PlayStation Plus: everything you need to know

Sony's premium PSN service has just launched worldwide. So we thought it would be a good idea to update you on all the need-to-know facts about the service. Below, we'll cover the content, costs and main benefits you'll get for joining up to PlayStation Plus. Oh, and obviously: free LittleBigPlanet for the winZOR! Sorry, we're contractually obliged to type that.

How PlayStation Plus works

  • The service is available now. All you have to do is download firmware update 3.40.
  • A year's subscription will set you back £39.99/$49.99. Sign up for a year and you'll also get three months for free. Alternatively, you can subscribe to the service for an initial three months, which will cost you £11.99/$17.99.
  • All current PSN free features will remain exactly that; free. Sony has no plans to downgrade the services you can currently enjoy for the sweet sum of shit all.
  • You'll have to be the master account holder on your PS3 and also over 18 if you want to access the service. After all, Sony doesn't want little Jimmy downloading that exclusive Heavy Rain Madison shower theme.
  • If you sign up for a year's subscription between June 29th and August 3rd you'll get a free copy of LitteBigPlanet. Ahhhh! Does Media Molecule have no concept of bloody punctuation?

Above: Oooh, premium

What'll be on there over the next two months

Month 1: June 29th – August 3rd

  • Intro offer: LBP (standard edition)
  • PSN PS3: Wipeout HD
  • minis: Field Runners, Age of Zombies
  •  PSone: Destruction Derby
  •  Full Game Trial: Shatter, Savage Moon
  • Discounts: LBP God of War Pack – 50%, LBP: LocoRoco costume pack – 50%, Gravity Crash – 20%, Fat Princess DLC – 20%
  •  Premium Game Element: KillZone 2:  Steel & Titanium DLC
  • Push demo: ModNation Racers, Heavy Rain
  • Themes: LBP Theme, SCEE produced: PlayStation “Game Is Just The Start” Dynamic Theme
  • 2 x Fat Princess Premium Avatars

Month 2: August 4th – September 1st

  • PSN PS3: Zen Pinball
  • minis: Blast-Off, Alien Zombie Death
    PSone: Medievil
  • Full Game Trial: Inferno Pool, Mushroom Wars
  • Discounts: Zen Pinball Earth Defence Table – 20%, Warhawk Triple Combo Pack – 50%, Super Stardust HD  - 20%, WipeOutHD Fury – 20%
  • Premium Game Elements: Motorstorm Pacific Rift: Adrenaline Pack
  •  Push Demo: Flower, Pixel Junk Shooter
  • Themes: “SCEE produced: PlayStation + Dynamic Theme (in production), Heavy Rain Crime Scene Theme
  • 2 x Heavy Rain Avatars (Bird and Butterfly)

The main benefits

Monthly free games

Every month PlayStation Plus will be updated with a minimum of four free games. This will include one PSN game, two minis and a PSOne classic.

You'll be able to keep these games for as long as your subscription lasts. Sad face time: if you cancel your subscription you won't be able to play them anymore. Thankfully, if you do cancel your account, but then renew it at a later time, these games will be activated once more at no extra cost.

Each of these games will be available for a month. They'll disappear off the service when replaced with the next month's content.

Above: Who doesn't love a free dynamic theme, folk with clinical depression notwithstanding, of course

Sony will also be chucking two free premium themes and avatars at you a month. So if you can't bear the thought of your XMB not being emblazoned by a dancing Sackboy, then rejoice. Your life now has meaning and you'll save a few coins in the process.

Combine all this lot together every month, and Sony reckons it adds up to £200 of content over a year for a measly £40 subscription.

Exclusive betas and demos will also appear on PSN for PlayStation Plus users from time to time.

Free LittleBigPlanet

Like we mentioned earlier, sign up for a year's subscription between now and August 3rd and you can download Media Molecule's charming platformer for free. This will be yours to keep forever regardless of your subscription status. So you'll be able to enjoy your created level based on the adventures of Jeff Goldblum even if you cancel your PlayStation Plus subscription.

Above: Indeed you are... well, for PlayStation Plus members

Automatic downloads

Personally, we think this is one of PlayStation's Plus' niftiest features. That's right, we just used the word niftiest. Our horribly outdated 50s lingo aside, this feature allows members to set their PS3 to wake up from standby and install game updates for titles you own. Your black behemoth will wake itself up as soon as these updates become available.

The service will also automatically download exclusive demos to your machine when they become available, meaning no more pulling your hair out staring at a download screen. Even better, your PS3 will turn itself off after it's finished with all that downloading jazz. Score one for the polar bears.

Above: We feel your pain angry Google Image man

Game trials

Every month you'll be able to download two full games and play them for an hour. If you like what you see you can buy the title and carry on from where you left off in the trial. Also, any trophies you unlock during this period will show up on your trophy list if you purchase the full game.

