On PS Plus: Is it Truly Worth It?
In response to KingSigy's recent blog about his view on PS Plus, I have decided to have my own take on PS Plus and why I believe video games are worth keeping.
Helicopter and Tank theme --- Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Before you start reading this, I COMMAND you to read THIS first. It is a blog about g1 KingSigy's views about his views on PS Plus and how most video games aren't ultimately worth keeping.
I, myself, have quite a bit to say about this topic (enough to write a blog on) so why not go ahead and start then?
After only having the PS3 for a little over one year, I can safely say that I am a rather big fan of the console. I have had some PS2 experience (such as Okami and Star Wars Battlefront), but I haven't exactly been giving Sony a whole lot of money until rather recently. Now I am quite happy with a bunch of Sony-exclusive content including InFamous, Uncharted, LBP, etc. Of course, I'm also entertained with a ton of other products from companies such as Nintendo, Konami, Capcom, and Sega jsut to name a few (but that's another story, so I'll focus on Sony for now).
I haven't had any experience with PS Plus until that PSN blackout a little while back. As you know, all PS3 users got PS Plus for a limited amount of time. Strangely enough, I ended up not using it in the slightest. Why exactly? Well, actually it's because of a myriad of reasons I shall explain soon enough.
But before I explain my reasons, perhaps it is best to describe what exactly PS Plus is, and what it offers. PS Plus is an exclusive program similar to ScrewAttack's Advantage Program...kind of....not really. It is has a yearly (or it can be monthly) fee. The yearly fee is about $50 or you can spend about $18 to have it for 3 months. PS Plus comes with a "free" PS3 game every month, a couple PSN games, and a few PS minis (more info on that later), discounts on digital versions of games (sometimes great, but most of the time only a few dollars---especially on the super popular games), exclusive betas and demos, automatic updates, 150 MB of online game storage, full game trials, and some early access.
The ultimate question is....is it worth it?
This question is difficult to answer since it can just as easily be argued either way, but since KingSigy already had a blog on yes, I shall ultimately say NOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo at least for now.
I'll quickly go over negatives and then the positives before I go into more detail. Why the negatives first? .....Because I'm evil! MWAHAHAHAHAAA!!!
First, I am actually not a big fan of automatic updates. Why is this? Well, long story short, my first PS3 crashed due to a faulty update that was "automatic" (and therefore mandatory) thanks to PS Plus when I had it. The PS3 stopped at 99%, and therefore I couldn't play any games on it (other forums stated that others had this same problem). If it wasn't mandatory, then an improved version of an update could have been used instead that was less buggy if I could have waited a few more days. That's right; PS Plus was slightly to blame for my first PS3 console crash. I'd prefer to choose when to do an update. Besides, what if I really need to play a game AT THAT TIME and then the PS3 decides to update? What a drag.
OK maybe it wasn't that drastic but--
Second, the 150 MB of free online isn't worth it. For one, will you really need 150 MB of free space? The basic PS3 console nowadays has 160 GB on it, which is plenty since I have over 20-something games on it and I have about 80 GB to spare. The people who would need extra space probably isn't too great of a number. Even if it was, I'm sure that they would just go out to get a memory card since it would not only be more practical, but perhaps cheaper in the long run. Also, online storage isn't the safest thing in the long run. Anything could happen to it, the PSN Network won't last forever meaning that that data will eventually be gone (and you can't exactly reimburse save data), and you can't access it if PSN is down.
Third, I may be alone in this, but a full game demo feels a little shady. Are they timed or something? If so, you may as well just make them normal demos then! But that's just me and my dark lunacy....
Fourth, the early access to certain things is not your choice. Plus, it very rarely gives you any early access that would be interesting enough to go through...at least for me.
Fifth, (a big one) is that I don't feel as if you ultimately get "great deals" from these games in the grand scheme of things. I feel as if the ONLY way you will ultimately get a deal off of this is that you are one of those super-rare (and slightly lucky) people that want about 30-something of the games that just so happen to have those deals. Let's say that I went ahead and got a $50 membership card. In order to get $50 back, I'm going to have get savings of $50 back, which means that Sony probably made even more money not only off of the membership card, but off of any additional games that I would've purchased that I normally wouldn't have. It's not like it's coupons for Publix or something. Food is a necessity, so I'm probably going to get that food anyway (plus coupons are free), but with games, I have a choice. I don't want to try to earn back my $50 I may have spent! And that's just ONE YEAR! Sony sure is sneaky...
NOT a deal. I got Rayman Origins for $20 at GameStop alone.
Sixth, and this is probably the biggest thing I have going for, is that the "free" games you get aren't worth it in the long run either. I will go into full detail on this in the end, so just hang on. I want to talk about some positives going for PS Plus.
