So, it’s been a hot minute since PlayStation launched their updated PlayStation Plus offering, with the service being broken down into 3 tiers – Essential, Extra, and Deluxe. I’m going to give you a quick breakdown on what you get if you decide to take the plunge on one of their upgraded tiers – also full disclosure: PlayStation NZ made a 3 month subscription of the Deluxe service available to me, more on that later.
So, why do they have a few additional tiers of PS Plus membership available? Well, that depends on how much additional stuff you want access to and whether you’re keen on trying out new releases & replaying some of the classic PlayStation games of bygone eras.
Y’see, if you’re already a PlayStation plus subscriber, you’ll find that you’ve been put into the Essential category for their revised plans, and this gives you access to all of the things that you’d be used to getting already without anything dropping off. If you’re fortunate enough to have a PS5 too, this tier still includes access to the PlayStation Plus Collection, which is a great little roundup of some of the best PS4 games out there, and I highly recommend getting at least that one if you’re new to the PlayStation world. Where things get a little spicier (and pricier) is when you tap into the two new tiers – Extra gains you access to the games catalogue, which is exactly what it says it is. You gain access to over 100 PlayStation 4 & 5 games across multiple 1st and 3rd party publishers with new titles rotating in and out on a regular basis. It is a fantastic value proposition, as long as you’ve got a decent internet connection to download all of the games to your console to try and play through them. There’s a broad range of genres and titles available, including kids games if you’ve got to share the console with little gamers (as I do with my 9 & 6 year old kids), and they’re all just a few button clicks away. It’s genuinely awesome, and great to see Sony putting serious effort into this space, albeit long after Microsoft released the Xbox Games Pass service in June 2017. Still, better late than never when it comes to this.
Rounding out the tiers, and the one that I’ve been using on my console is the Deluxe tier. It includes two additional pools of game to dip into. Firstly, there’s the Classics Collection – a specially curated library of titles from previous PlayStation consoles. I was a fan of the Jak & Daxter games when they were first launched back on the PlayStation 2, so seeing them here available for PS4 & 5 was a nice little trip down nostalgia lane for me. I think that there’s a special kind of lure in this additional collection for people who have played (or new players who want to experience) some of the vintage titles stretching back to the original PlayStation (looking at you, Siphon Filter), but it’s likely not for everyone. Rounding out the Deluxe offering is Game Trials, which gives you a time limited access to a bunch of new titles. Not demos, you get the full game, but only for a handful of hours – long enough to determine if you want to make the leap to buying the full title anyway. I’ve not jumped into that yet, but there’s a couple I’m thinking of trying out soon, once I’ve whittled my way through a couple of the current titles in the Game Catalogue!
I mentioned that I was given a 3-month subscription to the Deluxe tier through PlayStation NZ so that I could try it out and get a feel for it. I’ve since spent my own money on a further 12 month subscription to the Deluxe tier because I’ve got to admit, it’s difficult not to see the value in this service. Now, some of that value came down to me buying a full 12 months in advance. See, if you go for a single month, it’s $24.95 NZ a month. Multiply that by 12 and you’re almost to $300, which is not cheap (still, about 3-5 games over a year). If you opt for a full 12 months up front however, you only pay $172.95 for the same period. Again, not cheap, but less expensive than taking a month-by-month approach.
This new direction for Sony and PlayStation is a very welcome one, and whilst it could be argued that it’s overdue given Microsoft’s lead with the Games Pass being available for years now, that’s less important to me than simply being able to tell people that when they’re looking for a new console, there’s a great and easy way to gain access to an instant games collection on the two main platforms which contains some absolute gems.
No score from me on this one, it’s one of those rare times where we all win.