8 Reasons why I love and hate PlayStation Plus

by Ben Salter Featured 17 Comments 27 Votes 5994 Views 25/02/2013 Back to Articles

I only recently got PlayStation Plus. Already I find myself tormented over both loving and hating the concept. On one hand, it feels like it should be great value, but I’ll only be able to judge that after a full year. On the other, I don’t own anything, and if I already have many of the discounted games, what am I paying for?

Disclaimer: Notice the lack of the word “buy” above. That’s because no money actually exchanged hands. Sony gave me a 12 month subscription to PlayStation Plus.

Now that we’ve gotten past the moralities, here’s why I both love and hate the PlayStation’s subscription service.

Why I LOVE PlayStation Plus


Unbelievable value!

I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t “get it” when I first heard about PlayStation Plus. I like to know what I’m paying for and try to minimise my on-going subscriptions in all facets of life, as I rarely enjoy them enough to extract genuine value for money.

PlayStation Plus is different.

As soon as you get a subscription, you’ll never want to cancel. There’s a wealth of content unleashed each month that remains linked to your account so long as you’re a paying subscriber, even once it has been removed from the current promotional cycle. After a year, you should have a plethora of games that would have cost thousands of dollars -- had you bought them all at launch -- for $70 in Australia and $50 in the US.

We pay for the same for Xbox Live. In comparison, it feels like I’m being inundated with free games every month.

There’s always something to play

Have you ever stared at your massive pile of games, only to conclude that you have nothing to play?

PlayStation Plus doesn’t immediately solve that conundrum, but it does expand your collection beyond your go-to franchises. That’s the best part: you’ve paid your money, and get access to a bunch of games you wouldn’t normally consider buying. It doesn’t mean they’re bad, but rather something your budget-conscious-self wouldn’t normally risk hard-earned cash on -- PS Plus offers the reward without the risk.

You can experience everything offered in the Instant Games collection or enter a beta for a game you mightn’t have otherwise considered. With time, you’ll build up four or five hundred gigabytes of games that can be accessed so long as your subscription is active -- try telling me you still have nothing to play!

I actually want to use my Vita

We have two PlayStation Vitas in the MMGN office, but zero chargers, relegating them into the box of utterly useless tripe that inundates the media (good news, you can win most of this rubbish unique stuff in our podcast).

Since getting PlayStation Plus, I’ve taken to eBay in search of a charger and resurrected what turns out to be a more than survivable handheld. Since most quality Vita games were released over six months ago, they’re constantly being cycled through PlayStation Plus.

If you were to buy a Vita now, there is no reason to pay for any games. Keep your PS Plus subscription active -- one subscription works across PS3 and Vita -- and you’ll gain access to everything worth playing and do away with pesky cartridges.

The future of content

Netflix, Hulu and Spotify are all services mostly unavailable in Australia (besides the latter) and the future of entertainment media. Paying a subscription for unlimited access to television, music and movies is well on the way to superseding broadcast television, buying individual tracks and heading to the local video store.

It makes sense that games follow a similar path.

PlayStation Plus is the beginning. It isn’t of the same calibre as Netflix and by contrast is quite limited, but it’s also very early days. In 15 years we may well look back at PlayStation Plus as a pioneer in the way we consume games.

Why I HATE PlayStation Plus

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It’s lucky dip - I want a Premium account

PlayStation Plus’s biggest hook is its Instant Games Collection. Over time, it becomes an invaluable asset for any PlayStation 3 and Vita owner, but there’s no denying that it’s all one big $70 lucky dip.

You have no idea what you’re going to great.

Great! Sleeping Dogs is free this month, but if you sign up now, what will you get during the next eleven months?

As mentioned above, PS Plus is the future of content ownership, and it kind of is, but it’s in its infancy. Spotify and Netflix dominate music, movies and television because they offer unlimited access to whatever you want for a monthly fee.

PlayStation Plus offers unlimited access to a small selection of content available this month and whatever was available in the previous months in which you were a member, if you remembered to “purchase” each item.

Moving forwards, PlayStation Plus needs to develop a Premium model. Something that allows unlimited access to everything on the store for a more expensive monthly fee. Now, publishers won’t go for that over slugging you $80 per game at a bricks and mortar. That’s why physical retail games should be excluded (for now), and continue to be rotated on a monthly basis.

Under my scheme, you should pay $x per month for unlimited access to every PSN arcade (read: digital-only) game.

Once that’s sorted, we can talk about adding every game to the scheme, including full price releases, and forget about individual purchases all together. It might seem far-fetched now, but subscriptions to unlimited music, TV and movies were laughable ten years ago. Surely it’s also the future of games.

Nobody ain't got space for that!

My 120GB Slim PlayStation 3 currently has five games on its HDD. It claims to have 28GB of free space, and yet, the expansion of downloads means it won’t let me download a 15GB game.

If you’re going to pay for PlayStation Plus, you need well upwards of 500GB of storage space. Sony is kind enough to let you slip any 2.5” drive into its baby, but that requires time and money.

The bigger concern is the Vita. Likewise, you need a bigger memory card and Sony’s monopoly has led to outrageous pricing. It also means that none are really big enough long-term, so you’ll probably need to go without dinner for a week every year as larger memory cards are released.

It’s incentive not to buy new games

I’m never going to buy a game on PlayStation 3 again. Especially digital games, assuming they’ll roll onto PlayStation Plus eventually. If I really want something now, I’ll buy it on another platform, and play it on PS3 or Vita later.

Isn’t this incentive not to buy newer games, at least on PS3? If Sony isn’t going to adopt my ingenious Premium subscription, it at least needs to do something to compensate players who use PlayStation Plus -- perhaps by offering more recent games.

