Why I Love PlayStation Plus

It’s funny, really: we first heard about PlayStation Plus back in March 2010, except at that point nobody knew what it was. Indeed, our excerpt for the post was “are you our premium service, then?” – an innocent question that Sony didn’t really answer until later in the year when the service was fully announced and detailed.

I’ve been an open sceptic of the paid-for ‘upgraded’ PlayStation Network since then, I already pay for Live and use that about six times a year, so presumed that splashing out the hard earned on something similar for the PlayStation 3 would be of similar value: on a personal level, for someone that doesn’t do a lot of online gaming – next to none.

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But PlayStation Plus is a bit different.  It’s not really like the Xbox 360’s Silver and Gold service, which is more concerned with enabling online multiplayer rather than bulking up the console’s functionality.  Yes, you get the odd cheap deal and earlier access to certain demos with Gold, but PlayStation Plus seems to (at least in my eyes) go the extra mile.

[boxout]Which is?  Automatic downloads.  We hinted at such a facility a couple of times – once here, and again here – but when Plus launched it wasn’t really something that Sony pushed to the forefront, and it’d passed me by in amongst all the weekly offers and talk of exclusive betas.

But I’ve a huge disdain for the way PS3 updates were done (they were usually far too weighty and you couldn’t let them sit in the background) so the ability to let Plus do this for you is a wonderful thing.

I only signed up for PlayStation Plus two nights ago, and each night since, at around 2am, it’s woken up the console and set about grabbing all manner of things for me, including what must have been a series of colossal-sized Pain updates (usually the worst) and a few other items here and there.  The result: I no longer have to wait for the PS3 to update a game when I want to play it.

Of course, the service isn’t flawless – I can’t expect Plus to check every game I’ve ever played but it does seem to be covering the bases – I’ve been wanting to throw people out of a catapult for ages but couldn’t face the download, and whilst I know you can cancel them and play offline, that’s hardly the point.

The point is, that in addition to the great offers that seem to pepper the Store (I grabbed Stacking, which was free, for example) it’s these little things that run in the background when I’m away from the PlayStation 3 that impress me the most.  The idea is simple, but the execution is great.

Yes, I know I’m late to the party, and yes – it could be a little cheaper, but consider me a subscriber.

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55 Comments

  1. Loved it when I first got it, love the services it offers.

    For the bulk of the time I’ve been with it thoughive been disappointed with the content, sure theres the odd good month but in the main it’s not.

    For example, a game is released people who are interested buy it, much later it’s reduced in price in a sale & people semi-interested buy it, and later still it’s given away in PS+

    This puts me in a dilemma of what to buy at launch, which is a lot less than I used to, then there’s the issue of it never appearing in PS+ and me missing out.

    I love PS+ services though like auto-download of FW updates etc & I hope they expand this side of it before my renewal period is up.

    • I never get people thinking like that. I have Plus too yet I still buy something when I want it. So what if I get something I already have?

      • I agree. If there’s a game you want for say £7.99, why wait MONTHS because there’s a slight possibility it’ll be reduced/free? Just buy it when it comes out.

      • I don’t want to pay twice for something, who would?

      • Who says you are? Have you got your money’s worth out of it yet? If you have, you’re just getting extra ffree stuff.

      • Dunno it’s hard to quantify, I’ve got a load of stuff I wouldn’t have bought anyway whether it’s PSN/PS1/Minis, so it’s value to me is zero, then there’s the stuff (month after month) which I already own (which is mainly why I stopped buying stuff) then there’s the odd gem which I love.

        tbh I wish they’d just do a cheaper, lite version with auto-updates, clouds saves etc, and not include any content which I’m quite happy to buy myself.

      • wow, the value to you is zero because you wouldn’t have bought those games in the first place…I’ll try that logic when I’m in HMV tomorrow…

        “I’m not really interested in these 20 games, if you could just put them in a bag for me I’ll be off thank you”

        you are not paying for plus just to get free games, you get betas, early demos, free full game trials and so on, (this is coming from someone who hasn’t ever used plus, and probably never will) I think it’s a good service, if you want to use it, and as usual Sony isn’t forcing it down anyone’s throat.

