Playstation Plus


Playstation Plus is now available, offering exclusive somethings, early looks at game demos and, perhaps most importantly, a selection of free or cut-price stuff each month. The question is, who is it aimed at, and is it working?

A paid-for, subscription service is unlikely to attract gamers who aren't regularly online checking the store, or don't play games regularly. This seems like a fairly risk-free thing to say. This leaves gamers who are moderately keen through to gamers that check every store update and keep track of every PS-related movement. Ideally, the PSN Plus service would appeal to all gamers in this range, however the initial selection of content has limited the target audience further, and is the reason for this rant.

At the launch of the Plus service, the headline free game was Wipeout HD. I would speculate that a huge number of Wipeout fans, or other gamers that would appreciate the game, may have already purchased this title by now. This leaves people in two categories (with no science to back it up): in the first, you care about the game and already have it; in the second, you don't give a monkeys, didn't buy it, and don't want it now. So who is this part of the PSN Plus package aimed at? Obviously there's some gross generalizations and categorizations going on there, but the general gist is tricky to escape. Gamers new to PSN or those that were on the fence about Wipeout might be tempted, but for many, there'd have to be other tempting offers to warrant a PSN Plus subscription... so it's unfortunate that the trend has continued, with games from the existing catalogue added to the PSN Plus "for free" selection.

Personally, I've not bothered to sign up, and won't until PSN Plus catches up with current releases (and even then, the subscription element is still slightly off-putting). If PSN releases are added to the store in a given week, for a given cost, but offered free for PSN Plus subscribers on the same week, then things start to make more sense. However, for now, it appears that a great deal of content would be bought twice - not a tempting incentive for PSN Plus subscription.

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John Marston

It's you, or me. And the way I see it... it might as well be you.