Ask PSLS: The Value of PlayStation Plus

August 28, 2014Written by Chandler Wood


Ask PSLS is a feature that sources questions from our community of readers via TwitterFacebookthe forums, and even your emails. If you have a question for the staff to answer, contact us at any of those channels and you could be featured on the next Ask PSLS, with the possibility of winning a prize for being chosen!

This week’s questions derives from not one community member, but all of you, as recent attacks on the PSN occurred and September’s titles for the Instant Game Collection were announced. Many are voicing their disappointment in PlayStation Plus as a paid service, citing reasons like “lack of security” on the online network and another “terrible month” of Plus free games, which prompted me to ask the question:

“Is there value in PlayStation Plus, both on the free games side of things, as well as paying to play online?”

Plus memberships in hand, we took to our computers to write up our own feelings of the value that PlayStation Plus is giving us as PlayStation gamers. 

Cameron Teague

Personally, I think that there is an insane amount of value in PlayStation Plus, even more so now that it is required to play online in most games. However, even before the paid online, there was huge value and I have gotten to download some awesome games for free throughout the year. I can, however, see where people could have a “What is my money paying for?” attitude, especially in light of the recent attacks on the PSN.

Chandler Wood (@FinchStrife)

Let’s do some math. $50 per year equates to $4.16 per month. With six total games given per month (not to mention cross-buy),  that is 72 games per year. This breaks down to 69 cents per game given out. Regardless of if you like it, play it, or already own it, the value is there. Say you only like six games out of the 72 given out in the entire year — that is one in every 12 games that is given out — that would mean that you are paying $8.33  for those games. That’s just value in the games given out, don’t forget that there is also online that we pay for in that subscription.

Frankly, I was surprised that Sony maintained free online as long as they did, but never did I imagine that my paid online subscription would come with access to great games! Sony isn’t shoving their online behind a paywall out of greed. It’s out of the fact that keeping free online for that long was hard for them, but they did it for us, the gamers. And now that we have to pay for online, they want to soften the blow a little bit by giving out an insane amount of free games, because they love us, the gamers. 

Don’t let your entitlement blind you to the fact that Sony’s business comes from its fans. Why would they ever do anything to screw over the people that pay to keep them in business? In my eyes, what Sony has done with Plus is an immense value and an amazing answer to  traditional paid online — which used to be “pay $XX per year and you can play online.” They could have just said “Ok, here, PS4 network is $50 a year, paid online,” but they didn’t settle for that. As much as people complain about what they hate, I hope they take the time to go out of their way and thank Sony for the great things they do for us. I know I did. 

D’yani Wood (@Dyani)

PlayStation Plus sometimes seems like something you can easily decide not to buy in order to save money, but if you spend like any amount of time enjoying gaming on your PlayStation 3/4/Vita, it’s extremely worth the money. And the kind of attack that happened to the PSN couldn’t really be affected by the money I am paying for Plus each year anyway. So I don’t really care and/or worry about that.

Dan Oravasaari (@FoolsJoker)

Unless you purchase almost every game that hits the PSN store, you are going to get a great deal of value out of your PS Plus subscription. Even then, with the discounts offered, early access to betas, timed trials and the ability to play online, you will still make up for the annual cost. If you don’t game much, and don’t care about anything other than your one title per year, then you probably wont get as much value out of it. But, that is more on the person avoiding content than it not being worth it. As for the online services, I actually haven’t seen much of an improvement since we have had the paywall added, but I never really had that many issues beforehand, so no change is good for me.

Heath Hindman (@TheHeathHindman)

At the risk of sounding ridiculously old-fashioned, I’m all-physical media all the time. I simply do not play things that only exist digitally — and if I do, I have a laptop for that. And I won’t be paying more than two or three dollars.

Okay, that’s not 100% true, but it almost is (I did actually snag a few PSOne classics on my PSP).

It’s just how I am. Yep, this means I didn’t play Journey or The Walking Dead until they came to disks; this means I haven’t yet played The Unfinished Swan and might never. I’m okay with this, because there are already more games to play than I ever could.

The problem people run into — and that I would run into — with things like PS Plus and Steam Sales and other such deals, is building up a gigantic backlog of games they might never play, or take years to get around to. I saw that happening to me when I first signed up for GOG — my preferred source of digital-only games. Everything was so cheap, I started buying all kinds of stuff. Years later, I’ve probably played about 5% of it. Did I really get such a good deal? On the surface, yes. In practice, not quite so much.

With that in mind, I can see the enormous wall of discounted and “free” (as long as you keep paying) games on PS Plus but then we come to the time factor. I simply don’t have the time to get through a significant portion of that and make it actually worth my while.

PS Plus has some good value for those whose lifestyle it fits. But it’s not for me.

Louis Edwards (@ftwrthtx)

PlayStation Plus is worth every penny. With all of the titles in the Instant Game Collection (IGC), the value far surpasses the price. DDoS attacks happen to just about everyone, and since this last attack was from a bunch of immature script kiddies, I see no real threat in the future. There are ways to avoid these attacks and now Sony can implement them in order to guard against immature punks in the future. No one has 100% uptime, regardless of the service, so the latest PSN problems really are on par with most networks. As for paying to play online, this cost is really offset by all of the games they continue to add to the IGC.

Where do you fall in this debate? Does Plus hold value for you? Is your game collection growing due to all the free titles? Remember to send us questions for Ask PSLS on TwitterFacebookthe forums, and email. Be sure to check back next Wednesday to see what question the PSLS staff will be answering!