This week, Sony's PlayStation Plus program went live. Purely in the name of research, I signed up (the things I do for you readers) and thought I'd share my thoughts.
another article was it worth your time?
dunno didn't read it
Sure it was, and it aint like PCworld is some no name blog. with that said, hell yeah PSN+ is worth it. Just like LIVE is worth it.
I dont know why I am doing this but here goes. People criticize MS about having a paid service but seem to not realize that it has been that way from the beginning. Anyone who had an original xbox that paid for live had the simple service (then) rolled over to the 360 with so much more. Not only were they paying for the same online play but tons more as well. Flip side now, sony started off with a free service as a counterpoint to live because it was new and they had a feeling that the user base at the time was not at a point to where they would feel compelled to charge for the service. They chose to take the crafty way of offering services for free to drum up support for the service THEN hit up gamers for memberships when the time was right. At least with live you knew what you were getting from the beginning. I dont know where plus can really expand on the already great online service sony has other than offering the discounts on merchandise. The free items arent really free if you take into consideration you need to retain your membership in order to keep them active. When MS gives away free games/items to gold members (they have done that a few times)they remain free even if you choose to go silver. I dont want to think this could happen but it just might. Sony could eventually start removing things from the free service if it sees the plus is going the way they want. I have seen this to many times even in regular retail markets. When you start off offering so much and see the demand increase the idea of taking little things away and moving them to a premium level starts to happen. Satellite tv is a good example. All these different levels of service with varying channels to watch. You like a certain channel and see it used to be available in one plan has now been moved to another. If you want to keep watching that channel, you upgrade your service. MS has been upping their service with nothing to really take away from the free side. Sony is improving their service with plenty they could take away from the free and (dare i say it) force those who want to keep using those services into the plus market. Remember people. Its about $$$ and both $ony and M$ are staring at the same pie with hunger in their eye$.
Then it ends right there. Sony isn't charging people to game online. They are offering their consumers that are really into gaming on their console a service to get free and discounted content. "Plus" (<-pun intended) they are offering their Qore free of charge. Rumor has it they will offer special and advance communication features to PSN+ members. Time will tell how PSN+ will play out but only time will tell. It's way too early for anyone to pass judgement on it. I like the premise though and I am considering jumping on before the 3 additional month for signing up runs out. When XBL is only for free and discounted content and all 360 consumers can game online for free? Come back and compare the two.
Sony definitely will look at the bottomline, but to say they will use the optional fee as a testing point for a mandatory fee for online play like M$ shows your misunderstanding of Sony's marketing position. They usually build on what they have to create an even better product for the consumer, not take away the basic freedom of online play, I can almost guarantee that sony will never charge for online gaming in the future of the PS3. Second, the comparison of Xbox live to PS+ is not even logical, they are completely unrelated in the target audience, content and purpose, the only similarity is the yearly fee. Third, the argument that you don't own the free content is a foolish one, first you own everything free except the full games, that includes add-on, themes, avatars etc. The games that you are "renting" cost such a low price that it can't even be considered renting, more like leasing and the kicker is that every month your "rent" drops as each new game you get does not add to the yearly cost. Fourth, saying that since M$ always charged for online play then its ok, is not a valid argument, the services offered by M$ are very good but why not separate those services to the paid user and leave online gaming free, wouldn't that be more justified, but as long as people continue to pay millions of dollars each year just for online play M$ would be foolish to remove that income. Plus other than the gold member discounts what games or otherwise has M$ given and what are their total value compared to the yearly fee for Gold membership? PS+ has paid off fully the fee for many persons and others came out on top with the remainder to see a bonus in the next year I'm sure. Finally Sony has now launched PS+ and the service offers huge incentives to be a member, M$ had the fees since last generation and it has certainly grown and become more robust, Sony will continue to add to the service and within a short time frame imagine what else they will offer persons if they started with free games. Long post i know but had to say it :)
online p2p servers
Sony must have seen something MS has done right with Live to create a paid version. Live never was free. It didnt have to be. MS making a free version was more of way to get people to buy the 360 if you really think about it. They wanted their console connected at all times from the very beginning. And gave consumers a choice. Sony HAD to make their service free at the beginning. You dont do the same thing the next guy does and expect people to just jump on board. Free online was the tagline and lets just say it worked. Now...for how much longer? Plus is (IMO) a good move for sony as even they knew they couldnt survive with just a free online incentive for long. Discounts on content is always good. Reminds me of a costco membership. You watch, sony will start doing to the free psn what ice cream companies are doing to the packaging of their product. Little by little the free psn will get more restricted and you will see more and more "plus membership required". I miss the days of when a half gallon ice cream was really a HALF GALLON. edit @despair: good points however if they created a restricted level of online play for free does that still mean it is free to play online? I would hope they dont but it is possible. They could limit the game sizes for freebies. Game modes, and even the time to play and STILL get away with proclaiming "FREE ONLINE".
