ZoyosJD (User)

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The Implications of the Next Generation of PS+

ZoyosJD | 379d ago
User blog

By now, we all know the story. The Playstation 4 set for release this holiday season requires a Playstation+ subscription for access to general online play. What I am currently looking at are the implications of the PS+ program on the gaming community, developers, and the games themselves.

Please Note: I would like to state that since Microsoft has laid claim to a descriptively similar plan with the inclusion of “Games with Gold” as a part of Xbox LIVE Gold that many of these arguments can be similarly addressed for MS and the Xbox One console.

First off, I would like to address the fact that PS+ has indeed become a pay wall. Not just any pay wall, but a pay wall for generally the second, and from many individuals the most sought after feature of the console: Online Multiplayer. This is similar to the XLG pay wall that has been in place for online multiplayer on all Microsoft consoles since day one. That value that XLG may or may not have provided shall be left to your individual opinions in this discussion.

Nonetheless, since its inception, PS+ has served to be a source of revenue while providing amazing value to its subscribers. Never was this more evident than with the inclusion of the Instant Game Collection, which in the last year has provided access to a wide variety of 64 digital games for owners of the Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita for a measly $50.

Yet, with as much value as provided through the program, it produced nowhere near the revenue that the XLG pay wall brought in with an estimated 40-50 million subscribers paying $60 retail on a yearly basis for access to the online features of the Xbox platform. This pay wall became a necessity from a competitive standpoint.

Impact 1: The Gamer.

With the relative success of the XLG pay wall, and the value provided from PS+. I am completely certain this will be a financially successful endeavor for Sony’s Playstation brand, meaning… a majority of gamers will pay this fee and get its services in return. So, after 2 years of subscription to this service the average gamer will have access to an estimated 120 games. Far more than the average gamer can handle. It essentially becomes possible to pick up a console and never even have to think of the games store ever again all the while having a huge majority of the console’s repertoire at their digital fingertips. This leads to some of the “issues” that many PS+ subscribers see today, but being experienced on a scale of the majority. Issues including HDD space, time, and [most importantly to a later point] a fear of purchasing something that will be accessible to PS+ members in only a few days/weeks/months.

Now, more than ever, gaming will make the transition to digital. Right under our noses, going hand in hand with a subscription of all things and furthermore proving that gamers work better with a carrot than a stick we will slowly be accepting the very thing we have been so defiantly fighting against.

Impact 2: The Developer.

As a trend I noticed; from cases like Square-Enix allowing Dues Ex: Human Revolution after reporting falling earnings, numerous games from THQ around the time of its dissolution, and during the first truly noticeable year of falling sales of FROM SOFTWARE’s Demon’s Souls after the release of its spiritual successor, along with numerous other cases such as a soon to be released sequel; for several companies placing their games on PS+ has been a shot in the arm when weak and weary sales begin to slump or simply when cash is needed.

I believe that with the combination of subscribers’ fears as mentioned earlier, and developers becoming dependent many companies will find their revenue spiking more so than ever on “day 1” and “PS +uesday” and practically dropping off the face of the earth otherwise.

Impact 3: The Games.

“Free taste test, pshh, how ‘bout a free scoop*” …*all additional scoops and toppings will come at a cost.

More than enough to get you hooked, then: YANK! More DLC, cut out content, season passes, and micro-transactions. Yes, I said it. With a network that is more social than ever, and massive potential revenue from games a majority will get access to at a “set” price to the developer with the subscription plan anyway, it is practically undeniable. I don’t want it to be, but it will be the most successful business model for future games entering the IGC and “money makes the world go around”.

Final Words: It’s Not All Bad.

We can see that. It’s our money and we see value, so we spend accordingly. It won’t be exactly like I said, there will always be exceptions to the rule, but I do expect a noticeable impact on the way the gaming industry works.

iamnsuperman  +   379d ago
"It essentially becomes possible to pick up a console and never even have to think of the games store ever again all the while having a huge majority of the console’s repertoire at their digital fingertips. This leads to some of the “issues” that many PS+ subscribers see today, but being experienced on a scale of the majority. Issues including HDD space, time, and [most importantly to a later point] a fear of purchasing something that will be accessible to PS+ members in only a few days/weeks/months."

I think point can be expanded. The fear is never having to buy a game again. I have bought one game for the Vita the rest have been through PSN+. In a way it has stopped me buying games (as I don't need to) but in a way there are other reason for this (lack of high quality games). PSN+ doesn't stop me buying games on my PS3 because the library is so huge. People who "wait till its free" will often find themselves waiting years if not for ever for that game to go free. Now PSN+, for me, is games I wouldn't have picked up anyway. But I download them and play them to see what they are like and for the most part I enjoy a lot of them and think I might get X's sequel. This is why the system works. It is to hit mass market with a game that sold good but by giving it to more people, more may like it and then buy the sequel.
ZoyosJD  +   379d ago
Thanks for the feedback.

