Your new best friend.
Sony have had a great E3 so far, but not everyone was thrilled when they announced that Playstation Plus would be required to play Playstation 4 games online. I already have a Playstation Plus subscription, and love it, but I wanted to take a closer look at this new version to see how it will affect both current and possibly new subscribers.
To start with, the price is still going to be $50 a year, which breaks down to less than $5 a month and is equivalent to the price of Xbox Live’s Gold membership. Next, if you already subscribe to PS Plus, your current membership will carry over to the PS4 as well. In fact, your membership will apply to all three devices: the PS3, PS4 and the PS Vita as well. So that means you’ll get free games for all three devices, every month. You’ll also get more Cloud storage space, discounts on games and DLC each month and early access to game betas as well. Did you really need anything else after I said free games?
Speaking of free games, one of most common complaints about PS Plus is that some of the games are old and most people have already played them by the time they make it to PS Plus. This won’t happen right away with the PS4 since it won’t launch with a massive library of old games to pick from, so you’re actually better off getting PS Plus at launch and taking advantage of getting newer games for free. That will change after a couple of years and older games become available, but unless you play every game as soon as they are released, you’re still bound to find a few of the free games useful. Even if you only get one AAA game, that you hadn’t played yet, on PS Plus that year, that pays for your membership right there.
With multiple games released for free each month, your membership will easily pay for itself within the first few months. It’s not just free games though, as PS Plus members also get discounts on new and old games each month as well, so even if you don’t get it for free that month, you’ll still be able to buy for less than regular PS4 members or Xbox Live users. One of the first free games is going to be a limited version (it’s the full game in terms of modes, but with less tracks and fewer cars) of the PS4 exclusive launch title, Drive Club, so if that turns out good, it should help make paying the $50 a little easier right away.
For those who can’t afford PS Plus, or just refuse to pay for it out of spite, you can rest assured that you can still play single player games on the PS4, use video services like Hulu and Netflix (Xbox Live requires Gold for apps like that) and even play some of the online Free To Play games as well. Sony are leaving it up to the developers and publishers to decide if their Free To Play games require PS Plus, and since it doesn’t really affect them whether you have Plus or not, I don’t expect too many publishers to care. Only time will tell with that one I guess.
I know it sucks to have to start paying for something that you’ve already been getting for free, but keep in mind that PS Plus is much more than just access to online modes, and it’s way, way more than what Xbox Live users have been getting. It could be worse, trust me.