Why I Am Excited For Sony's Revamped Playstation Plus
Sony's revamped PlayStation Plus service launches here in India today (also Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand), and I can't wait to get started.
For many, these new PS Plus tiers are not worth the upgrade price due to the absence of first-party day 1 games and a game library consisting of last-generation (PS4) titles. But for me, the pieces line up perfectly, making this newly revamped and tiered PS Plus service an ideal fit for how I play games.
The Economical Aspect
While I write about video games, watch videos about games, and read gaming news all time; I don't actually buy that many games. As a rule, to save money and stop me from spending exorbitant amounts on games every year, I don't buy any games when they launch. All of my purchases are older games, usually at discounted prices.
I usually end up buying around 5 games a year. In 2021, I bought 5. In 2020, I also bought 5 (6 if you include Marvel Spider-Man's The City That Never Sleeps DLC pack). In 2021, these purchases amounted to a total spend of around 6500 INR or 83 USD. In 2020, it was slightly more: 8500 INR or 108 USD.
By subscribing to PS Plus Deluxe, the highest tier available in India, I am spending only 5000 INR or 63 USD. This means that, not only am I saving money, but I am also getting to play more games than I would have previously.
PS Plus' higher tiers make economic sense for me because I don't buy that many games. The amount I spend on games every year can be reduced and used for a PS Plus Deluxe or Extra subscription, and I would still be able to play more games than before.
This absurd economic benefit is partly down to India's regional pricing, meaning PS Plus is cheaper than a direct conversion from the base US pricing. The factors make it so that, for someone whose gaming habits are similar to mine, PS Plus' new higher tiers are a steal.
The Game Catalogue
Forget economics for a minute, let's talk games. Because after all, regardless of how cheap a subscription service is, it holds no value if the content on it is poor. I genuinely feel that the game catalogue on PS Plus Extra (and higher tiers) is really good.
Almost all of PlayStation Studios' first-party PS4 games are included, from 2013's Killzone Shadow Fall to 2020's Ghost of Tsushima. It's the same with second-party games; 2015's Bloodborne and 2018's Detroit Become Human are just two SIE-published but not developed games to be on this list.
Some of the last generation's biggest third-party titles are also included: Red Dead Redemption 2 from Rockstar, Control from Remedy, and Batman: Arkham Knight from Rocksteady all feature. Indies are well represented too, with beloved titles like Hollow Knight, Outer Wilds, and - my personal favourite - Celeste.
These are all last-generation PS4 games. But there are also a few more recent entries. From third-party, there is Guardians of the Galaxy, and from first-party are two PS5 exclusives: Returnal and Demon's Souls. While the selection of recently released titles could've been much bigger, it is still by no means bad.
The Classics Catalogue
At the risk of sounding like a PlayStation ad machine, I am now going to dig into what I think is a disappointing classics catalogue. Most of the games available here are remastered versions of old games that were already available on PS4. Stuff like The Last of Us Remastered and the BioShock remasters are listed as a part of this classics catalogue when I feel they should've been part of the normal game catalogue.
Passing off these games amongst other true "back-compat" titles feel cheap from Sony, and looks like an attempt to fill out the 'classics catalogue' with PS4 remasters because they didn't want to invest time and money into bringing forward games stranded on older hardware.
Apart from that, the selection of PS1, PS2, and PSP titles available as part of the 'classics catalogue' on PS Plus Deluxe is really small. PlayStation has such a rich history, and digging into that to bring even more retro games to PS4 and PS5 through this service would be great.
Doing extensive backwards compatibility work and making PS1, PS2 and PSP titles playable on the latest hardware is not easy, but for a company with the finances and resources of Sony, this should've and could've been done on a larger scale.
The Games I Want To Play
Apart from the general quality of the entire game catalogue, there is a personal lure towards some games. For me, the major one is Spider-Man Miles Morales. I love the 2018 original, and I was over the moon when Miles Morales was announced. As is with all games I buy, I patiently waited for it to go on sale. However, a discount on the game never coincided with a time when I was looking to make a purchase.
I have long wanted to get into souls-like games. Well now, I can have my pick from FromSoftware's Bloodborne to Team Ninja's Nioh. The BioShock series is video game royalty, and I have always wanted to see what makes them so great. Well, now I can. And the Batman games: I love Spider-Man's combat, and now I can play the games that inspired it.
Buying these 5 games would cost the same as a 12-month Deluxe subscription. Except now, I can also try games I would never have bought. Little Nightmares and Resogun have me so intrigued that I am considering putting off Miles Morales and instead quickly running through these much smaller games.
I can't wait to dive into these games, that, previously, I may not have been able to play for at least a few years due to my game purchasing habits.
The most common complaint about this new-look PS Plus is the absence of day 1 first-party releases. Xbox Gamepass does it, and people expect similar things here if they are to put their money into the service. And this complaint is valid. PS Plus simply doesn't offer the same value as Xbox Gamepass.
For some people, this is a major red flag in buying into the subscription - which is perfectly fine and understandable. But for many others, this revamp is a shining bridge to being able to experience more games for the same price.
Sony's revamped PlayStation Plus model may not appeal to everyone, and that's fine. But it sure as hell does to me, I can't wait to jump in.