June 2010 saw the launch of the PlayStation plus, a premium service for PS3 owners that worked alongside the already established PSN. I shall be honest, when I first caught wind of the service I was not impressed, there was nothing there that made me want to sign up. I could get myself into exclusive betas, get discounts and the like but nothing I was willing to hand over my cash for.
Ironically it was not until the PSN hacking that I saw the true potential of PS+. For losing everyone’s personal info Sony gave away free 1 month subscriptions to its service. I picked up Sonic 2, Streets of Rage 2 and Burnout Paradise (Side note: I hate all you people who would not meet up at the wildcats stadium, no platinum for me), which was kind of cool. I liked what I saw. When my subscription ended I did not renew, but it had gained a positive view in my eyes. If ever it offered me games like that then I would consider a membership.
Eventually it did, the best decision I think Sony has ever made with PS+ is to offer full retail games for free on a monthly basis. This sealed the deal and a subscription I purchased, and I have not looked back. I have been treated to basically more games than I can complete and store on my device. I am trying games I wouldn’t have bought and games I wanted to buy but did not. This is on top of discounts, beta access, PSN games and demos.
This service has now become available on the Vita, and although it has a smaller library it has not disappointed, it has already offered me Uncharted, Mortal Kombat, Gravity Rush, Jet Set Radio and WIpeout.
Now here where the debates kick in, there are many gamers who say that the games you acquire are not free and you are in fact renting them. This is true, you cannot fault the logic, as soon as you stop subscribing those games are no longer yours. However why should that point be a negative one. If I download Bioshock 2 and complete it in a week why would I want to keep it any longer? I could download some DLC, lengthen my time with the game but after all is said and done why would I want a digital download that I have completed clogging up my hard drive?
There is also a question about the worth of the games you are offered, none of these games are given away on PS+ as they are released. A lot of these games can be found in stores and on PSN from between £10-£15. Sadly again this is true, keep in mind here that Sony will have to pay the publishers/developers for this content and the older stuff will be cheaper. Also they may not want their brand spanking new game given a way for free in a subscription service. PS+ offers games a chance to find a new audience and gamers to find new games. PS+ also offers more than 1 retail game for free a month anyway, if you download Arkham City and Limbo you have already passed the value of your subscription, keep in mind I could then download Mortal Kombat and Blue Sky Infinity on my Vita. the value of the service just went upwards.
I began with no intention of joining PS+ and have happily been converted. With a PS3 and Vita I have definitely found value in the service and have not been let down in terms of content thus far. The other thing to note is that whilst It has taken nearly 3 years to evolve into a service that I think is worthwhile it is still evolving. In another 2-3 years PS+ will be totally different, it is ever evolving and worth considering even if you don’t decide to subscribe.