All You Need to Know About PlayStation Plus, Plus More

June 24, 2010 Written by Christopher Gordon-Douglas

Since its announcement at E3 there have been a lot of comments and questions surrounding some of the details of PlayStation Plus which is set to launch on June 29th. Boasting a host of bonus content such as free PSN games as well as discounts from the PlayStation Store. We’ve got all the info you need right here…

First off, at launch, PlayStation Plus will offer subscribers WipEout HD, PSP minis. Also offered is PS One Classics Fieldrunners, Age of Zombies and Rally Cross, full game trial of inFamous, and free episodes of Qore. Whereas in PAL reigons you will receive a full digital download of Little Big Planet, KillZone 2: Steel & Titanium DLC, automatic push download demos of ModNation Racers and Heavy Rain as well as the full PSN version of WipEout HD and plenty more.

With this slew of new information and content, Sony has been gracious enough to answer some of the question posed to them by some sceptical and confused customers over at the PS Blog. Check it out below.

  • The current PSN features will remain free. We are still very committed to PSN as a free comprehensive entertainment service and are certainly not planning on reducing this service following the launch of PlayStation Plus.
  • PlayStation Plus is an evolving service and the features included at launch will be:
    • Games
    • PS Store Discounts
    • Exclusive offers on select demos, betas and early purchases
    • Full Game Trial
    • Automatic Downloads
  • (More info on these below)

  • PlayStation Plus can be purchased through PlayStation Store on PS3 as a one-year package or a three-month package. The three-month package is available for $17.99 and the one-year package will be available for $49.99. We will also be offering three additional bonus months for free if you purchase the 1-year package — that’s 15 months total for $49.99.
  • Payment is a one-time fee for either package and can be purchased with any of the current PSN Store payment methods – credit card or PSN Cards.
  • PlayStation Plus is for PS3 owners as subscribership can only be purchased on the PSN Store. However, some of the content – minis and PS One Classics – available each month will also be playable on your PSP if you have one. Download them on the PS3 and transfer to your PSP, or download directly from the PSP Store or Media Go for PSP.
  • Here are more details on the features of PlayStation Plus:

    Games & Special Offers: As a subscriber, you can expect to get your hands on free monthly PSN games, minis and PS One Classics from the PSN Store. You will be able to download these games during the month they are available until the new selection replaces them.

    Once downloaded, the games are yours to keep and play as long as you are a member of PlayStation Plus. If your subscription lapses and then you re-subscribe, the games you have already downloaded will reactivate, so you still have access to them. Additionally, if you delete one of the titles from your PS3, but decide you want to get it back, then you can re-download from the PlayStation Plus section of the PSN Store if the game is still there, or, if the game has expired from the PlayStation Plus section of the PSN Store, you can simply search for it on PS Store and download it again at no extra cost.

    Each month there will be dynamic themes, premium avatars and premium game elements/add-ons for you to download and many will be exclusive to PlayStation Plus members only. These are yours to keep forever once you have downloaded them.

    PlayStation Plus subscribers will also be given exclusive PlayStation Store discounts each month that are above and beyond the current PSN Store discounts available to everyone. These discounts will range from 20% to 50%, and anything you buy with these is yours to keep and enjoy forever.

    Finally, wherever possible we’ll be making sure that members are included in selected demos and beta trials before they go live to everyone else, so you can be the one to tell all your friends about the next big game they ‘must’ get.

    Subscribers will get hundreds of dollars of value through the year and, in the first month alone, will receive more than $50 worth of content.

    Full Game Trial: Each month we will be offering members the chance to download full games and try them out for a period of time (one hour, unless otherwise stated). After the game trial is complete, simply purchase the game to carry on where you left off. This is a unique way to trial the full game experience and means you don’t have to be restricted to certain levels/game modes when you test out a game.

    The games in Full Game Trial will become available to all PS Store users to purchase, but only PlayStation Plus members will have the chance to ‘try before you buy’.

    The other great thing about this feature is that you can continue from where you were at the end of the trial period if you decide to buy the game. All game saves and trophies earned during the trial will be unlocked and will show up on your trophy list and your trophy level when you purchase the game. You don’t even have to re-download the game, just purchase and go back to the XMB to access the game.

    Automatic Download: Subscribers will be able to set their PS3 to wake up from standby at any time of the day or night, download and install any game updates for the games you have been playing so you don’t have to think about it. Also, select demos and videos will be pushed to your PS3 ready to go. System software updates will also download automatically (manual install still required) and then the PS3 will turn itself off again.

    Game updates and demos will also automatically install and the next time you turn on your PS3 you will see a brief on-screen message letting you know what has been downloaded and updated.

    Here are some more answers to frequently asked questions from the last blog post:

  • Cross-game voice chat is a feature we know our passionate user base has asked for and we’ll continue to look at as a viable offering for the PlayStation Network.
  • You need to be the master account holder on the PS3 and be over 18 to purchase PlayStation Plus, but other accounts on that PS3 will be able to play the games you download for as long as you are a subscriber.
  • The “free” games you can download each month are yours to keep for as long as you are a subscriber.

PlayStation Plus is set to launch on 29th of June, along with firmware 3.40.