PlayStation Plus: The Best Premium Online Deal Yet
There's nothing I hate more than wasting money on something that doesn't deliver. It's why I'm extremely picky about games I buy at full price, and why I haven't yet bought a pair of 3D glasses for my new 3D TV; at $200 apiece, I'm not only convinced the price will fall, but I also have absolutely no real reason to own the item in question. At least, not yet. Therefore, for subscribing to PlayStation Plus, I had best receive what I consider to be my money's worth. Seriously.
And you know, regardless of whether you select the 3-month ($17.99) or the 12-month ($49.99) option, I've concluded that PSN users are getting a damn good deal. I've spent some time going over the benefits and sort of doing a cost vs. reward comparison, and for the life of me, I can't quite see how anybody who even spends a minimal amount of time on the Network can't consider it a good buy. The following is a list of new features thanks to Plus and firmware update 3.40 (which of course is free):
Rating games you've purchased on the PSN: Nice. This should really help users who are unsure of a particular downloadable game purchase...even if it sort of infringes on our importance as reviewers. ;)
Trophy freaks, catch the Trophy level of your Friends instantly: I'm not the biggest Trophy fan in the world, but just to be able to see the Trophy level of PSN Friends is bound to be an appreciated feature.
Free stuff, discounts, goodies: Geez, one might expect some worthless little PSN tidbit tossed your way when you sign up, but you really do get a significant amount of worthwhile, money-saving bonuses the instant you're a member. It doesn't end with the temporary bonus of LittleBigPlanet for new subscribers, but even whole games like Wipeout HD can be had for free. You really gonna complain?
By the way, basic PSN stuff is still FREE: You know, the Plus complainers seem to forget this. Plus is an option; if you want to peruse the Store and play games online, all of that is still free of charge. Xbox Live forces you to pay for many of the things you get for free with the PSN, and that's the plain and simple truth.
New incentives, month after month: So many programs that ask you to pay a fee have plenty of sign-up incentives, but everything sort of ends after that. Not with PlayStation Plus. Although some of the current bonuses could be considered "old" by current standards, the exclusive content and discounts will continue to counteract the cost of your subscription. In just adding up the discounts, I've determined that you really only need to buy a few downloadable games here and there during the course of your membership term for the savings to equal or surpass the cost.
This isn't about money; it's about the fans: Sony has long since catered to their fans with unfailing dedication (despite some high costs that often go along with new hardware). Look at the Plus incentives: they're for gamers. Sure, there's the Facebook integration and a few other interesting features for technophiles, but the free and exclusive DLC, early access to demos, discounts, and overall treatment - that definitely feels as if you're a proper member of a premium club - just screams fan appreciation. Furthermore, it's not just for people who play games online; I rarely do that, and I still love what Plus brings to the table.
A one-year Plus subscription comes to about $4/month. The only way this could possibly seem like a bad deal is if you never touch the PSN. I mean, four bucks a month?! That could easily be vindicated with extremely minor activity and in the long run, what you receive for that modest fee should vastly outstrip any financial hurt. In the end, Plus is a service for gamers that proves itself immediately and shows every indication of being a must for PlayStation brand owners and fans.
6/29/2010 8:37:23 PM Ben Dutka