So, last week Sony announced a new subscription service for PlayStation Network, PlayStation Plus. We had all heard the rumours that this was going to happen, but no-one was sure what this subscription would offer.
Well, the good news is that nothing will change for the non-subscribers. At least we will not be seeing another Xbox Live Silver and Gold scenario.
What subscribers get for their hard earned cash is actually quite a bargain. But first the price -
90 day subscription – â‚¬14.99
365 day subscription – â‚¬49.99
We are basically talking around the same as Xbox Live Gold subscription. But, as all of the functionality of PSN still works without signing up, PlayStation Plus subscription is not essential. Sony have therefore had to make the service as attractive as possible. Subscribers will get the following, in exchange for their fee -
Full game trials – players will have access to full versions of designated PS3 and PlayStation Network titles including PS one Archives (PS one Classics). The titles on offer will be available for download on PlayStation Store for a stated period and change every month. Members will be able to play the full version of the game for a designated period and even after the trial period expires, users will be able to continue playing the game by purchasing the game on-line.
Free games – Members will be able to play the full version of designated PS3 downloadable and PlayStation Network titles including PS one Archives (PS one Classics) and minis with no limit of time as long as membership is effective. These games will become available exclusively for PlayStation Plus members at no extra cost.
Special content – Content such as avatars and custom themes many of which are exclusive will become available for PlayStation Plus members at no extra cost.
Discounts – Members will have access to exclusive discounts on designated PS3 and PSP (PlayStation Portable) titles. Titles will vary every month on PlayStation Store.
Early access – Members will have early access to designated new game beta trials, game demos and video content prior to public distribution.
Automatic content downloads and updates – PS3 will automatically download and install designated game demos and game updates and also download the system software update data. PS3 will automatically start up at a designated time to download content and will turn off after the download has completed.
In conclusion, that’s quite a lot of stuff that you get for your money. Given the cost is roughly Â£5 each month, being given one free game will more or less cover that cost and everything else is a bonus. Personally I am not sure that I will be able to justify paying out for this each month, but for the more financially comfortable, and lovers of PlayStation, this is going to be a hit.