Well, it seems like Sony are launching their new PlayStation Plus and its new pricing scheme. Good news: the service will finally offer old PS, PS2, PSP, and PS3 games. Bad news: even if you already have PlayStation Plus, they still want to squeeze even more money out of you to play them.
Time For Some Changes (For Good But Mostly For Ill)
The PlayStation Blog has just released new information on the changes coming to PlayStation Plus. This news also reveals when those changes will happen. Apparently, these changes to the subscription service are so massive that PlayStation plans on making these changes in phases. These changes will begin in various markets in Asia in June 2022 and will be followed by its introduction to North America, Europe, and the rest of the world. Apparently, they plan to have most of the territories where they offer PlayStation Plus have this new and “improved” version “by the end of the first half of 2022″. It seems to suggest that they intend to move quickly in introducing this new subscription service once they begin in June.
Not only that, but PlayStation also apparently plans to expand their “cloud streaming benefit” to “additional markets” alongside these changes to PlayStation Plus. Unfortunately, they give no specific date for these plans to come to fruition. That will be information they will provide at a later date.
PlayStation Plus: We Want All of Your Money
So now we get into the details of what’s going to happen with PlayStation Plus. Let’s start with the good news: the subscription service will finally offer us the ability to play “up to 340 additional games” from the previous PlayStation consoles. They don’t offer a list of the games available, but they do mention that these 340 games will include games originally for the PS1, PS2, PSP, and PS3. All of these games will be available both for cloud streaming and for download. Although presumably, if you stop paying for PlayStation Plus, then you lose access to them even if you’ve already downloaded them. That’s unfortunately how the subscription service works. I wish we could just purchase and download the games we want to play, instead of paying for the whole service. But eh, that’s how it works.
So what’s the problem here besides the inherent ones? Well, it’s the pricing. The pricing for the new PlayStation Plus is pretty insane. Especially if you want to play those backward compatible games. Check them out below:
PlayStation Plus Essential
- Provides the same benefits that PlayStation Plus members are getting today, such as:
- Two monthly downloadable games
- Exclusive discounts
- Cloud storage for saved games
- Online multiplayer access
- There are no changes for existing PlayStation Plus members in this tier.
The price for PlayStation Plus Essential remains the same as the current price for PlayStation Plus.
- United States$9.99 monthly / $24.99 quarterly / $59.99 yearly
- Europe€8.99 monthly / €24.99 quarterly / €59.99 yearly
- United Kingdom£6.99 monthly / £19.99 quarterly / £49.99 yearly
- Japan¥850 monthly / ¥2,150 quarterly / ¥5,143 yearly
PlayStation Plus Extra
- Provides all the benefits from the Essential tier
- Adds a catalog of up to 400* of the most enjoyable PS4 and PS5 games – including blockbuster hits from our PlayStation Studios catalog and third-party partners. Games in the Extra tier are downloadable for play.
- United States$14.99 monthly / $39.99 quarterly / $99.99 yearly
- Europe€13.99 monthly / €39.99 quarterly / €99.99 yearly
- United Kingdom£10.99 monthly / £31.99 quarterly / £83.99 yearly
- Japan¥1,300 monthly / ¥3,600 quarterly / ¥8,600 yearly
PlayStation Plus Premium
- Provides all the benefits from Essential and Extra tiers
- Adds up to 340 additional games, including PS3 games available via cloud streaming
- A catalog of beloved classic games available in both streaming and download options from the original PlayStation, PS2 and PSP generations
- Offers cloud streaming access for original PlayStation, PS2, PSP and PS4 games offered in the Extra and Premium tiers in markets where PlayStation Now is currently available. Customers can stream games using PS4 and PS5 consoles, and PC.
- Time-limited game trials will also be offered in this tier, so customers can try select games before they buy.
- United States$17.99 monthly / $49.99 quarterly / $119.99 yearly
- Europe€16.99 monthly / €49.99 quarterly / €119.99 yearly
- United Kingdom£13.49 monthly / £39.99 quarterly / £99.99 yearly
- Japan¥1,550 – monthly / ¥4,300 – quarterly / ¥10,250 yearly
- PlayStation Plus Deluxe (Select Markets) For markets without cloud streaming, PlayStation Plus Deluxe will be offered at a lower price compared to Premium, and includes a catalog of beloved classic games from the original PlayStation, PS2 and PSP generations to download and play, along with time-limited game trials. Benefits from Essential and Extra tiers are also included. Local pricing will vary by market.
PlayStation Predatory Monetization: Opinion
This is just my opinion, but from my perspective, it just looks like predatory monetization to me on PlayStation’s part. I mean, being forced to pay for the most expensive just to play classic PlayStation games on PlayStation Plus? At $120 per year, no less? That sounds like a rip-off to me. PlayStation knows that people want to play these old classic games, and they know that people are already paying a small fortune for PlayStation Plus. So what do they do? They try to “incentivize” people to pay for the most expensive option, using loads of games that are very difficult to get anywhere else as bait. Even to the point of forcing existing PlayStation Plus subscribers to pay extra just to play those classic games. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to pay that much just to play the old Ace Combat games.
For comparison, the Xbox Game Pass offers the exact same backward compatible games option, but at $14.99 per month. The same price for existing subscribers, no less. While that still adds up to $120 per year, at least you have the option of only paying $15 a month before ending your subscription. If you tried to do the same for this new PlayStation Plus, you would have to pay a higher $18. And that wouldn’t even be going into Nintendo Switch Online, which offers vastly cheaper pricing by far than either of them at $50 per year even at the premium tier. Hopefully, PlayStation will be forced to lower their prices to at least match Xbox, if not even go lower than Nintendo. Otherwise, all they’re doing is losing money to competitors.