PlayStation Plus has always provided us with a brimful collection of exclusive goodies to enjoy annually. Updated regularly, the service provides discounts, and an ‘instant game collection’, with regularly provided (and very generous) free games to enjoy – all available for the price of a subscription (which varies depending on the subscription you buy). Following the release of the Playstation 4, PS Plus is now compulsory in order to access the online experience we all crave. What we may think about, and reflect upon, is the quality of this service; are we getting what we pay for? Is this quality consistent across platforms? We, at PS4Fans, have our mixed opinions.
When asking Jamie Richards, another member of the PS4Fans team, I received this response:
“I feel like it started off well with games like Resogun and Outlast, but slowly spiralled downwards with the gradual introduction of indie titles. I have no problem with indies, but neither do I play them out of choice. Therefore, it annoys me that rather than receiving games that I, and most other hardcore gamers, would like to, I’m being forced into making a choice: go indie, or say bye to your Instant Game Collection.
In the run-up to the PS4’s launch, I was all for Sony’s support of independent developers. I felt it would enable us to experience games that we wouldn’t otherwise have played, and it would allow those devs to receive feedback from a huge audience outside of their usual customers. However, these would be customers that want to try out a certain game, not people who have no other option.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be offered indie titles as a part of our Instant Game Collection, but that we should be given a wider, more expansive range of choices.”
I would very much agree with this. We wanted PS Plus to feel premium. Are we going to be paying for minimal benefits, or is our hard-earned money going to to bring us something noticeably better? (than a regular PSN user would have). Whether this would actually become a reality, or not, was something we were unsure of.
However, discounts, of course, have worked extremely well. There is nothing better than being able to come home after an exhausting day, start up your PlayStation, and be greeted with the realisation that the game you’ve had your eye on (for what seems like forever) is now half price. It is not solely the fact that there are discounts at all, but discounts on a variety of content; leaving you with plenty to choose from. The library is extensive; many of the classics you may have grown up with on your PS1 are on offer with PlayStation Plus, too. Delve into the past, download your favourite PS1 classic, and play away for a discounted price… simple as that.
The PS Plus Instant Game collection was an immediate hit (I mean, who doesn’t like free stuff?). It brought to the table a selection of free games, originally costing money, but only for a limited time. Old games are swiftly withdrawn after a month, and replaced with new content that may tickle your fancy. A considerable benefit, here, is the remarkable way in which your game collection is consistently replenished. Haven’t bought a game in a while? Not to worry; wait a week or two, and more games are released for free under PlayStation Plus – who could complain? Sony thinks these things through; keeping you hooked to your console with monthly snippets of new content… very clever.
Some impressive releases have been lined up for our PlayStation 4, with Drive-club making its début this month – a road racing game involving (you guessed it) a drive club of up to six players with which you complete challenges together; thus earning fame. This unique version of the game offers a lot more than the conventional demo, but less than the fully fledged copy. Unfortunately, out of these impressive releases, Drive Club is the only triple A title PS4 has in its name this month, rather disappointingly.
Riz Iqbal (another member of the team) commented on the fact that despite the existence of emulation software, nothing has been created to enable PS4 users to fully utilise their subscription (by being able to play PS3 Plus titles, too). This is a very interesting concept, as most of us stick to one console (as it is easier), and do not use both consoles with one subscription (despite this being possible). To play both PS3 and PS4 plus titles on a PlayStation 4 would really give consumers value for money, and quite possibly convince those unsure on whether to purchase PS Plus to do so.
Conversely, for PS3, significantly more triple A games are made available (perhaps a reward for not upgrading your console). August, for example, gave all who are still faithful to their PS3’s Crysis 3, as opposed to the PS4’s offering… Fez… a 2D platformer. Don’t get me wrong, support for indie games is a marvellous concept. However, I can’t help but feel that PS4 owners are being cheated somewhat – there is a severe lack of any triple A titles… any games made with a substantial budget. In support of this, July gave PS3 owners Dead Space 3… you guessed it, another triple A title. What would be extremely beneficial to the new generation of console, is to really encourage those looking for a next-generation experience to invest in one by providing exciting content to play. Indie games can be very fun, and believe me, we appreciate the out-of-the-box thinking they conceptualise their games with. Simply, all we wish for, is to once in a while be offered something a little more anticipated; a little more established, that will make us twiddle our thumbs with more enthusiasm than ever before on our shiny new PlayStations. Is this too much to ask?
Do you share these views, or is PS Plus a perfect service? Leave your thoughts below!