My PSN Spending

When this console ‘generation’ dawned I was very much against the idea of digital content. The thought of buying games and add-ons that I could not physically stand on a shelf next to my scores of PS1, PS2 and other games was utterly abhorrent.

Yet by the time the first purchasable games went up on the PSN, a week after the PS3’s launch in March 2007 here in the UK, me and my credit card were ready and waiting.  So what had changed since Microsoft’s Xbox 360 had kicked off this console generation in December 2005?

For me the key thing was that Sony were letting me pay using actual currency rather than some made-up points-based system so I knew exactly how much I was spending without having to multiply by 0.85.

On top of that as long as I was spending more than £5 I could load my PSN wallet with the exact amount I needed instead of being forced to buy points by the 1,000 when most things are priced in multiples of 400.

Then there was Sony’s ace-in-the-hole in that first week of purchasable content on the PSN – flOw.  A staggeringly beautiful and different game that played to the PlayStation 3’s key strengths of high definition graphics and SixAxis motion control.

I could have bought 2 PS3s and a Wii with that!

In the three and a bit years since then I have bought 155 pieces of digital content off the PSN Store.  Add up the prices of all that content at the time of purchase and it comes to the frankly amazing total of £680.68.  That’s right, I have bought almost seven hundred pounds worth of digital content from the PSN Store.

My actual spend is less than that though as since PSN Cards became available in the UK I have mostly been buying those at 10 or 20 percent off and using those to load my PSN wallet instead of a credit card.

Of course, that means I rarely now load the wallet with exactly the right amount of money which was one of the things I liked about PSN at the start.  This plays straight into Sony’s hands as now when I have a few pence left I tend to use it to buy things like the Flower avatars which is something I would not have dreamt of doing a year ago.

Those avatars are far from the only content that I would never have bought from a retail source other than the PSN Store.  The images at the foot of the post contain the full list of what I have bought and when, including those items I wish I could go back and get a refund for once the initial excitement of a game’s release had passed.  *cough* t-shirt *cough*

Adding up my PSN spending on a per-game basis, these are the top five games and how much I have spent on them:

  1. Burnout Paradise (game and DLC), £71.53
  2. SingStar (songs and song packs), £45.22
  3. LittleBigPlanet (levels and costumes), £29.52
  4. Blue Toad Murder Files, £19.98 (what was I thinking?)
  5. Pain (game, characters, levels), £19.37

Here is a graph of how much I have spent each month:

Graph - Monthly PSN Spend

PlayStation Plus

What got me thinking about all this was signing up for PlayStation Plus last month.  I wondered how much that would impact my PSN spending given all the ‘free’ and reduced price content.  The fact that I have spent over £30 on the PSN Store in the month following the launch of PS+ means the answer may very well be “not very much”.

Given that we do not have any visibility of what titles are likely to feature on PS+ over the year the dilemma facing PS+ subscribers that may decide the fate of the service is that when a PSN title comes out do you buy it then or wait a year hoping that PS+ will feature it?

At the moment PS+ gets the benefit of the doubt from me, though ultimately, like so many things in the PlayStation universe, our answer to the question may depend on which side of the Atlantic we live.  Let’s look at the ‘free’ content the PS+ subscription has given UK users in its first month (deliberately excluding the sign-up-now limited-time promotional copy of LBP, not that it makes much difference):

  • Games and DLC
    – Wipeout HD
    – Field Runners
    – Age of Zombies
    – Destruction Derby
    – KillZone 2:  Steel & Titanium DLC
  • Themes and Avatars
    – LBP Theme
    – SCEE produced: PlayStation “Game Is Just The Start” Dynamic Theme
    – Fat Princess: Pink Princess Avatar
    – Fat Princess: Blue Princess Avatar

And now the comparative list for US PS+ subscribers:

  • Games and DLC
    – WipEout HD
    – Rally Cross
    – Age of Zombies
    – Field Runners
    – Critter Crunch
    – Syphon Filter
    – Kahoots
    – Warhawk Fallen Star Pack
    – Cuboid Booster Pack
    – Cuboid Bundle Pack
    – Cuboid Level Editor
    – Magic Orbz Booster Pack
    – Magic Orbz Jungle Pack
    – Magic Orbz Winter Pack
    – Mahjong Tales: Ancient Wisdom Booster Pack
    – Smash Cars: Virus Run
    – Qore Episode 26 (I know it’s not really a game)
  • Themes and Avatars
    – Collision Theme
    – King Zumo Theme
    – MAG Raven Dynamic Theme
    – MAG S.V.E.R. Dynamic Theme
    – MAG Valor Dynamic Theme
    – Bloody Escape Theme
    – Fat Princess: Pink Princess Avatar
    – Fat Princess: Blue Princess Avatar
    – MAG Raven Character Avatar
    – MAG SVER Character Avatar
    – MAG Valor Character Avatar
    – LittleBigPlanet – Sackboy Avatar
    – Heavy Rain Origami Swan Avatar

