[OPINION] Is PlayStation Plus Worth It?

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

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PlayStation Plus | Logo

Another month, another disappointing lineup for PlayStation Plus. At least, that seems to be the sentiment following up Sony’s announcement of its free games for January a few days ago.

Judging by the replies to this tweet, a good amount of people are not enthused with what Sony is offering this time. I’ve noticed a general shift in the kind of free games we’ve been getting each month, since the PlayStation 4 launched a few years ago. There’s an increasing emphasis on indies, and a push away from big AAA games or bestsellers that have been around a while. For the niche crowd, we used to regularly get incredible titles like Demon’s Souls, Muramasa Rebirth, Dragon’s Crown and Puppeteer. Now we consider ourselves lucky if we get a really cool niche title once in a blue moon. However, it should be noted that we did get Yakuza 5 as a free game back in August, and Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines the month before.

I don’t really think the problem is that the January games are bad, so much as they’re not things you couldn’t have bought on Steam or GOG at fire sale prices, for the most part. I know that not everyone has a gaming PC, but most indies don’t tend to be all that demanding, resource wise. Sony has repeatedly proclaimed itself a good friend and ally of indie studios and touted the PlayStation 4 as the place to be for indies on consoles. That’s why I think that we’re seeing more of those, and less games that honestly don’t need the additional support from PlayStation Plus. There’s also price to consider. Sony recently raised the annual membership fee from $50 to $60 this September, and that may seem like a lot for the privilege of playing online multiplayer. It’s a necessity for fighting game players, who for the most part still game on consoles rather than Steam. But for the rest of us, it makes a good case to ditch the console, avoid paying unnecessary fees, and play on our computers without worrying about yet another membership on our credit card bills.

Atelier Firis | Steam

More and more of our favorite series are being ported each year to Steam. The landscape for niche games is changing.

Many of the games we cover on PlayStation are also coming to PC, which is why I expect there will be an increase in the amount of re-reviews that get posted here over the next year. I personally believe that everyone should invest in a PC capable of playing games, which you could do with a build for as little as $400 for the case and components, the same price as a PS4 Pro. But it’s not like I haven’t gotten good mileage out of the PlayStation 4 and Vita. On the contrary, I think I’ve purchased more games for these systems than I have for any others I’ve owned since I started gaming. I’ve downloaded a few of the free titles from PS+ as well, and enjoyed most of the ones I tried. There’s pros and cons, as there always has been, between console and PC gaming. One of the biggest cons I can see is that PC ports of Japanese titles, while they’ve generally improved, still have some work to do before they get as good as gold. Case in point, God Eater 2 Rage Burst’s online multiplayer still needs to be fixed on Steam. The point I’m making is, I’m noticing this trend of people questioning the value of what they’re getting and weighing other possible options.

Then there’s the PS Vita, the demise of which has been strongly exaggerated. As you’ll see from our upcoming awards, and looking at the past year’s coverage of Vita titles, this has been a very strong year for the handheld. Like the Energizer bunny, it just keeps going and going as a haven for dungeon crawlers, RPGs, strategy games and visual novels, in spite of Sony’s complete lack of marketing support. It too has been a destination for indiesĀ on Playstation Plus’s Instant Game Collection over the past 3 years, but if you’re just not into those type of games, you’re not going to find much to like if you sign up for PS+, save for the discounts on niche titles that they have through flash sales, holiday sales and the Golden Week sale.

PlayStation Plus | Yakuza 5

Yakuza 5 was a great example of a PlayStation Plus niche game that’s more than worth the price of admission.