Although these titles will be available to everyone on the PSN, only PlayStation Plus users will be able to trial them before deciding if they want to part with their precious moolah. Truly a sad day for skinflints and tightwads everywhere.

Above: Sorry, Scrooge, you're shit out of luck

Planning to sign up to PlayStation Plus? Already done so? Think the whole thing's a swindle? Share your views in the comments section and make our cruel overlords happy.

June 29, 2010




  • GodofPS314 - July 2, 2010 5:30 p.m.

    Well, I already have Littlebigplanet, I mean who doesn't? Probably some fanboy or some ignorant person who thinks it is 'GAY'. So I don't know about this thing, one feature I was looking for was Out of Game Chat
  • FeathersMcgraw - June 30, 2010 6:04 p.m.

    Meh hoping it would be more like XBL, nothing really to intresting right now, might buy it once for LBP though.
  • vinicusg.t.guedes - June 30, 2010 1:54 p.m.

    I don't see any free LBP stuff in the US psn either...
  • philipshaw - June 30, 2010 11:47 a.m.

    It sounds cool but I don't have a debit card so I can't sign up at the moment. But automatic downloads is near worth £40 a year by its self
  • BillyBrush - June 30, 2010 8:59 a.m.

    Ultimately if they let you keep the things you got whether you continue with it or not, i think this would be a very successful service. But having you not able to enjoy the benefits as soon as you stop subscribing, it might be an effective mechanism, but surely it will put people off the initial purchase?
  • zanthox - June 30, 2010 3:50 a.m.

    Thanks for the article, it is very informative.
  • ralphhardy - June 30, 2010 2:30 a.m.

    I just bought my plus and i don't see LBP on plus for free and the reason i bought this was because you guys said it was free i see wipeout hd but LBP is 19.99 are you guys on the up and up or will it be on there later? with both of these it was a good deal 50 bucks dont be telling people lbp is free if your not sure..
  • reaperman22 - June 30, 2010 1:18 a.m.

    @vinicusg.t.guedes yes you can use the psn cards to buy it. OK i was unsure before but now i am going to find some cash to get it
  • Sabtos - June 29, 2010 11:30 p.m.

    "Heavy Rain Madison shower theme." What?!
  • Denrok - June 29, 2010 11:18 p.m.

    Wow, that sounds really good. I'm interested now.
  • Modroneman - June 29, 2010 9:54 p.m.

    Shut up PS3 tards, Shut up Xbox 360 morons. PC for the WIN! MWAHAHAHAh.... kidding aside, I feel that xbox live does offer more for your money in terms of service. This is Sony's attempt at getting compensated for all the work that they put into their service for free. You can argue it all you want, but they wouldn't be doing it if it weren't true. And much to the PS3 fanboys dismay, the online experience is still better on the 360. I have had many friends switch to the 360 merely because the PSN online structure just isn't as good.
  • Cyberninja - June 29, 2010 9:53 p.m.

    if its a disc copy of lbp im in if not no thanks.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - June 29, 2010 8:22 p.m.

    If there will be heavily discounted pre-paid cards availible (a la XBLA), then I'm sold. For 50$, I'm not sure... I know what it's like in the long run. But still.
  • vinicusg.t.guedes - June 29, 2010 8:18 p.m.

    lol @ fanboys flame wars.
  • BillyBrush - June 29, 2010 8:12 p.m.

    The offers will be great - because it's a hook in service...they just want you hooked up and make stopping subscribing hard - you don't have any of the stuff you downloaded once you stop subscribing(is this the case even with money off stuff, that you still pay for?). End of the day they were really good giving people free online play, but this thing is nasty.
  • demonscourge21 - June 29, 2010 7:33 p.m.

    @howetzer: you really are a stupid fanboy. that I am responding to your idiocy is deppresing me but on the subject at hand sounds pretty cool but I have a 360 already so I won't be getting a PS3 anytime soon. That Sony is stepping up there online functions is pretty nice for my friends that have PS3's
  • CombatCat120 - June 29, 2010 7:18 p.m.

    So now that Sony's doing the Xbox Live thing does this mean that they'll also be bringing PS2 Classics to the PS Store sometime soon? *fingers crossed*
  • lobsterhunt - June 29, 2010 6:25 p.m.

    One more reason among many to get a PS3. But I don't have the money to get one. Damn.
  • Xplosive59 - June 29, 2010 6:23 p.m.

    im not seeing anything special, i dont download demos or trials so this is pointless for me, i would however subscribe if they made it so if you joined up you have access to all the original psx games and japenese only games that have been translated.
  • vinicusg.t.guedes - June 29, 2010 5:47 p.m.

    So nobody knows if I can use pre-paid cards to buy the year subscription? :(

Showing 1-20 of 32 comments

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