The rental trap - you can never cancel

The rental trap is why PlayStation Plus culminates in a love-hate relationship. PlayStation fans will never want to cancel their subscriptions, which is good, but cancellers are the big losers.

Overall, the more I use PlayStation Plus, the more I enjoy it. However, I’m concerned about how Plus will fit into Sony’s plans for the PlayStation 4...

By Ben Salter

What do you think of PlayStation Plus?

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8 Reasons why I love and hate PlayStation Plus Comments

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I've been tossing this up for the past week and you just sold it to me. Time to adopt the PS Plus lifestyle!
PS+ in okay. problem i have with it is the first 10 or so games that were and became available to me i already had or have. buying a game (especially digital) then it releasing on PS+ is the most frustrating thing ever. if you were informed what was to come 6 months in advance it would be great.
terrible time to get a years worth now if you're interested in next gen, but 6 months is definitely worth it.
hell, i dont plan on buying anything for ps4, i'll just get PS+ and get what im given :P
I don't know. Maybe it's because I've been so used to Xbox Live this generation that I just don't know what's going on with PSN on my PS3.

I MUCH prefer the system on Vita because of its accessible UI, and I hope it's translated to PS4: image-based, easy-to-use navigation.

The store has always been too text-heavy for me, and even the incentive of a free game isn't enough to get me to use the platform. Microsoft didn't need to offer incentive. Sony has updated the service a few times and still needs to offer free stuff, but that's maybe also because it's trying to stem criticisms about offering a paid subscription.

Anyway, I'm not rushing to PS+ now and probably never will, at least not during the PS3 era.

Nobody ain't got space for that!


Ain't nobody got space for that 8 Reasons why I love and hate PlayStation Plus
With PlayStation Plus, lets say you got Sleeping Dogs for free with it, does that mean once your thing expires you lose the game?
Yes but if you renew it you still get to play it, Naything you get for free on plus is only usable if you have an ongoing plus subscription

Dino said: With PlayStation Plus, lets say you got Sleeping Dogs for free with it, does that mean once your thing expires you lose the game?


Yes, once you're no longer subscribed to Playstation Plus, that game will no longer be playable until you resubscribe
@ Beta - the big issue with XBL is the prices - the prices for downloadable games on Microsoft's service are so far and away more expensive than PSN and Steam (which are comparable, although Steam still has the edge) that it's a joke. I grabbed a 360 in the sales after Christmas fully intending to go all digital and catch up on the 360 exclusives I hadn't got around to playing, until I saw the prices - dead set ridiculous. And, of course, after free online gaming on Steam, PS3, Vita and Wii, I still haven't ponied up for gold on XBL, because I don't like getting fleeced.
Your premium account idea is already in the PS4, but with one small difference, it's trying the games trial/demo for free rather than getting the full thing, pay before you buy.

PS+ most likely wont allow you to access everything if it adapts a more premium model because Sony give publishers some profit for offering their games on PS+ and going forward they couldn't do that for every game or pay every publisher for it/get them all on board, the former option however they can with no hassle from publishers or developers.
The last one you mentioned.. What happens if they just stop the plus and you loose all those games forever..? I know you don't pay much but say you do it for 5 years and have a library of free games then they stop plus and you loose it all.. Fair enough you might argue but it's free games but still :S

M@ndyz said: The last one you mentioned.. What happens if they just stop the plus and you loose all those games forever..? I know you don't pay much but say you do it for 5 years and have a library of free games then they stop plus and you loose it all.. Fair enough you might argue but it's free games but still

You get them all back (well all of the ones you added to your download list anyway) as soon as you resubscribe.

M@ndyz said: The last one you mentioned.. What happens if they just stop the plus and you loose all those games forever..? I know you don't pay much but say you do it for 5 years and have a library of free games then they stop plus and you loose it all.. Fair enough you might argue but it's free games but still



then the contract ends and you own nothing.. welcome to the digital age

$70 for one years worth, you get at least 12 full games plus all the other stuff for less than the rrp of one new game. end of the day you're just renting.. but it's still worth it
I get more games then i can count including most of them being retail releases. Seems like each month i get more then the $50 i payed for 12 months.

Havn't seen next months?

6th March: Mass Effect 3
6th March: Dead or Alive 5
6th March: Joe Danger 2
13th March: Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
20th March: Puddle

not to shabby i will be playing me3, doa 5 and mgs:)

If sony discontinue psn+ they would have to give us all the games for free:P

I feel it will apply to the ps4 this psn+ :)
The thing is you have to remember to download everything each month, even if you just delete it
That way if you want it later you can go into previous downloads and download again
If you don't, and the month finishes then you have missed it for good

Homedad said: The thing is you have to remember to download everything each month, even if you just delete it
That way if you want it later you can go into previous downloads and download again
If you don't, and the month finishes then you have missed it for good



This is exactly what I do.
I add it to my downloaded list. You don't even actually have to download it. Goto through checkout like you brought it, but just choose not to download it until you want to play it.
But of coarse you do need to have an ongoing PS+ account.
So long as it's in your downloaded list, you can download it at any time.
Wow - Dead of Alive 5, Mass Effect 3, Puddle, Metal Gear HD Collection? all games I don't have!!

I think it is a great service. I hope they have some sort of package deal to have the Ps3/Vita service and Ps4 service together.

The only games that probably won't come to Plus will be Fifa and CoD .. I understand what you mean about not wanting to buy disc games. I have hardly bought disc games or even store games, and Plus has given me everything I have wanted for only $70 a year.

Down the track post-Plus most of those games will be only $10 anyway.. So having played them through on the very cheap then potentially buy the best games later on the cheap, it really is a situation that is ALL win :D
Yeah I just saw, pretty damn good

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