So is it worth it to subscribe to and keep PlayStation Plus? The short answer is yes, the long one is “Yes, but…”. It’s not as straightforward as you might think, there are many factors to think about when making the decision. Do you play a lot of online? Do you plan to keep buying games for your PS4, PS3, or Vita, or are you more or less done with them? One comparison I’ll make is between PS Plus and Humble Monthly, a similar service geared toward PC gamers. Humble Monthly launched some time ago as a subscription service for indie games on PC, and as they tell it, it’s a pre-packaged bundle of games that you get every month. Only one of them is featured, you won’t know what the rest are until you sign up for it. An annual subscription to Humble Monthly runs about $11 a month, and you get one month free. Doing simple math, this comes out to $121 a year, a bit over twice as much as what PS Plus costs. 5% of that goes to charity, if that’s important to you. You also get a discount of 10% off all purchases on the Humble Store. The games they’ve offered in the past have been pretty darn good, too. However, at $5.42 per month, PlayStation Plus comes out to just over the cost of a brand new AAA game for all the benefits it grants. As you can see, it’s not an easy decision, and not one I can really make for you.

About Joe Sigadel

Joe is the reporting manager for oprainfall, he is also a broadcaster on Twitch and loves showing off many of the games we report about on his channel. He has also been known to defended Senran Kagura from those who only want to accept it at face value.

  • Mr0303

    It’s worth it to me.

    I’m not much of a MP guy, so this is one aspect that I don’t really care about when it comes to the PS+ package.

    It’s true that there aren’t as many AAA games as previous years (most likely due to the inclusion of the PS4 in the mix), but that is OK for me. I always buy the games I 100% want to play on day 1, which includes the AAA releases I’m interested in. In terms of quality it’s pretty varied, but I guess that is dependent on taste. I don’t like walking simulators and Tim Schafer’s crap (which I don’t even add to my IGC), but I also got the chance to play Yakuza 5 and Transformers Devastation, which could be considered at the very least A titles.

    I like PS+ because it gives me the option to play games I wouldn’t normally buy and even if I don’t end up liking them it’s still a good experience, especially with the lack of demos this generation. The trend of putting new games directly into PS+ is great especially for MP games like Rocket League and Helldivers – it helps build a community and test whether you like the game.

    In terms of value for money I’d say it is worth it. If you like 5-6 of the 72 titles for the year, you pretty much got your money’s worth. This year I’ve saved 20$ alone on Furi – a game I planned to buy day 1 and ended up not liking it as much.

    Another thing that brings value to the service for me is the exclusive discounts. I buy quite a lot of games and there are often day 1 discounts and extra ones during sales, which further saves me money. There are also the free avatars, themes and sometimes even DLC for PS+ members.

    I’d say that if you own all 3 PlayStation platforms it is still one of the best deals in gaming.

    • Too bad once your PSplus sub ends those “free games” become unplayable.

    • Lord Ackercocke

      Why does it have to end? I’ve had PS Plus for around 4-5 years.

    • Things happens. Maybe you fall on hard times or get sick of the scam. Point is that you don’t own the games unlike Games for gold.

    • Aatos

      Then he would just re-sub for another whole year round……………………… every year……… I don’t see how this is a problem.

    • You don’t see not truly owning the games you paid for as a problem? No wonder Sony is scamming so many people. XD

  • Go2hell66

    ps plus is a fucking rip, if werent for the multiplayer i wouldnt have touched it with a 10ft pole

    • That’s how sony gets ya by having online play locked away. What a scam.

    • Lord Ackercocke

      Microsoft started the “scam.”

    • Yes but at least games for gold actually let you keep the games. Paying to play online will always be a retarded scam.


    My main complaint with PC is the lack of physical copies, which should still be a standard for all releases – PC gaming for me only has value for small indies and visual novels. And even the physical copies we do get tend to be limited prints or contain adult content in the case of visual novels. Otherwise I would seriously consider getting into PC gaming. Publishers should be acknowledging the physical market more, at least VN publishers are on the ball with this. Hopefully other companies like VisualArts release their VNs physically and DRM-free as more come out.

    As for PS+, we really could do with more niche titles. Niche gaming is hard to get into partly due to cost and the small distribution of physical copies. If more of them were offered for free, maybe people may be more obliged to try them. We did get two otome visual novels not long ago, and I’d argue that’s been a success as it’s exposed people to a very obscure genre. I’m otherwise not bothered by PS+ aside from trophy sync and maybe multiplayer, the games on offer simply do not appeal to me. Great piece!

