Reaction: We Need to Talk About PS Plus Premium

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Sony announced the first updated list of All PS Plus Games coming to PS Plus Extra and PS Plus Premium today, and taken as a whole, it’s a very compelling lineup. When you consider that PS Plus Essential owners already received the likes of Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, adding 17 recognisable titles – including the hotly anticipated Stray, available day one – is really strong value for money. Most subscribers seem satisfied as a whole.

The issue is that while it could be argued PS Plus Extra is overdelivering, it’s probably fair to say the more expensive PS Plus Premium is underdelivering. This has led to some inevitable over-reactions – we’ve seen a lot of the usual social media hyperbole today – with some members eager to write off Sony’s highest price tier after just one month. Personally, we think it’s far too early to draw those kind of conclusions, but there’s no doubt that just two PSP games is underwhelming.

Of course, it’s important to keep in mind what PS Plus Premium actually is. While it is the highest priced tier, the increase in annual fees from PS Plus Extra isn’t especially large – it costs just £16/$20 more per year to access the highest tier. That’s roughly £1.33/$1.66 extra per month, so it’s obviously not breaking the bank. It’s also not just offering classic games; the main draw of this tier – particularly from Sony’s perspective – is the cloud streaming. You may not like it, of course, but that’s the case – although it should be noted that PS Plus Deluxe members, in regions where cloud streaming isn’t available, only get the games and thus have a much stronger foundation upon which to complain.

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Regardless, a slow drip-feed of retro content was always going to frustrate – especially when some would argue the offering was weak to begin with. We’ve enjoyed revisiting the likes of Ape Escape, Syphon Filter, and Wild Arms – but there are hundreds of incredible PS1 and PSP games to choose from, and if this is the rate that the Classic Games catalogue is going to expand, then we’ll be waiting a lifetime to play them.

We can be quietly confident that the likes of Dino Crisis, Ridge Racer 2, and SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny are coming, as they were mentioned in a since edited Italian translation of the PS Blog. This is positive, because it means there is at the very least going to be a steady flow of additions. But the July 2022 inclusions of No Heroes Allowed and LocoRoco Midnight Carnival – two PSP titles we like and actually highly recommend – is not going to cut it alone. If the Italian lineup had been accurate, and we were getting five games instead of two, the optics would be a lot better.

As we mentioned at the top of this article, we’re still waiting to see what the cadence for PS Plus Premium will look like. It’s true that it seems updates will come on the third Tuesday in the month, but we can’t entirely rule out surprise additions just yet – we’ll just have to observe how Sony handles the service. That’s why we’d caution against overreactions right now.

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But that’s not to say there isn’t any reason to be concerned – or, at the very least, critical. While we quite like what Sony’s doing with PS1 and PSP in terms of its emulation – rewind and save states are transformative – we’re a little worried that its PS2 library has been entirely untouched since the failed initiative it abandoned on the PS4. Can we ever even expect new PS2 titles to be added?

Personally, we think the platform holder’s onto something with these retro re-releases. We’re seeing huge interest on the site, and our reviews for the classic games are somehow outperforming brand new releases. This is a good thing, and it’s a positive for engagement with PS Plus Premium as well. But we’re going to need to see more each month than a couple of PSP games, no matter how good they are. People are expecting a rapidly expanding catalogue here, and while we think PS Plus Extra is off to a very strong start, it’s currently being undermined by the subdued response to PS Plus Premium overall.

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How are you feeling about PS Plus Premium? Did you subscribe to the top tier for retro games, and are you disappointed by the rate at which they’re being added? What would satisfy you on a monthly basis, and what will convince you to remain subscribed? Yearn for a larger catalogue of classic content in the comments section below.

Are you satisfied with PS Plus Premium? (3,274 votes)

  1. Yes, so far I think it’s superb11%
  2. Hmm, it’s a slow start but will get there30%
  3. No, it’s disappointing so far25%
  4. I’m not subscribed to PS Plus Premium34%

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