E3 2010: Sony Announces Playstation Plus, A New Subscription Service For PSN

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Sony Computer Entertainment has announced that it will offer PlayStation Plus, a new subscription service package on PSN. In addition to the current free-to-use existing features and services, PS Plus brings value-added offerings including exclusive services and content on June 29th 2010 worldwide. PlayStation Plus will be available in different subscription options of 90 days (US: $17.99, Europe: euro 14.99) and a year (US: $49.99, Europe: euro 49.99).

PlayStation Plus features include:

  • Full game trials – Members will have access to full versions of selected PS3 and PSN titles including PS one Classics. Titles will be available for download for a stated period allowing members to be able to play the full version of the game. Even after the trial period expires, users will be able to continue playing the game by purchasing the game on-line
  • Games – Member will be able to play the full version of PS3 downloadable and PSN titles including PS one Classics and minis with no limit of time as long as membership is effective.  These games will become available exclusively for PlayStation Plus members at no extra cost.
  • Special content – Content such as avatars and custom themes, many of which are exclusive, will become available for members at no extra cost.
  • Discounts – Members will have access to exclusive discounts on designated PS3 and PSP titles.
  • Early access – Members will have early access to designated new game beta trials, game demos and video content prior to public distribution.
  • Automatic content downloads and updates – PS3 will automatically download and install designated game demos and game updates and also download the system software update data.  PS3 will automatically start up at a designated time to download content and will turn off after the download has completed.

Personally I’m not too excited or optimistic about this new service. So far services on PS3 have pretty much come without a price tag. As a PS3 owner that is a point of pride for me. We’re not paying for something like Xbox Live, we get all that for free. When Sony decides to do something like this I lose a little faith. Considering the extortionist prices for most PSN content now, this new service seems a bit unfair. I have a feeling it may divide the PS3 community since essentially it creates a divide between the regular users and ‘elite’ members of PSN. Most of us can barely afford the price of games, let alone additional charged services. True the service sounds good but it still seems a bad move. It should either have been free, which I suppose isn’t really a viable option in the real world, or maybe they could have even provided it as an award for reaching a certain level in our trophy collections. Some sort of loyalty system anyway.

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Steve Curd
I live in the UK, I am 23 years old and have been a gamer all my life. I studied psychology, sociology, english literature and IT in college and went on to study psychology and IT in university. Aside from gaming my greatest passions are rock music, reading and writing. In my spare time I am a novelist, I write a mixture of science fiction and fantasy, and I also keep an autobiographical account of my life although at present I am unpublished.