Plus have potential? Of course it does, but until they can offer more it isn’t worth my money. Early access to betas and select demos? I can wait. PSN Store discounts? Might be worth enough in the long-run, but that’s only if I manage to get that $50 back through discounts over the course of a year, which is very possible. If you view the PlayStation Store and the savings you receive as a Plus Member, they’re not huge savings but they can add up. Here are a few ideas I’ve cooked up that I feel would warrant an investment in Plus:

  • An Allotment of Free Movie Rentals per Month – With the average movie new release movie rental going for $4 and the older movies renting for $3, even at only one free older movie rental per month (the choice of movie would be left up to the consumer) that’s still a $36 value over the course of one full year. This would greatly help to entice movie-lovers, of which there are many, to take part in Plus.
  • Free Access to Hulu+ – As this is being advertised as having a $10 per month subscription fee Sony could really capitalize, both in consumer popularity and in finance, if they could work out a more profitable arrangement with Hulu. To my knowledge everything on Hulu via PC remains free; console owners are just paying the subscription fee for the convenience of streaming content to their TV’s. I don’t see why Sony couldn’t somehow incorporate Hulu’s maintenance cost into one of their subscription models. Again, this could be quite a draw to movie and TV buffs.
  • Selectable Game Rentals & Discounts – If we don’t get to keep our “free” PSN and PSP Mini games unless we renew our subscription (for the rest of our lives) at least allow us to choose which games we’re given. Wouldn’t it be great to choose from any PlayStation Network game on the Store and play with it for an entire month? Than at the end of the month you can either opt to continue playing it for “free” in addition to your next month’s selection or choose to purchase the game at a discount so you’ll own it outright. This would also act to free-up one “free” PSN Game Slot thereby allowing you to select two “free” games for the next month of your subscription instead of just one. Every two months your “free” slots would increase by one. This would give gamers plenty to play while also encouraging sales, albeit at a discount, so both parties win.
  • Keep the Games / DLC After Subscription Ends – Still another viable option is to just allow gamers to keep what they’re given. This alone would make many jump on as they wouldn’t feel too shafted should they decide not to renew their subscription. I think this might also encourage continued subscriptions since gamers would be always be curious what “free” content they’d be receiving every month, so they’d remain members in anticipation of getting something good.

I believe as time goes by Sony will continue to sweeten their offers but this might go a tad faster if there’s more of a consumer outcry for a service of higher quality. As of now, it has none of those options and so I believe it’s just not worth my purchase. That’s my take, here’s Penny Arcade’s.

What’s yours?”

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BlindMango

I am a visually impaired tropical fruit with firm yellowish-red skin and a juicy pulp.

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Comments
  1. rico_fiasco

    8 / 2 / 2010 10:45 am

    this is why i hated paying for XBL. at least with PSN we still have a free service to choose from. Neither XBL nor PS+ offer anything worth paying for.

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  2. 8 / 2 / 2010 11:10 am

    Well, here’s my take on PS+. It’s worth it IF you buy aLOT of PSN content. The amount of free PSN games it offers as well as discounts will add up to hundreds of dollars worth of free and discounted content. So, if you’re the type of person who buys PSN games, dlc, and themes, PS+ is for you. Now, with that being said, I truly believe Cross Game Chat is coming and is going to be added to the list of features PS+ offers. When that happens, I see aLOT more people being enticed to invest in it. Again, for now, PS+ is for a select group of people, BUT as more and more features are added, more and more people will get it, including me.

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  3. Machee

    8 / 2 / 2010 11:20 am

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly Rated // Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

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  4. baller

    8 / 2 / 2010 11:37 am

    XBL – OFFERS FEATURES THAT ENHANCE YOUR ONLINE EXPIERENCE AND GAMEPLAY
    PSN – OFFERS DISCOUNTS AND THEMES

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

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    • 8 / 2 / 2010 5:48 pm

      This is just my opinion baller.

      XBL-A flashy service you pay for to play your games online on a console meant to be used mainly online. This on top of what you already pay your ISP to already get online. Required to play online.

      PSN-A free Sony online service for the PS3 used to play games online.

      PSN+-Offers discounts and themes. Not required!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

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  5. 8 / 2 / 2010 1:31 pm

    I’m a full years PSN+ subscriber.
    Here’s what i think:

    I bought this knowing that i would get 3 months free.I think of these first 3 months of the service being my 3 free months. I’m hoping that things will progressively get better, with additions of new features & content.

    So far I’m perfectly content with what is being offered. I realize that this h as only been out for one month, and everything I want wont automatically be there. Now if the service continually grows and gets bigger and better every month i will be happy. If it remains the same as it is with small little discounts and free games i will be disappointed. I do like this free content but i don’t feel the need to pay $50 a year for it.

    I do believe that Sony does have features and great content in the pipeline for PSN +. I think what we all have to do is just wait and see.

    IF you want what is offered now, & are willing to follow the service as it grows, then go ahead and subscribe now. If you don’t feel like PSN + give you what your interested in. Then don’t subscribe, maybe wait until it does offer exactly what your looking for, if it ever does.

    Well-Loved // Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

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  6. 8 / 2 / 2010 3:20 pm

    its still new just look at the trophies at first it was dumb but look at it now full support and everyones
    content

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  7. 8 / 2 / 2010 4:09 pm

    Oh, wow. Cool, thanks for the feature. :)

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  8. 8 / 2 / 2010 4:09 pm

    Feels nice that some appreciated my opinion. ;)

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  9. 8 / 2 / 2010 5:24 pm

    @blumatt: Not 100% sure on this but I thought I read somewhere (could have sworn it was on this website but could be wrong) that, according to a SCE official, cross game chat when realeased, would not be limited to PSN+ subscribers.

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  10. 8 / 2 / 2010 5:26 pm

    I’m with Snake. I don’t need any of this shit or any of those community features that some think the absence of hurts the PS3. I don’t need cross game chat or a party system or any of that. Just need to be able to play online. So if they start charging me for that, I’ll have to buy “Playstation Plus”. But at that point they should just charge for “Playstation Network” if you’re paying for online.

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  11. Christendom

    8 / 2 / 2010 11:44 pm

    @bball230:

    Well said!

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  12. 8 / 3 / 2010 7:48 am

    Definitely worth the money but not for most people…It should be called PsS+ (playstation store plus)

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  13. Machee

    8 / 3 / 2010 7:36 pm

    this is why the 360 is that popular and is always staying on high on sales and software exclusives mainly of the online service called the XBL…PSN works i know, but its just that XBL has made online console gaming work and became more of a big step in consoles, like do you guys ever think Sony will care for online gaming if Microsoft hasnt successful and simply selling with it, HELL NO!

    They havent been able to establish themselves with the PS2 online, and they continue to suck!…like whats with all these pointless updates??? PS3 is fucking like a PC!

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  14. Machee

    8 / 3 / 2010 7:39 pm

    oh yeah my friend unable to get online because of the recent fucking update!…like what the FUCK! SUCKS SUCKS SUCKS! this never happen to XBL which sends out a great huge update! every 6 months!..PSN? gets like what? 10 updates every 6 months LOL! and how many times do i hear people getting issues with some updates?…PSN is all over the place and its SUCKS PERIOD!

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