- Game Subscription services saved us from paying full price for every game, bestowing the ability to enjoy a myriad of different titles.
- PS Plus provided excellent features, but Sony suddenly issued a whopping 33% price increase with no additional benefits which has earned the wrath of many fans.
- With better pricing now and the benefit of Day One releases, Game Pass is shaping up to be an excellent contender, and PS Plus could lose its standing among fans due to greedy practices.
Have you ever experienced a dilemma when a new game catches your eye? Something like I wish to try it, but is it worth spending on? I indeed went through these feelings, but subscription services became a godsend for these troubles. If a game interests you and it’s available in the subscription service, throw away all doubt and give it a try, it won’t cost you anything more than usual.
Services like Game Pass and PS Plus certainly made gaming a lot more accessible and facilitated the exposure of lesser-known titles. Since you won’t have to pay for them, you’ll be eager to undertake new experiments. And if players end up liking it, nothing better for the game. The most important thing is that they’re a much more affordable alternative. However, PS Plus’s whopping 33% price hike has us wondering, are they truly so?
PlayStation Plus price has increased
Essential – $79.99
Extra – $134.99
Premium – $159.99
— Wario64 (@Wario64) August 30, 2023
PS Plus Brought Nothing To Justify The Price Surge
Game prices have always been a concern for gamers as not everyone can afford to pay full price for a game. Amidst those worries, the new PlayStation Plus descended as our savior. The prior PS Plus was simply an online-play service that provided a few free games every month and allowed online multiplayer. However, the renewed PS Plus brought many features for an extra price. The original service was renamed to PS Plus Essential, and two new tiers were added to it.
PS Plus Extra ($14.99/month, $99.99/year) brought a library with a handsome selection of games that can be accessed, alongside the benefits of the Essential tier. Next was PS Plus Premium, which provided additional benefits of streaming old classics and timed demos of new releases. Premium’s benefits were questionable at best; problematic and disconnection-frequent streaming rather than native ports are difficult to pay more for.
Extra, however, was a pretty good deal. You get an excellent collection of games to play natively, access to the monthly free games, online multiplayer, and an additional surprise for PS5 players; a collection of PS4’s best hits, all for a justified price of $99.99 a year. It’s truly regrettable to see the service showing signs of corporate greed, as Sony suddenly increased the prices by an absurd amount.
While the monthly plans remain unchanged, the more affordable and certainly the smarter choice, yearly plans have all gone up by as much as $40 for the Premium, and an average 33% increase overall. Essential went from $59.99 to $79.99, Extra from $99.99 to $134.99 and Premium from $119.99 to $159.99. Let me ask you a question, Is there any way this outrageous increase can be justified?
I’m not saying prices should never increase; that would be nothing but wishful thinking. But if they do, there should be a good reason. If the service brought some additional benefits or features, you wouldn’t have seen me complaining. But that is the core of the problem; nothing new and yet asking a whopping 40 dollars more? I don’t know about you but my decision to purchase it certainly faltered.
An acceptable strategy to justify this price hike would have been to modify the benefits it offers. I know seeing Day One releases is a little farfetched, but at least they should’ve expanded the game library. If this decision was accompanied by some pretty significant games reaching the service, there wouldn’t have been much room to complain. Fans have been demanding native ports of classics for a long time, yet there’s no news on that front.
Game Pass Is Starting To Feel A Much Greater Option
It’s decisions like these that dishearten loyal fans the most and force them to look for alternative options. I’ve been a PlayStation fan for a pretty considerable time now, and I still couldn’t help but acknowledge Xbox’s Game Pass did some things much better than PS Plus and they reflected in its popularity. To top it all off, consider the service’s Day One releases, its most impressive feature.
Titles that make their way to the Game Pass are available right as they are released. You don’t need to buy the game or wait for its availability on the service. The ability to play a game as soon as it’s released is a pretty strong point. This not only helps consumers but can be a saving grace for a particular game too. Obscure games that interest at first glance but are too unknown to risk spending are the perfect options on Game Pass.
In addition, this can benefit games that although are loads of fun, but full price is a little too much to ask. Exoprimal is a perfect example. Capcom’s latest Dinosaur shooter although an exceptionally fun adventure, does not have enough content to justify the $60 price. This feature is something PS Plus should have brought from the get-go, let alone still no plans for it.
Next up is pricing, which is the reason for this debate. Xbox-only Game Pass is $10.99/month or $60/year, while the PC Game Pass is $9.99/month. And then to combine everything, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is available for $16.99/month. You could also get discounted offers ($1 plans). We see there wasn’t much value difference between PS Plus and Game Pass, considering factors like game selection and features. But now, the scales tip greatly in the favor of Game Pass.
Xbox version aside, I can’t stress enough how good the PC Game Pass is. For a highly competitive price, you get access to an excellent selection of games, and what’s more, you get to play new releases on Day One at no additional price. Even the most anticipated AAA hits make their way to the service like the upcoming Starfield. With all these features and now much superior pricing, Game Pass’s attractiveness is higher than ever.
PS Plus’ Reputation Might Take A Hit
When I say this, I’m sure I don’t represent everyone as there will be many people who still buy it. However, the opposite is also true as this decision has earned the disappointment of a great many gamers. We know gaming platforms have always been severely competitive, the PC vs. Console and Xbox vs. PlayStation have become routine debates. In the end, they all provide certain benefits to attract the audience and people lean towards the one with better strategies.
Although a gaming system is a hefty price, it’s a one-time investment that can be managed. However, not everyone can afford to pay full price for every new game that interests them. Thus, before these subscriptions existed, people leaned toward game rental services, and some still do. For a fixed routine fee, you could enjoy a large number of titles. As easier alternatives to these, subscription services became a quick hit and clashed with each other.
Affordability has always been one of the major reasons behind the choice between two competitors. It is not just limited to gaming, whenever two similar products arrive, price is a critical deciding factor. If one product provides a better bang for the buck, people will go for it. Thus, the availability of a cheaper alternative with a pretty strong plus point and a highly lackluster September lineup is going to hurt PS Plus’ repute sooner or later.
This pricing becomes a lot more valid issue when coupled with the fact it brought no justifiable features or upgrades. Now Game Pass has Day One releases, as well as better pricing; PS Plus’ advantages are dwindling fast. It’s heartwrenching to see greed crush these consumer-friendly services and turn them into nothing more than a source of money. I hope Sony realizes the errors of its ways and at least introduces some new benefits in the upcoming State of Play to go along with the increased price.
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