  2. I’ve been a plus subscriber from day one and think it’s great value for money. Plenty of freebies and automatic downloads as mentioned. Consider me a fan of the plus club.

    • But they’re not free!

      • LOL you’re right. It baffles me when people will pay £40, so that they can get like 2 or 3 £ off of old PSN games! :/

      • There will always be this argument with PS+. Some people find it value for money, as i do, but there will always be people who don’t see/find value in it. I wasn’t big on PSN content and rarely bought a game off it, without plus, I wouldnt have bothered with most of the games so far, but then I would have missed out on some real Gems (CUBOID!!!!)

      • old PSN games there are day one discounts.

      • @HandBanana: this month, I got this old stuff from PSN called Stacking for free. Needless to say, I’m ashamed of the service!

      • @ruinereraser

        No you didn’t. You got it as a part of your paid subscription. Yes it’s a good deal for many people, but using the word “free” isn’t accurate.

        Btw stacking is fun and I am happy it was included in ps+, if anyone isn’t a subscriber then get the demo and try it.

  3. The background downloads are useful, though I do think Sony need to give us some more actual features for our money, the incoming cloud saves are a great start.

    I’m not too fussed about Betas or demos, but the discounts/giveaways are good, though it is a bit of a gamble as to whether you are getting content you already own. The thing I like about PS+ though is the simple fact you do get something new to play with each month. Just having a new dynamic theme each month keeps your system feeling fresh.

    On the whole though, I think PS+ is a service that will get better and better with time. There is already talk of more features and getting Stacking for free this month was a fantastic surprise. If they continue to the way they are going I couldn’t fault them.

  4. Thanks for reminding me of what I’m missing out on, sounds like a very neat featuret this. I’ve yet to get PS Plus, though it is very tempting, seems like quite the luxurious service. But for now I’m barely managing to hold back (tight gaming budget), though if the Uncharted 3 beta turns out to be a PS Plus only goodie, I’ll be jumping on the bandwagon me aswell…

  5. I’m not a huge + fan, but last year when they gave away all of the fallout 3 DLC to members I just had to subscribe. £11.99 for all the F3 packs was insane value!

  6. I feel like I’ve missed out but then again, I’ve bought a fair bit of content from the store and I don’t perticuarly like that idea that once my subscription is over I lose access to the content.

    • Some stuff you get to keep (discounted games/dlc, themes, avatars) it’s usually full games/dlc/PS1 classics that are free where you loose them after your sub ends

  7. Out of interest, how does it choose which patches to check for and download?

    • Last 10 games you played

      • As soon as I hear / read that a patch is available for a game I own, I will load it up for a min but then quit out, that way it will get picked up on the auto download.

    • yea, that’s my biggest complaint about it… i would LOVE for it to slowly, over the course of months, patch EVERYTHING. i hate going back to a game i haven’t played in a year and discovering i need to dl a patch — this always happens right when my wife decides she wants to play some co-op game with me.

      • Agreed. As long as there is game data on the system it should be on the list of patches to download (configurable obviously, for those that have metered/capped internet)

        But why you would bother with the ps3 if your wife wants to “play co-op” is beyond me.

    • So where I have over 200 games (including PSN ones), it is barely any use for me.

  8. I signed up two days ago too. Auto update are great and getting great games for free soon became too much to miss out. I must admit that Stacking was the game that forced my hand (and bank card) to jump in.

  9. I’m with you on the Pain update, i had to download 6 of them. And when i played it, i never wanted to play it again. :(
    Automatic updates would certainly take the trauma out of it and PS+ has some great brand new content included these days so it’s becoming more difficult to ignore. I’m on the brink of subscribing but might wait just a teensy bit longer.

    • This is what is stopping me from playing pain.

  10. Nofi, if you were not aware, you can change the background downloading time to a more suitable hour if you so wish.

    • I think it’s the PS3 that’s woken up, not him.
      If that’s waking him up, I would humbly suggest to great leader to clean his PS3’s fan. ;)

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