I thought about expanding upon this, but it gets nuanced and opinionated fairly quickly. My general point was there, so I just stuck with that.

BTW, the Vita example is great, as I am practically in the same boat, except I do have some games that interest me, particularly a few RPGs.

Do you think that, in any way, the vested interest you have in physical games on the PS3 compared to your Vita might have had an impact on your "likeliness" to buy physical copies on the Vita?

edit: I largely see your point about demographics, but don't you think that the wait and see approach might carry over to the PS4 once PS+ begins carry more of the game generas you enjoy.

Nonetheless I did say "exceptions to the rule", and I think the demographic that users like us represents may be a partial exception.
#1.1 (Edited 379d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
iamnsuperman  +   379d ago
"the vested interest you have in physical games on the PS3 compared to your Vita might have had an impact on your "likeliness" to buy physical copies on the Vita?"

I guess it does but I think that is also down to my demographic. Like it all not Vita/3DS are actually more popular among the female/ younger teenager crowd (both I am not). The 3DS sells to that crowd (no idea why Sony doesn't do it as much but they still make a stab at it).

My demographic buys more home console games. They are similarly priced but I tend to get more out of them than the Vita games. There are a few examples of Vita games I love (Gravity Rush, LBP Vita) but there isn't really a lot I love on the Vita which I think is the other problem and why I get games through the PSN+.
Donnieboi  +   379d ago
Just so u know, xbox live Gold will stop giving away free games after November. So it's not the same as ps plus.
caseh  +   379d ago
I quite liked this point:

"Now PSN+, for me, is games I wouldn't have picked up anyway. But I download them and play them to see what they are like and for the most part I enjoy a lot of them and think I might get X's sequel."

This is what I have found with PS+ (mostly), games I may not have bought but ended up playing just because I could.

I bought DOA5 at retail primarily for online play, this aspect died off pretty much within months of play however when it turned up on PS+ (which surprised me as it happened quite quickly) the online portion got another kickstart with many more players which gave me a few more months of play out of it. The devs are more likely to shift DLC due to the increase in players and ultimately everyone is a winner.
#1.2 (Edited 379d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
ZoyosJD  +   378d ago
It is a decent point, but no one can entirely predict what will be on PS+.

This creates a deturance for many, especially those who are regularly interested in what it offers.

If it didn't offer anything of interest, people wouldn't invest in it.

Regardless of some of the positions taken by members like yourself, there will be subscribers on that tight budget accepting everything that is thrown at them willingly.
iliimaster  +   379d ago
ive gotten so many games from ps plus its backed me up big time in all my other games but this is a good thing
EXVirtual  +   379d ago
About the whole digital transition, do you mean you think disc based games will go away?
givemeshelter  +   379d ago
They will eventually. The writing is on the wall for this. It's going to happen sooner rather than later unfortunately.
EXVirtual  +   378d ago
I dunno man. Don't get me wrong. I agree with you, but there's just something inside me that just thinks disc based games will be here for a long time.
givemeshelter  +   377d ago
If a company can make more money DD they will...
Disk mediums for everything else is on its way out. Games will follow real soon... And I love to have physical disks... But the writing is on the wall
:-(
s45gr32  +   378d ago
Yes but it will be done gradually
Nicaragua  +   379d ago
Your figures on the number of gold subscibers are incorrect.

By Microsoft's own numbers the total number of Live subscibers (silver + gold) is 46 million, with approximatley half of those being gold scubscibers.

The half figure comes from MS data in 2010 when they had admitted they had 25 million Live users with 12.5 million gold subscribers, so it would be reasonable to assume that the ratio has stayed around the same level.

http://www.forbes.com/sites...

http://techcrunch.com/2010/...
#4 (Edited 379d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
ZoyosJD  +   378d ago
Those figues are largely besides the point. It's the difference in revenue that matters.

"23" million by $60 is a whole lot more than whatever profit Sony has managed to squeeze out of PS+.
Nicaragua  +   378d ago
Whats beside the point is your data - its total speculation. Neither you nor I have any idea how many subscribers PS+ has, so to pluck a figure out of your ass to back up the point you want to is nonsense.
ZoyosJD  +   373d ago
Kettle black much.

The numbers you referenced are outdated, and just as much speculation.

I don't need to pull figures out of my ass to see that Sony made a business move to remain competitive.

If they were really making as much revenue as XLG do you really think they would add the paywall when their competitor has this exact same measure implemented while providing fewer games(which some have noted as temporary)?

It's obvious that there is a substantial difference in revenue. Without that reason this just wouldn't have happened.
s45gr32  +   378d ago
Sorry I am one of the few gamers that will not pay to play for online gaming whether is Sony or Microsoft. I still believe online gaming should be free; good news is it will be free on PC. This is a decent post

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