For those of you who have been either hardcore or avid users of Sony’s home console, glancing at this article title may have sparked your interest…but is that a good or bad thing? Well that all depends on how you take what you’re about to read.
Allow me to start off by informing those of you who may be completely clueless or unfamiliar with exactly what Playstation Plus (PS Plus for short) is. It’s been roughly four years since Sony introduced to the world their wildly popular, successful, and critically acclaimed service to the public; and it has grown a lot since then. What started off as measly discounts and an occasional free vastly outdated game, has evolved into something far greater.
Basically, PS Plus is a subscription-based service that now allows its users access to a wide variety of weekly discounts on games and add-ons for all three of their console units (PS4, PS3, and PS Vita). In addition, they offer up free games for each system in what they call their Instant Game Collection. Now just to clarify, all content available through PS Plus is digital only…so you can’t get any discounts on hard-copy or disc-based items; just what’s available on their digital store. Prices begin as low as $17.99 for a three month trial and peak at a $49.99 for a yearly subscription. I should note that while the service is completely optional for the PS3 and PS Vita, it is mandatory to purchase in order to gain access to any and all online features of the PS4.
As long as you remained a paying member of this subscription service, you would get to keep using and playing the games that you downloaded for free. However, if you stopped dishing out the fee, then any of the free titles you downloaded became inaccessible. I should note though, that games or content purchased at a discounted rate—not completely free—would still be playable even if a PS Plus subscription is terminated.
This is where things will be changing however, as there used to be a format where Sony would release games each month, and they would stick around for a given amount of time; sometimes a couple of weeks…sometimes a few months. They even would allow a few of their mainstay titles linger around the Instant Gaming Collection for a full year before replacing them (games from console-exclusive franchises such as Uncharted, Little Big Planet, and Wipeout).
Although the purging process has already commenced and games are being filtered out, starting next month any game that is released onto the Instant Game Collection will only be available to download for a one-month period. So if you see something or hear about a title you’re interested being released for free that month, you’d better jump on it before you head out on your vacation and miss the opportunity!
Changes To Instant Game Collection
So, just to elaborate for a moment, Starting in July of 2014, anything that is offered through the Instant Game Collection will be available to download the first Tuesday of the month. Those titles will remain there to download at your leisure and convenience until the first Tuesday of the following month…and then “poof,” they’re gone.
Not only that, but PS Plus will be further simplifying the amount of what’s to be expected by sticking to a new format of releasing two games per system each month; so six games total. For owners of the newly released PS4, this will be a real treat as many owners haven’t been pleased with the lackluster offering of just one free game a month for the next generation console.
If you would like my personal opinion on the matter, I’d say this is a positive change for the service and everyone will ultimately benefit from it. We will all still get access to discounts on games and add-on content, and we’ll all be able to take advantage of trying out new games—at no additional cost—each month! Yet even if you aren’t a fan of this news, these changes were made based upon the feedback of the user base. Therefore, if enough complaints were generated, it’s entirely possible that they would make some more adjustments.
So now that you have read the news, what do you think?