    • With DRM free PC games you can just make your own game disk.

    • Aalias

      PS+ is great and you know it

    • Sorry but no kid. Paying for the privilege to pkay online is not great. I can play online on PC for free.


      That’s not the same as an official release though. And don’t you have to pirate to do that?

    • Miqubi

      No, games that are DRM free can be freely burnt into disc, for example you can burn any Steam DRM free/GoG release into a disc.
      And yes contrary to popular belief Steam has DRM free games, for such games the client act as a downloading manager in a similar way GoG Galaxy does.

    • You don’t have to pirate DRM free games either. Have you never heard of GoG? One of the many benefits that PC gaming have.

    • Miqubi

      I don’t think that outside of VN people are going to see PC physical releases anytime soon, the whole point of Steam and similar storefronts is low distribution costs/efforts and bigger revenue due to digital, which makes the venture of creating PC ports appealing as it lowers risks, Xseed touched upon that in an interview and said that while the console market is tricky because of physical releases in the PC market is easier to recoup developement costs because it doesn’t require ratings and because of the low distribution costs.


      It’s a shame, I was hoping if they sell well publishers would at least consider it. Not everyone likes using Steam for various reasons, plus with Limited Run Games proving there is a small but dedicated market to PC games with The Silver Case HD preorder run, I am hopeful that they and other companies are going to get more deals for full price PC games. Wouldn’t mind a physical Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit on PC for example, seeing as its probably never going to get a physical PS Vita release.

      Digital has been rising because of cheap sales, and people not realising the future they are being set up for thanks to those sales. Likewise larger publishers devaluing physical copies due to day one patches, glitches and most kinds of DLC.

    • Miqubi

      Well mangagamer seems to have adopted the first method, as in they release physical copies of their bestsellers.
      For other publishers I suppose something like LRG could be done if the interest is there, I suppose people should try and push the idea to see if it’s feasible.


      I agree with MangaGamer’s approach, but I wish they did more all-ages releases. I’d like Himawari and Tokyo Babel to get physicals myself, though seeing that Tokyo Babel has been given half price discounts on more than one occasion, I’m somewhat worried that’s not going to happen.
      I agree, though I would be interested in some more solid numbers from more publishers other than 1,965 (a guesstimate of the preorders for The Silver Case HD, 150 more will also be manufactured as extras).

    • Miqubi

      Don’t expect Tokyo Babel anytime soon, iirc it tanked as far as sales are concerned.
      Himawari sales were awful on Steam (according to steamspy, which is unreliable given the amount of sales for that title) but it was selling average on MG store, which is better than awful I suppose :p



      That’s disappointing, I would buy physicals of both games in a heartbeat. I’m hoping The Shadows of Pgymalion does better, but that has romance in it so it probably will. I’m hoping Himawari picks up in sales though as it looks like a really interesting story. Maybe Frontwing will even try to localise the Vita version while that’s still relevant to VNs, seeing as they’re doing self-pubbing now, at least on PC. Failing that, there’s always Henkaku.

    • What do you mean by the future that we are setting up? Digital games are better than physical games as digital games can last forever unlike physical games. At least on PC that is. :^)

    • What do you mean by the future that we are setting up? Digital games are better than physical games as digital games can last forever unlike physical games. At least on PC that is. :^)

  • Izanagi_the_Creator

    PS+ is absolutely necessary if you want to take advantage of PS+ sales and Flash Sales.
    I have saved hundreds of dollars thanks to being a PS+ member. Loving it thus far!

    • You should not have to pay for discounts. Steam has some of the greatest discounts for free.

    • Alexis

      There’s regular discounts and PS+ discounts……………… you wouldn’t know that since you aren’t a PS+ member.

    • Doesn’t matter child as Steam has better discounts daily for free. Psplus is a scam.

  • Shadowstrike

    Sadly as a “pro” player Sony has us stuck. We dislike everything about ps+ but the multiplayer. I’ve offered a solution of 25-35 just for online but Sony wants it one way which is a shame,

    • You are not stuck. Just don’t support such practices. Don’t fall for the scam.

