Today Sony announced the PlayStation Plus. The domain registration (yup: PlayStationPlus.com) was spotted by bloggers some time ago, there have been theories, but now we know for certain.
What is PlayStation Plus? PlayStation Plus is a premium subscription service. Users pay up and get access to extra bonuses such as full game trials, automatic downloads, access to betas, special offers and other free stuff. PlayStation Plus users may also get access to extra game features.
What are these PlayStation Plus special offers? First up; members get discounts and early access to some demos and trials. IN addition, the special offers include PSN games, mini games, PS one classic games, PlayStation game add-ons as well as extra dynamic themes and premium avatars. This blogger thinks it’s the premium avatars that will make PlayStation Plus a status symbol among Home users.
Okay, what is Full Game Trial? You get to download the full game – all of it – and play it for a limited period of time. In theory, if you’re fast, you could complete the entire game without having to pay for it. However, trophies are only unlocked if you purchase the game and the free-to-play period of time will vary from game to game.
Tell me more about PlayStation Plus Automatic Downloads. Firstly, you need to activate these even after you’ve bought your PlayStation Plus account (go to Settings -> [System Settings] on the XMB). Once you’ve done that then system software updates, some demos and game updates will be automatically downloaded to your PS3. Not sure whether this happens only in idle or whether it’ll happen in the background while you play – but, either way, people with rubbish download limits may need to be cautious – especially if Sony push fat demos in this way.
Does PlayStation Plus have an age restriction? It does! PlayStation Plus status is restricted to over 18s only. This is good news – I’m sure Sony are doing this in case the PlayStation Plus Automatic Downloads grab mature/mature-ish demos but it also means a premium avatar means the person you’re talking to in Home is less likely to be a snotty 15 year old git.
Is it possible to transfer PlayStation Plus membership to another account like a Sub Account? Nope! The PlayStation Plus membership is restricted to one log in. The girlfriend and I share a single PS3; we each have a login, so we’ll each have to pay for PlayStation Plus memberships. Boo.
Does the PlayStation Plus account across the PSP as well as the PS3? Yup. A single PlayStation Plus account covers both PlayStation 3 and PSP. If you download content it can be used on both your PS3 and PSP – although, clearly, that only works if it’s the type of content that works on the PSP in the first place, etc.
There are some wriggles; the full game trials and automatic downloads are not compatible with the PSP. It’s also worth noting that you can’t use you the PlayStation Store on the PSP or Go to join PlayStation Plus – you’ve got to do this from a PS3.
Okay, so how much does PlayStation Plus membership cost? I don’t think it’s too bad; a single year membership costs £39.00 (or €49.99) or £11.99 for a 90-day membership. I can’t be bothered with the 90-day teaser myself. Hopefully Sony will offer two year deals with an extra discount but they’re not available yet. Do you need to register a credit card? Nope! (although it helps for the automatic renewal). Can you use PlayStation Network Cards to pay? Yup! See; you know your granny bought you that for a reason!
If I accidentally delete the PlayStation Plus content can I get it back? You muppet! You can only download a Full Game Trial once, so watch that delete button, but if other content is still available for download then you can download it again.
If you don’t like it – can you cancel? Not really (unless you live in a country that has some cool laws that force companies to be kinder). If you pull that plug then you get what you paid for and still have to pay the full whack but, of course, you’re not going to automatically re-new when that runs out.