One, PS Plus would act as a good gift for gift buyers that may not know diddly about games. It's hard to explain, but I'll try my best. Suppose that it's your birthday and you want A LOT of downloadable games or DLC. Unfortunately for you, most of everyone that you knows nil about games. This means that if you ask them for a specific game, they may not find it, they may get the wrong game, and/or they may end up wasting money on a more expensive version. To avoid going through this, you can ask them for a PS Plus card (and a $20 of PSN money) and you can you get the games you want easy. It may cost a bit much, but it can avoid them going through certain hassles.
Two, exclusive betas and demos may be enticing at certain points of your life or for certain people. However, this is quite rare for me.
Three, if you are one of those lucky people that truly wanted those "free" games that PS Plus offers (and you only like to play new games and you don't play games for very, very long periods of time--such as years) then PS Plus may serve you in the long run. However, the "free" games that PS Plus offers are fundamentally long-term rentals. This is a good chance for me to talk about why I disagree with KingSigy on how those "free" games are worth it in the long run.
The "free" games are basically rentals as far as I am concerned.
Why are they rentals? Well it goes like this...
The "free" games are downloaded to you in full format (something I should quickly mention is that downloading nearly anything from PSN--especially full PS3 games---takes an eternity--like 4-5 hours) and you can only have them for as long as you have PS Plus. Another problem with this is that when PS Plus will eventually go down (it might take years for it to happen, but I can bet that it WILL happen in the far future), your games will eventually bite the dust along with it. Also, you can not choose what free games they will give you. Additionally, this means that in order to keep any of those games for as long as you can, you are going to keep having to pay Sony $50 every year---which can add up, believe me.
HOWEVER, this wouldn't be quite so bad if you are some of those people that feel as if games aren't worth keeping. Therefore, I have another question I need to answer:
Are games worth keeping?
Again, there is no correct answer for this. KingSigy stated no, so I shall give my reasons for YES...yes on this question. ....Because I'm evil like that!
Why do I believe video games are ultimately worth keeping? Well, the answer is similar to a Psychology experiment I learned about in the darkest depths of my secret evil lab. A group of 7-year-olds were asked to either have one marshmallow (or candy) now, OR two pieces in an hour. The people who waited for those two pieces tended to have better (and more successful) lives and have more enjoyment in them as well. I probably would be one of those that got two pieces, for I am now the greatest Dark Lord the mortal multiverse has ever heard of! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!
If you go ahead and get these "free" games or if you are those people that get rentals, then you may have a good time now, but you shall regret that decision later. PS Plus seems (at least to me) to be advertising more towards the "hardcore" gamers (those that spend easily 10+ hours on games a week). If you say that you are in this category, then I am sure that you are trying to pay less money on them and to get as much experience out of the games as possible. If so, then PS Plus (and perhaps rentals in general) ultimately isn't for you (in my opinion).
I actually had a Zelda 2 cartridge like this.
If you go the rental route, sure you be able to perhaps experience games when they are more "hot" and "popular", but you will immediately have to turn that game in in about a few days or so. I find this to be a bit of a problem for most gamers. For one, games ARE NOT movies. They take ample amounts of time to beat, let alone complete (which can easily take months for some RPGs alone). Plus, they have save data (this isn't too big of an issue, but still). Also, this puts stress on the players to beat it in a certain amount of time--and I'm sure that a few g1s (such as Whitly) will not tolerate this. Additionally, rentals tend to cost more money in the long run than if you just bought the games used after waiting a few months after their release. PS Plus not only is a rental service (albeit a long one), but you don't exactly get most of them when they are super popular either! That's right! Even the rich kids that want to be "cool" won't get the bargain out of this!
Also, saying that "games takes up a lot of space" isn't exactly true. I have over 300 games and I only need like a small cabinet and a shelf to store them in. For consoles, I have a two shelves for and a bin for accessories. This may sound like a bit, but in reality, this takes up a small fraction of my room (let alone the house I'm in). Books and furniture take up much more space, believe me!
Finally, I can guarantee that YOU WILL want to play those games that you may get as a rental--even the crappy ones. All of them are experiences that you will probably wish to relive. I always hear stories of people that get saddened when they lose a game or they have to return a game. If you ever want to get those games back, you may have to pay a hefty fee ON TOP OF the rental fee you paid years ago! Pikmin 2 and Battletoads are two games that meet these criteria to a certain degree....including several others when I used to go the rental route. Also, have you ever thought about others that may want to play them when you visit years from now? The faces that people have when they see an NES with their favorite games is next to priceless (especially when you can eventually turn them into a minion afterwards >: ) ) What about any future relatives/friends/children you may have? You will probably want to share the games you may have played when you were younger as well.
And THAT is why I believe why games should be kept AND why PS Plus isn't worth it...for now. I COMMAND my minions to do the same lest they must challenge me! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!