  • Firion Hope

    It’s insane how much the value of PS+ has gone down. Even if you ignore the fact most of it is indie shovelware that’s been in humble bundles for $1 and run on a toaster, if you look at the standard MSRP of the games and compare them to the ones we got 3-4 years ago it’s like night and day. And we’re paying *more* now than before.

    Also remember when you got 6 good games just for signing up on top of the monthly ones? They took that away and gave *nothing* to replace it. I felt so ripped off that I bought a year of it when I did by the end of said year. There was literally like 1 or 2 games I was mildly interested in past the first month I got it. It’s only real value is cheaper prices during sales, but you’re better off just buying a month at a time if it would save you money overall unless you buy games during the majority of sales

    • It never had value in the first place.

    • Firion Hope

      It used to, before it was required for online multiplayer it gave away geunine good games each month for a bargain price.

    • Mr0303

      Don’t feed it.

    • Lord Ackercocke

      Find a bridge for him far away from common folk.

    • I am as far from common as you are from me. :^)

    • Mr0303

      It’s been pretty hungry. Just look at this thread and how desperate for attention it is.

    • If you are going to call me a troll for not being a sony fanboy at least reply directly to me. No need to be afriad. ;^)

    • Agrias

      Don’t talk to the Trolls

    • How am I a troll?

    • I can’t believe sony got away with it.

    • Lord Ackercocke

      All I keep hearing is Sony this, Sony that. Mircosoft was doin this shit back from the 360 days. Yet I hear fuck all about them from u. I luv Nintendo and Sony. I have no such love for MS. The other 2 at least develop games. U like PC? Good for u. I’m a console guy.

    • No need to get so aggressive. I call Microsoft out on it as well but it is worse that Sony is doing it this gen when they didn’t do it last gen. You can love Sony and Nintendo all you want but you should not let them get away with bullshit. Ok?

    • Lord Ackercocke

      My negative feeling is towards MS. All we’ve heard from u is Anti Sony rhetoric and luv for the PC. Don’t know what Sony did to piss u off by it has nothing to do with the rest of us, mate. U didn’t mention a word about MS til I did. I find that telling. Now i’m off to play some Destiny.

    • I call out the bullshit that Sony does. I call out the bullshit that every company does mate. You would understand that if you wasn’t a Sony fanboy. Have fun with Destiny mate. I may hate the game but all the power to ya mate.

  • Paying to play online on a system is a scam. The sooner people stop paying it the sooner it will be free. That why I am so happy to be a PC only gamer as PC gaming has far more pros than console gaming imo.

    • Atroll

      Did you not get your supper last night?

    • Did not get enough sleep last night?

  • Lord Ackercocke

    I’m not happy with the PS Plus price increase. Saying that, i’ve had it for 4-5 years from PS3 back when it wasn’t mandatory so there defintely was some value. I’ve had the opportuntity to play games I would not had normally purchased and ended up liking some of them. Sony does sales up the wazzo but as an added bonus PS plus subscribers get an extra discount on the sales and reductions on some new indie games. At the moment i’m playing the living christ out of Destiny and luving it. Do I want to pay a subscription to play online? No, but it is what it is. Let’s not forget it was Xbox Live that started this. Fingers crossed the Nintendo Switch like the Wii U will be free but i’m not holding my breath. I’m not planning on paying for 2 online services again.

    • No need to be a sheep. If you don’t want to pay to play online you don’t have to. Fight against the scam.

    • Lord Ackercocke

      The only fighting i’m doin is on Destiny and further in the year Red Dead 2. U stay there and fight the good fight. I’ll stay online.

    • I am fighting the good fight. that’s why I don’t own a PS4. Can play all my games on PC for free. I also don’t plan to get and Xbox One either.

  • ProfessorFluffy

    Sadly I think the reason behind the decrease in quality of the free PSN+ is that the people in charge of the PSN+ lineup are going to their indie dev friends before going to the bigger developers. Just think about how many Double Fine published games PSN+ has given out.