A few weeks ago Sony notified it’s Playstation plus subscribers about a change to the programme. It’s a change which, to me, wasn’t that unexpected and something I thought would have happened sooner than it now has. In the email to subscribers and detailed on every major gaming news site Sony announced that in a years time, after 8th March 2019 Playstation Plus will no longer offer PlayStation 3 or PS Vita games as part of its free monthly games allocation.
This sounds like a big change. Subscribers are currently getting around six games across the three systems. Two for PS4, two for PS3 and two for Vita. If you use either of the older systems to drop four games may make you question the cost of the service. But it’s not quite as simple a change as that. Because of cross play PS4 users often end up with four or five games a month. Recently additional games such as That’s You! and various PSVR titles have also been available through the service. We don’t know the full details yet but it may not just be PS3 and Vita users effected. Will we still get three or four games a month available for PS4?
With so many PlayStation 4’s in the wild and the rumour mill heating up about the PlayStation 5 I can understand this change. With 26M PS Plus subscribers and roughly 70m PS4 users, as of May 2017, it’s easy to see why. Concentrate on your current large user base, provide a better service for them leading into the next console cycle where a robust and improved online service can be implemented. Although we don’t know what Sony is thinking about the future of the service this is an optimistic but hopefully pretty accurate guess.
So as a PS4 user who doesn’t have either of the other systems (I traded my PS3 in for a launch PS4) what would I like? I’ve been happy with the selection of bigger games available for the PS4 through PS Plus. We’ve hit a high this March with Bloodborne and Ratchet and Clank so, of course, I want this high level of games to continue. Sony still have a lot of first party and exclusive titles that haven’t been available. More recent games like Uncharted: Lost Legacy or Everybody’s Golf would be great (perhaps it’s still a little too early for those). Maybe Uncharted 4 or Crash N’sane Trilogy would be more reasonable, for this year at least. A bigger release is a given so a couple of smaller indie titles would sit nicely alongside this bigger release. This number of games wouldn’t be a big change but by providing three games all playable on the PS4 it would limit the change to the service for these users.
We’ve become accustomed to a larger amount of games recently so an additional title each month would be a welcome bonus. Either games for the PSVR or PlayLink could help to boost those systems as well as flesh out the value the service. If you’ve suddenly got five or six PSVR games in your library it makes buying the system that much more enticing especially as we’re seeing deals on the hardware and reductions in price. As a fan of PlayLink I’d love to see more games for the system especially if one or two were delivered through Plus. That’s You! was available for multiple months through Plus so perhaps it didn’t do as well as Sony had hoped but it’s a fun game to play with friends and it’s very accessible. I’d hope that its performance, as I’m assuming it hasn’t done well considering the time it was available, doesn’t put Sony off developing the system or pushing out titles.
Now how about something different. Sony have a big line-up of films made by the studio. Instead of a bonus game it would be a nice change to get a film. Films seem a little more divisive than games so it may not appeal to everyone but imagine getting Spiderman Homecoming for free just before the exclusive, Insomniac made, Spiderman game releases (OK this is meant to release before the change to the service but it would be cool). A rotation of bonus content, a PSVR game, Playlink game or movie would be a big positive considering the loss of four games each month.
What else? I suggested that the service and system architecture would be improved with all that extra money and that maybe we get a bonus every month on top of Three PS4 games. So how about a little more discount on PSN sale items. Currently PS Plus subscribers get a further reduction on selected sale titles. This in itself wouldn’t entice me to remain a subscriber but combined with the suggestions above would be the icing on the pretty good cake. I don’t see this one happening but a further 5% reduction would be a welcome nod to its subscribers.
Let me know your thoughts on the change. Do you like it, do you want more from it, or does this put you off renewing your subscription in March 2019? I’m on twitter @nova_47 or follow our PlayStation Forecast account @PS_Forecast for more of our thoughts from the world of PlayStation.