The days of gaming consoles as stand-alone slot machines are long gone. Every modern console today depends on network connectivity for content and services. Subscriptions make up a large part of the console companies’ business, and PlayStation Plus pioneered this model.
Whether you’re thinking of purchasing a PlayStation or already owning one but are considering buying a PlayStation Plus, we have all the information you need to decide if PlayStation Plus is right for you.
So, what is PlayStation Plus?
In short, PlayStation Plus is a subscription service that you have to pay for on top of the console and the cost of individual video games. You can subscribe to a monthly, three-month, or annual subscription. The more you pay in advance, the cheaper the service.
How much does PlayStation Plus cost?
If you’ve never been a subscriber, you’ll get the first 14 days of PlayStation Plus for free. If you bought a new console, there is a good chance that a free voucher for several months is included in the package, depending on the package you purchased. There are three subscription options:
- 1 month – $ 9
- 3 months – $ 24.99
- 12 months – $ 59.99 USA
You can also buy prepaid cards, which are sometimes offered through third-party merchants who run sales and discounts. This is a good opportunity to get cheaper annual maintenance. Just make sure you buy a card that’s right for your area.
What can I do with PlayStation Plus?
If you choose to subscribe to PlayStation Plus, you get a range of features that go beyond the standard.
The most important feature for most people is multiplayer games. If you want to play online games with your friends, you really have no choice but to fork out for a PlayStation Plus subscription.
There are exceptions to this. Generally, free games do not require a PlayStation Plus subscription. Some games with their own subscription fees, such as Final Fantasy XIV, can be played without paying for the Plus service.
Another exclusive feature is cloud storage. You get 100GB of cloud storage if you have a PlayStation Plus subscription. This storage space is used to load and sync saved game data. This is great if your PlayStation is dying or you have two consoles and want to sync your saved games between them.
These are the only two features that we think are “key” to working with the PlayStation. If you can live without premium multiplayer gaming or cloud saves, the case for PlayStation Plus will be far less compelling.
Share PlayStation Plus benefits
The PlayStation 4 is designed as a general system. You can have multiple accounts on one computer. Anyone can play all games on the console, provided that the game belongs to the user who has this console registered as the main one.
So, do you need to buy a PlayStation Plus subscription for each console user in order to reap the benefits? The answer is that it depends on the circumstances. When it comes to multiplayer, everyone on this console can play online as long as at least one person has a PlayStation Plus membership and that’s their main console.
Plus, it’s no surprise that any games purchased by a Plus subscriber are still available to everyone else. This includes the “free” PlayStation Plus games, which we’ll be covering shortly.
Unfortunately, other users of the system do not have access to the cloud save function. This means that if something happens to this PS4, only the Plus user will have their saved games in a safe place.
How do “free” games work?
As of this writing, Plus subscribers get at least two PS4 games every month as part of their subscription. You have no choice in which games the games are offered. This means that it might be a game that you’ve already bought in the past, or that you just aren’t interested in.
Your game license is also tied to your subscription. This means that if your Plus subscription expires, you will no longer be able to play those games. It also means that you need to be connected to the Internet from time to time in order for the game to renew your license.
On the other hand, even if your subscription expires, the PlayStation Plus games you have applied for in the past remain on your download list. So if you ever restart your subscription, you can play these games again.
Previously, PS3, Vita, PSP, and PS4 games were added every month, but recently Sony stopped all of them except PS4 games. Most likely in preparation for the PS5.
PlayStation Plus Value Offer: Discounts, Exclusive Content, and Free Games
When deciding to buy a PlayStation Plus, there are many different factors to consider that determine whether or not it is worth the price. Online gaming and cloud backups are definitely worth the cost of the service, but only if you’re actually going to use those features. What about the rest?
If you look at the history of free-to-play with PlayStation Plus, in dollar terms this is definitely a fantastic deal. If you have to buy these games separately, any two of the premium games will likely cost more than the annual Plus subscription. How expensive it is will depend on the titles, your tastes, and the amount of games you already own. It also depends on how often you buy new games.
It’s the same with exclusive content. In addition, members receive exclusive avatars, game content, and various other digital items. However, they may not be suitable for the games you are interested in. This is a very personal factor.
From our point of view, apart from multiplayer and the cloud, only digital Plus discounts easily cover the cost. If you buy (on average) one or two discounted games every month and take advantage of the additional Plus discount percentage, you will get your money back and more. Most importantly, you will get the discounts on the games you choose and you really want.
PlayStation Plus and the next generation
At the time of writing, no one really knows how the PlayStation Plus will perform on the upcoming PlayStation 5 The underlying proposal is supposed to be the same, but of course Sony could make changes.
Considering the PS5 needs to be backward compatible with PS4 games, we could consider four games per month via Plus that will run on the PS5 console. Also keep in mind that you will most likely be able to activate free PS5 games as a Plus subscriber even if you don’t have a PS5 yet.
PlayStation Plus has been with us since the PlayStation 3 era. As consoles become more internet-centric, we expect the next generation of capabilities to be even more closely tied to the service.