PlayStation Plus or PS Plus is a subscription service for PS3, PS4, and PS Vita owners. PS Plus members get access to premium features, which include PlayStation Store discounts, early access to new games, a monthly supply of free games, automatic updates, and cloud saving. PS Plus is also required in order to access online multiplayer for PS4 games.
The subscription is available in three options: a 1-month plan for $10, a 3-month plan for $25, and a 12-month plan for $60. Obviously, going for the full one-year plan is the most wallet-friendly of the three options. But hold off on coughing up the money for PS Plus if you’re planning to get one soon. It’s not really worth the money now. It used to be good, mainly due to the free games lineup every month. But at the moment, you’re better off spending that $60 on a new AAA game.
Here are five reasons why PS Plus isn’t really worth buying.
Free games aren’t attractive nowadays
Every month, Sony hands out free games to PS Plus members. That may sound like a sweet deal, enough to justify the annual subscription fee. Imagine, over a dozen games every year just for $60? A pretty handsome trade-off, right? Well, not exactly.
Many of the games Sony now includes in the free package are small, indie titles that many people haven’t even heard of. Indie lovers will surely get a kick out of the monthly supply of indie titles. However, people who mainly play popular and AAA titles far outnumber those who prefer hidden gems. Meaning, more people get disappointed than excited every time Sony announces the monthly free games. The Vita, on the other hand, is now a haven for indie titles, so it doesn’t really matter whether the console only gets a steady diet of indie titles every month.
There is also the overall quality of the free games to consider. A lot of them aren’t even worth playing. Some are average at best. Sony used to roll out really good ones back in the day. We understand that the system gives smaller titles the opportunity to get noticed in a sea full of blockbuster titles. Just being mentioned as one of the PS Plus free games is already good publicity. But if Sony really wants to sell people on the free games, it should improve the monthly lineup again and throw in a big name every other month or so.
Free games are only rentals
Here’s the catch to all the free games for PS Plus members: Sony still owns all of them. This means players don’t get to permanently keep all the free games they have downloaded from the PS Store. Sony is merely lending it to them. As soon as players cut off the subscription to PS Plus, all the free games are gone. They won’t be accessible again until players make a U-turn and decide to reactivate their PS Plus membership. If Sony is going to put up a rental service for digital games, it should at least give players the opportunity to choose which games to rent. (On a related note, a discounted game bought while still a member is kept even when the PS Plus subscription has expired.)
Other ways to save backups
PS Plus members have access to cloud saving, which is really convenient. It is one of the most cited reasons why players subscribe to the service. However, it isn’t the only way to store save files. PS4 owners can easily make backups of save files using an external memory like a USB stick. Vita owners can transfer save files by connecting the system to a PC – either wirelessly or using a wired USB connection.
Sure, storing backups the old fashioned way takes a bit more time than directly uploading save files to a cloud storage. But the good thing about it is that you have full control over the storage. You don’t need to worry about the Sony server crashing or being compromised by cyber-attacks. But really, though, plugging in an external memory to a PS4 or connecting a Vita to a PC isn’t that hard.
PS Store sale discounts aren’t all that enticing
PS Plus members get better discounts whenever Sony puts games on sale at the PS Store. It sounds awesome on paper. But in reality, it doesn’t apply to everyone. Those who prefer to buy physical copies don’t really get to enjoy the sale discounts. And those who mainly buy digital games often find the list underwhelming as Sony typically only offers discounts to older or last-gen games, which sometimes come in packages. Sony seldom puts recent games up for sale, which is what many players are looking for.
This is similar to the issue with the monthly free games mentioned above. The offers Sony comes up with during a PS Store sale hardly get people excited to grab a PS Plus subscription as soon as possible. If Sony wants to market PS Store sale discounts as one of the key perks of PS Plus, it should improve the games lineup with more recent titles. The only ones who enjoy the abundance of older games during a PS Store sale are probably those with lots of backlogs.
Only good for online multiplayer
In order to access online multiplayer, players must subscribe to PS Plus. No other option is available. This is perhaps one of the most terrible inventions in modern gaming. It is right up there with Season Passes and Day 1 DLC. Access to online multiplayer should be free. Getting players to pay up for the right to play with other players around the world is a shameless cash-grab. If you don’t plan to dive into online multiplayer, PS Plus is basically useless.
Picking up a PS Plus membership, basically, depends on whether you plan to play in online multiplayer or not. If yes, by all means, go grab a PS Plus membership before Sony decides to increase the annual fee. If no, then just walk away from the service.
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