In case you missed it, PlayStation Plus is getting a price increase. This comes at a time when everyone – all across the world – is being a bit more careful with how they spend their money. Everything is getting more expensive across the board – but with this bump in cost, is Sony’s service still worth it?
The price increase is impacting every tier of the subscription service, which has been a reliable source of free monthly games and various game catalogues for PlayStation owners. Let’s work from the top down. The PS Plus Premium tier provides the full package of free monthly games, several catalogues, and the ability to stream PS3 games to the console. It is, for all intents and purposes, the comprehensive above board way to experience PlayStation games.
For $159.99 / £119.99 / €151.99 annually, it’s an incredibly steep package. It is, however, cheaper than going back and buying a used PS2, PS3, and PS4 if you’re playing on a shiny and relatively new PS5. If you’re able to emulate the classics either on your PC or a fancy retro emulator, a lot of the value goes out the window. Considering that the vast majority of these older titles are sold out in the world for literally pennies, what’s left is limited demos of new games and streaming. For diehard fans, it’s a fine package, but even then a lofty proposal to an adult with numerous ongoing costs.
Okay, so if Premium looks like too big a pill to swallow, what about PS Plus Extra? Notably cheaper at $134.99 / £99.99 / €125.99 a year, this comes with the monthly games, but also a large catalogue of free PS4 and PS5 games. You do lose PS3 and retro classics though. For my money, this was always the tier with the best value. If you find yourself in the mood for an older classic, or just have an ever-growing bucket list you’ve been meaning to power through, having dozens upon dozens of fantastic games on hand is a real boon. Not right now mind – at periods where banger after banger keeps releasing it’s hard to sell someone on the merits of turning back the clock and playing Lost Judgement or Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed.
But – and this has always been true in my opinion – PS Plus Extra is a tier you really shouldn’t be paying for annually. Instead, dropping $14.99 a month for a quick fling with a game or two you’ve been meaning to play is the best bet. What some may have missed with the price increase is that it doesn’t affect the single-month payments, just the costs for an annual subscription. As such, this deal remains as good as it always has.
Finally, PS Plus Essential. Now running to a total of $79.99 / £59.99 / €71.99 a year, this is what every user requires in order to play games online, with a tidy package of some free games every month too. It’s also where this price rise hurts the most. Those of you out there who just have a sub in order to play online multiplayer are going to see very little benefit, with a little less in your pocket each month.
Yes, the monthly games do help in lessening this blow, but it’s very much dependent on the quality of free stuff. Take this September, for example. You could probably fit the entire world’s population of people hyped to try out the Saints Row reboot in a small warehouse. This gaggle of goofballs is doomed to be whittled down at a Squid Game’s pace as they actually get to play the game for themselves, all excitement draining from them like battery life of your grandad’s 16-year-old Nokia. It’s at times like these that the value add of PlayStation Plus is negligible.
This of course will change month-by-month. But overall it’s no doubt that the price increase of PlayStation Plus does hurt! The average player who just subscribes for online access (a practice that is frankly a bit dire anyway) is just losing cash. Extra subscribers are still okay, but Premium subscribers have woken up with a nasty bruise. It’s more tempting than ever just to slam a single month of Extra for a few free games before dipping back towards the basic plan.
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