The new PlayStation Plus is an improved subscription service that combines Sony’s previous PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now offerings, providing gamers with hundreds of titles for a monthly fee. With the unparalleled success and accessibility provided by Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, it was only a matter of time before the PlayStation tried to do something similar.
There are three levels: Required, Extra and Premium. The PlayStation Plus is the first new name for what it had previously offered, a small monthly selection of games on top of the basic online benefits. Additionally adds a gorgeous game catalog, giving users access to around 400 PS4 and PS5 games. The most expensive tier, the premium, we will examine for the purpose of this review. It includes everything from previous levels, including PS3 game streaming, as well as access to select PlayStation Legacy content from its PS1, PS2 and PSP catalogs. Time-limited game trials are also available.
Here’s a quick rundown of the price for each category:
- Essential: 9.99 monthly / $ 24.99 quarterly / $ 59.99 annual
- Extra: $ 14.99 monthly / $ 39.99 quarterly / $ 99.99 annual
- Premium: 17.99 monthly / $ 49.99 quarterly / $ 119.99 annual
Whether or not the new PlayStation Plus is profitable depends on what you want from it. Want to play the latest and most popular games? Or do you just want to enjoy the old titles? Do you like indie games or Japanese? Here are my thoughts after spending a few days looking at what the entire game library has to offer.
Sony’s all-new gaming subscription
The new PlayStation Plus offers a good number of games and features for the money, but the premium tier still needs to come out somewhat. Unless you take care of the classics, most gamers will be fine with the necessary or additional options.
Enter some of the best first-party PlayStation 4 and 5 games
If you sign up for an extra or premium tier, you’ll be able to play some of the PlayStation’s blockbuster first-party titles for which the platform is known. These include games such as God of War (2018), Uncharted 4, Ratchet and Clank (2016), The Last of Us Remastered, Horizon Zero Dawn, Ghost of Tsushima, Days Gone, Death Stranding, and Marvel’s Spider-Man. This great game is great for those who want to play it and for those who want to pay a low subscription fee instead of buying each title for over $ 70.
Specifically, cut versions of Ghost of Sushima and Death Stranding PS5 Director are available for download. Instead of sticking with regular PS4 versions with less content, Sony liked to include them. However, it seems that some titles are strangely missing. Gran Turismo Sport and MLB The Show are not in service, which is strange considering they were created by Sony’s first-party studios.
Includes many third-party games, large and small
PlayStation, being one of the largest players in the gaming space, has been able to take advantage of its relationship with other studios to provide a lot of third-party support to the service. Here are some great titles, such as Multiple Final Fantasy Games, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Fallout 4, NBA 2K22 and Red Dead Redemption. , Celeste and Bad North.
I was pleasantly surprised by the number of Japanese games available, especially the number of smaller games. Games like Akiba’s Beat, Ys IX: Monstrum Nox, and The Caligula Effect: Overdose on PS4 are stand-out titles. These games usually have a very specific audience, so Sony was pleased to include them here to increase their reach.
Overall, there is a huge variety of genres so someone is bound to find a game they like.
This feature will probably only cater to specific audiences like Trophy Hunters like me. Trophies are small steps that developers include in games that add a “badge” to your PlayStation profile. Examples of specific types of trophies include hitting the game’s first boss or completing the game’s story.
Sony decided to include PlayStation Trophy support for legacy titles such as the original PlayStation siphon filter and App Escape. The trophy system started with the PlayStation 3 and I appreciate that Sony is back to add to it in the old games. Not all classic games will get trophy support, as publishers and developers have a final say on whether or not to implement them.
This is a small, distinct advantage of the new PlayStation Plus over the Xbox Game Pass. While the original Xbox games were on Microsoft’s subscription service, they did not include retrospective achievements (the Xbox equivalent of the PlayStation Trophy).
