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
- 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.
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
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
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