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. Excellent article. I think my PSN spending must be less than £100, I’ve only bought the odd thing here and there… erm now I’ve typed that.. Wipeout £20, Killzone Maps £10, Stardust, Astrotripper, couple of movies…er.. damn maybe it s more than I thought.

  2. Without actually adding up what I’ve spent on the PSN, I would estimate it to be somewhere in the region of £200-£300. That’s just on PSN games and DLC, so that figure would be considerably higher if I included retail purchases also!!

  3. The fact I have over 600 songs on singstar alone tells me I have blown your spending out of the water for a fact. Considering I have 25+ PSN games (GT5 Prolouge, Burnout, and all the pixel junk games to name a few) and 20 PSone classics.

    Thats why I have signed up to PSN + to kerb my spending but still keep the games coming.

  4. I have spent more than £1200.

    Do i win?

  5. I can’t help but to think of Heavy Rain when I see “JASON JASON JASON” in that graph. XD

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