Search options and categories are useful
Going into the new PS Plus section, it’s easy to find and sort games. You can search by genre, alphabetical, release date and even generation. There are also some collections that try to combine different titles. For example, there is the “Must-Play” collection, which includes some PlayStation exclusive as well as critically acclaimed third-party games like Control and Mortal Kombat 11. If you are looking for Remasters or PS3 games in particular, there are sections dedicated to it.
While the new PlayStation Plus includes first-party titles, the problem here is that these are older PlayStation exclusive that have been out for a few years already and have gone on sale several times in both digital and retail locations. So there is a good chance that you have already played it and if you have, there is not much value in this aspect.
In addition, Sony has not promised to bring new special titles to the new PlayStation Plus on their release date, such as Horizon Forbidden West and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, or the upcoming God of War: Ragnarok.
This is in stark contrast to the Xbox Game Pass, which has released major titles such as Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5 on the day of its release, and promises the same for big upcoming games like Bethesda’s Starfield and Arkane’s Redfall.
PlayStation 3 games are still streaming-only and not available for local download
Almost all the titles offered in the service can be downloaded with the exception of PS3 games. The reason is that the PS3 allegedly made the game so difficult to develop that it is difficult to simulate or enable local downloads.
In this case, PS3 titles on the service are only valid for those who have a fast and / or stable internet connection. Playing PS3 games through streams with weak connections can lead to stuttering and falling behind.
I played using a wired connection on my PS5 and my experience was stable but only if I focused on playing the game. Death Stranding: While downloading Director’s Cut, I tried playing Resident Evil 4 HD. I had lag issues until I paused my download. After I paused my download, my game seemed to return to normal. If Resident Evil 4 HD could be downloaded locally, I wouldn’t have this problem.
It’s just embarrassing because the PS3’s catalog is so extensive on the service. Sony’s PS3 exclusives include God of War, Ratchet and Clank, and the infamous franchise. There is also excellent third-party support with multiple titles from Dynasty Warriors, Devil May Cry and Resident Evil franchises. It’s just that streaming-being really disrupts the overall experience.
The service offers game streaming on PS5, PS4 and PC, and is available for download or streaming almost every PS4 and PS5 game locally. However, there are strange exceptions where some games cannot be streamed. For example, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XII offers both options, but Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition offers options for local download only. However, this problem is rare compared to the entire game library.
PlayStation has such a rich history of video games from the PS1 and PS2 era. So it’s really weird to see that there are only 13 titles available with the original PlayStation Games, especially on the new PlayStation Plus at the time of this writing.
Also, if you’re out of North America, you’ll probably find inferior versions of PS1 games. The North American versions run at 60hz, the European versions and the Australian versions run at 50hz, which means they run slower. This can result in lower framerates, which affects how easily the game is played and how it feels.
As Sony adds more games to the service over time, the current few offers of its vast legacy catalog are surprisingly disappointing.
One of the benefits of being premium is that you get access to limited time game trials. You are free to try out game demos for a limited time. When your time is up, you can choose to purchase games from the PlayStation Network Store. However, one problem here is that the selection is surprisingly limited – only 15 demos are available.
Admittedly, there are some notable game tests like Horizon Forbidden West and Cyberpunk 2077. It’s also nice to have this game trial feature than not all of it, but it’s not worth the price increase compared to the rest of the premium benefits. Levels must either dramatically increase the number of game tests offered, or bring the benefit to an additional tier, seeing that the tier has only one advantage.
The new PlayStation Plus seems to have a lot of potential, and that’s what’s disappointing about it. It offers both first-party unique games and legacy titles from its rich catalog, but they all come with specific caution. It’s not excellent enough on both sides.
It looks like the service isn’t trying to sell a strong product, it’s just trying to streamline both the previous PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now services. PlayStation may have been intended from the very beginning, rather than trying to answer directly to Microsoft’s Xbox game pass. If so, they are successful.
Premium Tier still needs some work and I recommend suspending its subscription until the catalog is complete. If you want to play PS3 games or get trophies in PS1 games without having to use your physical console, go ahead and subscribe to Premium. If not, either necessary and additional layers will suffice.