This past week was the official North American launch of the new PS PLUS subscription service. Playstation owners now have an option similar to what XBOX gamers have with GamePass in terms of having a backlog subscription service that also offers some current games.
PS PLUS ISN’T LIKE GAMEPASS, IT ISN’T TRYING TO BE EITHER
Although many think that PS PLUS is like GamePass or is “copying” GamePass, the reality is, it isn’t. GamePass is a very different service that allows you to play your games if you’re subscribed to all devices anytime, anywhere. GamePass offers day and date releases of all of their games from AAA to third party. PS PLUS doesn’t do these any of these things, and because of those huge differences, the two services are nothing alike, for now.
PS PLUS is mainly an offering for Playstation owners that want to play some of the newer games in terms of 3rd party and indie and a lot of the older games by subscribing to the upper tiers of the service. PS PLUS is all about catalog and appreciation of said catalog. If you subscribe to the EXTRA and PREMIUM tiers you’re basically saying you want to play some of the older and some of the newer games with EXTRA and with PREMIUM you’re saying you want it all, plus demos and whatever else may come later on at the highest tier. You still have access to PS Remote Play and all things considered it’s a solid service if you’re a PS owner.
Sony has made it so that many more of it’s catalog games are downloadable. Practically all of them except for PS3 games and Sony still hasn’t given a clear explanation as to why and PS5 game downloads are limited right now to very few titles, Returnal and Ratchet & Clank being the most notable games
PS PLUS STREAMING IS A GREATLY IMPROVED
What PS NOW was, it no longer is. PS PLUS in the Extra and Premium tiers offer a much improved service and you’ll notice it the most when it comes to streaming your games. I never liked the idea of streaming games and I don’t think I ever will but it’s good to have the option.
You could always download certain games but the streaming service left much to be desired. Let me keep it real. PS NOW streaming sucked. It’s much improved but PS3 games being stream only will always be a point of contention as far as it goes with the Playstation fanbase and rightfully so. If there’s one thing Sony needs to address, for the love of Twinkies, fix this shit Sony. Streaming should be relegated to mobile use only. What’s the point of sitting in your house and streaming games on a console?
Remote play is still solid but Sony will remain more traditional than Microsoft in that you have to have a PS console to be able to use it. Will that change? Who knows? As I said the streaming service is pretty good, not great and needs some work, some games play better than others and that’s basically what streaming will always boil down to. It’s hard to have an opinion on it as it pertains to any game streaming service because game streaming is not like streaming movies, it’s much more complex and finicky.
CONS OF PS PLUS EXTRA & PREMIUM
As good as the new PS PLUS tiers look, they do have issues. Number one problem is the sheer number of games. Yes, this is a good thing, the more games the merrier but this can also be a bad thing because now you have a situation where the games can be hard to find mainly because they’re separated by these very tiers. It’s hard to know what you have and don’t have access to at first. The backlog access is convoluted and it’s unnecessarily separated by the two tiers. This was an annoyance for me trying to find games only to find out it’s not in my tier.
The PS PLUS Extra tier doesn’t give you any access to the more up to date AAA PS5 titles at all like Ratchet & Clank. The AAA games you do have access to are the PS4 versions. That’s kind of a shitty way to tell me that I need to spend two dollars more. The classic game catalog leaves much to be desired in the sense that they should just come with EXTRA and PREMIUM at a default level, they shouldn’t be divided in such a way.
The PS Premium tier is hard to look at as a good value at the moment when you consider these things. There are no day and date AAA games. The demos while well done are just too few in number and the fact that they’re locked behind this paywall is also a problem. It’s hard to justify the premium tier at the moment. The only way it makes sense is if you absolutely have to have everything at your disposal to play.
MY INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OVERALL
My initial impression after using the new PS PLUS EXTRA service all week is, it’s pretty damn good. There’s a lot of games to play, especially if you’re into playing retro and classic PS titles. It’s what PS NOW should have always been but better late than never. If you’re a Playstation player this is a great time to be on Team BLUE.
As good as this service is, PS PLUS needs to be more refined. It’s a messy endeavor at the moment. For me personally, I like that Sony took this step and changed what PS PLUS is but I wish they weren’t so caught up in nickel and diming because that’s what the EXTRA and PREMIUM tiers of this service are. An exercise in nickel and diming. PS PLUS would be a WAY more attractive service if you just made it ESSENTIAL and PREMIUM. Keep what you already have OR have everything. This three tier business is bullshit and it’s why Sony fans get frustrated with Sony, it’s what makes GamePass so attractive. It’s simplicity. GamePass or GamePass Ultimate, that’s it.
How many older and classic games do you want to play is really the question of this service. Right now, that’s the main attraction. It’s still very early in the PS PLUS EXTRA and PREMIUM era so it’s fair to assume that in time Sony will update the service with more 3rd party titles on day and date, Indies too. It has a ton of potential and it’s exciting and although I have issues with it, I love the service so far. Gaming subscription service is where gaming is headed whether we want to accept it or not. Why not just accept it? Sony and Microsoft have great offerings. Pick one, you won’t lose.