What is Playstation Plus Right Now?
For anyone who owns a Playstation 3 or PS Vita, you know about Playstation Plus. How could you miss it? Sony is constantly advertising it on both consoles. To those of you who don’t know, Playstation Plus is a paid service offered by Sony for its gaming consoles, that allows players to get discounts on games, cloud syncing of save files, timed full game demos, and most recently the instant game collection which is a rotating selection of free AAA titles (right now, for example, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is one of the games available).
Unlike Xbox Live, Playstation Plus is not required to download and use services such as Netflix or Hulu, nor is it required for online multiplayer. However, with the upcoming release of the Playstation 4 in December, online multiplayer on the Playstation will no longer be free.
No Free Multiplayer? Isn’t that why I bought a Playstation?
Unfortunately yes, with the release of the Playstation 4, a Playstation Plus membership will be required for online multiplayer. While this may put a sour taste in many of your mouths, let me first ask you to withold your judgements. In an interview with videogamer.com, Sony has come forward to explain why they will be charging for online multiple, and just how comprehensive the new Playstation Plus service will be.
What You Are Paying For
So what exactly will you be paying for come December? Well, not only does Playstation Plus come with all the usual goodies, but it will also work across all platforms; Playstation 3, Playstation 4, and PSVita. Additionally, you will benefit from a much improved multiplayer experience. Sony plans to use the revenue from Playstation Plus to help improve server stability in online multiplayer, which has always been a complaint. As SCEE UK & Ireland MD Fergal Gara puts it, Playstation Plus “comes away with a hell of a lot.”
What You Still Get for Free
Surprisingly, if you chose not to subscribe to Playstaion Plus, you will not be at a huge disadvantage. Unlike Xbox Live, which is required for certain online services like Netflix and Hulu, Gara has stated that Playstation Plus will not be required for such services:
“The social features of PS4 and PS4 games sit out of the subscription service… things like auto-updates on PS4 sit outside of PlayStation Plus, so we’re trying to be as balanced and as fair as we possibly can.”
So, what this means is if you do not pay for Playstation Plus right now and you are not concerned with online multiplayer, but still use your PS3 or Vita to access services like Netflix, Music Unlimited, or Facebook, nothing will change for you come December.
But What about the Newer Features like Instantly Streaming Games?
One of the changes coming with the PS4 is a a large library of games that can be live streamed to your PS3, PS4, or PSVita via Gaikai technology. What we do not know is if you will need a Playstation Plus subscription to access this library of games. When asked if Sony will require Playstation Plus for Gaikai services, Gara responded “In short, we haven’t decided.” Gaikai, is a very new development for Sony, and they are unsure of how expensive the service will be.
So What Will this Mean for Me Come December?
Well, the answer is quite simple. If you want to engage in online multiplayer, you will have to purchase a Playstation Plus subscription. Luckily, this service comes with an enormous variety of additional bonuses that, I dare say, are lacking in Microsoft’s Xbox Live service. Starting at $17.99 for three months, and $49.99 for one year, Playstation Plus will most certainly be a service well worth the money.
What do you Think?
Will you happily whip out you debit card come December so you can play multiplayer titles like Killzone 4? Or, are you unhappy with Sony’s decision to charge for what used to be a free service?
Comment below, game hard, and stay safe!