I will spare SCEE further blushes and not list the games and DLC that have had discounts applied to their purchase for PS+ subscribers as the score there is a similar UK 4, US 19.  It is also open to question how much of an improvement we can expect given SCEE have stated more than once that:

Each month there will be a selection of 1x PSN game, 2x minis and 1x PS One classics. [And] there will be 2 dynamic themes, 2 premium avatars and premium game elements/add-ons for you to download…

It almost seems that between SCEE and SCEA there is some confusion about whether that is monthly or weekly content.  While it is hard to argue against the £40 that a PlayStation Plus subscription costs as being good value for money, how many of us when it comes time to renew our subscriptions in eleven months time will take fairness into consideration.

So that’s the story of my PSN spending and some reflection on the first month of PlayStation Plus.  Do you know how much you have spent or does the thought of totalling it all up scare you?  Is there anything you really wish you could take back for a refund?  If you are a PS+ subscriber, what do you think so far?

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69 Comments

  1. Brilliant article Greg, and something that most of try to avoid as the amounts are staggering…brave man, I’ll just say over £1000 and leave it at that lol ;)

    • WHAT FREEZE!?!?!?!?! Mine barly touches £100….I think….no I hope….

      • I spent that nearly on just Burnout and DLC for the game lol.

    • Ah, I must stress that I was totalling complete PS3 spending, console and all, but I would guess that PSN has seen probs £200-£300 spent on goodies in my case.

  2. dont know why, as history dictates otherwise
    but i always have a small amount of hope, that maybe someday
    scee & scea will be on a lvl playing field

    regardless i still want & will buy dlc & the odd full game
    its actually not so much the amount of €£$ that concerns me its the space on hdrive

    (i really must get round to trans all none game content to old 60gb hd now external
    running 250gb atm)

  3. I’m currently at 85 titles – not including add-ons and DLC or Home purchases… i dread to add it all up but for the most part i’ve gotten value for money. If i hadn’t bought so many i would probably have jumped to subscribe to playstation plus but it seems to have come too late to be of any benefit to me now.

  4. Man I also spent money on Blue Murder Files…Wow that was a waste…

  5. You’ve definitely got me beat. But I thought I had only spent around $80~$90, but after totaling up all of my receipts from ([email protected]) I seem to have spent exactly $207.21.
    Holy shit.

    • And counting my games on Blu ray I’ve totaled uo to $705. That’s not including tax.
      While I love my games, I all of a sudden wish that I never would have received my PS3… I’d be fucking rich.

  6. Only question i have: i registered last week to the US PSN Plus and can’t see Wipeout anywhere…where do i get it?

  7. OH. MY. GOD.

    For some reason I decided to do what you just did expecting mine to total around 200 quid. Boy was I wrong, 553 pounds and 7 pennies.

    153 on PSN Titles
    20 on PS1 Classics
    75 on PSP Games
    95 on RB DLC
    131 on Other DLC
    And 78 on Minis/Themes/FirstPlay/PSN+

    I actually feel sick, that is completely ridiculous. I’m ashamed to see just how much money I’ve wasted on stuff I barely even play. Only things I’m happy with out of the plethora of items I’ve bought about 4 PSN games and all of my RB Tracks.

  8. I’ve spent a bit but have been quite choosey about what I’ve bought – with disc based stuff you can trade it in to keep costs down, but with PSN titles you’re stuck. I know that’s an obvious point to make but it does help me to rationalise my spending. I’ve signed up to PSN+ as it suites me at the mo’ and in the hope that the current service is just the start of bigger and better things.

  9. I love a good graph :D This was an amazing read

  10. My case must have been somewhat the opposite in that, at the beginning of the generation I was quite excited about PSN stuff, but as time went on my interest grew less and less.

    I can’t think of a single DLC addon that I’ve bought and later found to be worth either the money or the time, and my interest in Minis or PSP content is pretty much zero.

    That leaves PSN games, some of which I’m really glad I have bought, but at the end of the day I never seem to find the time or the inclination to play them when the alternative is playing one of the so many retail titles I still have sitting on the shelf.

    Then again, I have both current-gen consoles, a Wii, a PS2 that still sees quite some use and a top-specced gaming PC, so my spending in gaming hardware alone probably outweighs my PSN spendings 20 to 1.

    Oh, and then there’s Steam. Now THAT’s probably been a black hole for my money in the last year, and all for games that I haven’t played either.

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