Satellite TV is a poor example. There are more players involved, which can cause the scenario you describe. For example, Channel X, a relatively small, obscure channel scores a few unexpected hits, gains marketshare and ratings which allow it to charge a higher premium for advertising, and at contract renewal time with the satellite provider, allows for a more lucrative distribution deal. The satellite provider decides it's better for their customer base to move the channel into a higher priced package than to simply increase pricing across the board. People who enjoy the channel will likely upgrade, and people who don't aren't as likely to seek a change in providers. We can all agree Sony is akin to the satellite provider, but who in gaming can be equated to the company owning Channel X? Sony is both the producer and provider of the free services contained in PSN. Also, companies know that increasing their customer base and improving customer retention is the theoretically easiest way to increase profitability. Why would Sony risk losses to their base and retention? As the first full-fledged console online service, MS got away with charging, as there was no 'console yardstick' to measure against. Had other console companies been offering a free, robust online service, do you think MS would have stood a chance with a paid service? I think there is equally the chance, if not more so, that MS may have to provide free, basic online to silver members while saving all the bells and whistles for gold members, as there is to Sony charging for basic online.
@lonix why troll man? we are having a discussion, Fat Princess is p2p, and there are more that are p2p on PSN, so don't be a troll. /on topic what is next? PSN will have online play, but with PSN+ you will need to pay for party chat, cross game chat, exclusive demos, beta opt ins, rentals of old games, MMORPGs and more. Sure, in the end, PSN offers online play, but to be functional, you will need PSN+. Sony is just getting to a paid service like LIVE one little step at a time, and Sony fans don' t want to accept the fact that a paid service was the way to go since day one for a better online console service. Sony gets in, however their supporters here on N4G think Sony are angels and thinking about the user first, not the bottom quarterly line and you can't have a service like PSN bring in zero money. Sony's approach is bloody brilliant when you think about it, they are going the route of LIVE, and people don't even realize it, because, lets face it, the back bone of the service, the online play, is there for the users for free. All MS needs to do now is bring a basic online play function to silver, and it will be an even playing field.
@darthv72,monk339 I get what you're worried about, sony compromising the free online features, new and old, by only offering it on PS+, but what you also have to understand is Sony customers are accustomed to free online and free features added to the system, sony cannot add these commonplace features like, cross game chat, party chat or any of the free online features without having a raving mob at their doorsteps. I also think that the automatic downloads should have been free to everyone and that is definitely a sign to worry about from Sony, but 1 misstep does not erase years of customer support that sony has shown, sure the updates sometimes take time to come but they are there and cross game chat and other features will probably be introduced soon and free for all. The reason I see Sony not using PS+ as a starting point to gimp the free users and reward the plus users unfairly is that the format that plus is based on is about digital content for users not features, other than automatic downloads, its all about giving the consumer more than they paid for. Its incentive and the set up is the longer you subscribe the more you get, and the more you get the more you want to keep it, so you stay subscribed. Its ingenious at keeping customers and as long as they keep releasing games and content free on the PSN there will always be more and more subscribers with less dropping out in fear of losing their content. This method is similar to M$ for online play, as you lose the ability to play online and other features(ESPN,Netflix etc) if you unsubscribe. The only differences are that sony's is optional with free content still as is, and the content offered on PS+ for digital games etc. far outreaches the M$ gold offer for digital games(note other features are subjective to the user)
It's worth it for some and not for others. End of story.
Yes. No. Maybe. Oh I don't know. I'm so confused from being asked this a hundred times a day since the service launched. Someone else decide for me.
yes, no, maybe, i dont know could you repeat the question?
aren't anything yet, wait till stories come in about the highest rated item on psn weekly/monthly
To simply answer the question. Yes it is.
I can play online for free. That's all I really need, Thanks :)
I didn't know that the full game trials are still on a timer even when your PS3 is off. Which is dumb.
Nope. If I could play online on the Xbox 360 for free I would.
So you're saying XBL isn't worth $50.00/year, you only pay because you're forced to?
Yup thats exactly what I'm saying.
Its cute how the author puts quotation marks around free PSN game (because once the subscription is up you can no longer play it). Xbox Live does the same thing...only FOR EVERY GAME!.....and you still have to pay for the games. So basically you pay for the games, and pay to play them...yet you never really own them.
I have several games I have paid for and some that were free that I can play as a silver member. No trials or demos. What happened to your live that they slapped you back to the stone age?
that is not true jdigitalseven. There is an issue with live where if you bought a game on one console, and for example, you get a new XBox 360, you must be logged into live to play them, not gold, just online. However if you take the time to contact MS, they do fix it, something to do with serial numbers attacked to the game you downloaded. I am guessing it is a anti piracy thing. for example, I had a crap tonne of games I bought from live, when my 360 red ringed on me last year, all me downloaded games did not work if I was not connected to live. I contact ms, and they fixed it all up for me. on PSN+ however, the free to play games you get with PSN+ are not playable at all if you don;t have plus, that is, of course unless you buy them, then they work all the time.
In the stone age, there is only single player and offline multiplayer gaming. There is no online multiplayer. Seriously, he was referring to the online portion of every game being unusable without an XBL gold subscription. You guys didn't really miss that, did you?
It seems you missed it Garandshooter. Lets analyze his comment and break it down. "Its cute how the author puts quotation marks around free PSN game (because once the subscription is up you can no longer play it)." I see no reference to online multiplayer play here, just free PSN games. "Xbox Live does the same thing" One would assume, he is referring to the free games that comes with PSN+, since, there is yet zero mention of multilayer, online gaming. "...only FOR EVERY GAME!.....and you still have to pay for the games." It's pretty clear he is referring to downloaded games at this point, since once again, zero mention of online multiplayer. "So basically you pay for the games, and pay to play them...yet you never really own them." This is the phrase that seals the deal, just read it, slowly. You will see that you are the one that missed it GarranShooter. This is basic English reading skills really.
nope, its not
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