PlayStation Plus Subscriptions Actually Catching On

Tom Goldman

Crying on the inside.
Aug 17, 2009
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PlayStation Plus Subscriptions Actually Catching On



Sony's enhanced, subscription-based PlayStation Network plan is reportedly a successful venture.

The PlayStation Network has been a free service since launch, with users able to play online for no cost and pick and choose the content they wanted to pay for. With the launch of PlayStation Plus [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/101617-PlayStation-Plus-Explained] on June 29, 2010, Sony offered a host of enhanced services exculsively to subscribers, for a cost. According to analyst firm Forecasting & Analyzing Digital Entertainment (FADE), the service is catching on, adding to the PSN's revenue stream.

FADE estimates that the PSN earned $49.4 million in revenue during the second half of 2010, showing around 40% growth over the same period in 2009. Xbox Live Arcade brings in more revenue than the PSN, but is growing at a slower pace with just an 18% increase. The top selling PSN titles of June-December 2010 were Scott Pilgrim with 190,000 copies sold, and Castle Crashers with 143,000 sold.

Based on the download numbers of free titles offered only to PlayStation Plus subscribers, FADE believes that 100,000+ PlayStation 3 owners have taken the Plus plunge. Plus subscribers either pay $50 per year or $18 for three months, so the service could be bringing in millions in revenue in its infancy.

Plus continues to improve its offerings, recently allowing users to play Double Fine's latest downloadable title, Stacking [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/trailers/2660-Stacking-Trailer], for free at launch. The idea of paying to receive discounts, demos you can wait a week for, and "free" games you only own until you stop paying still feels a little off to me personally, but with offerings like Stacking it does become more appealing. Maybe Sony will take some more of the edge off as it evolves PlayStation Plus in 2011.

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icyneesan

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There has been a few times where I've seen a game for $5 or $10 and then see that its offered to PSN plus members for cheaper or free. I wouldn't mind investing in it either, but I don't have a job so I'm out of luck :p

Regardless it seems Sony is making a profit which is always a good thing
 

thenumberthirteen

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Dec 19, 2007
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Well my PS3 seems to be constantly knackered so I'm a bit wary about shelling out for a subscription.

If I used my PS3 more often I may actually get it. I don't think it's a rip off, but it's more for the dedicated PS3 gamer.
 

Legion

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Oct 2, 2008
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Tom Goldman said:
FADE estimates that the PSN earned $49.4 million in revenue during the second half of 2010, showing around 40% growth over the same period in 2009.
Not meaning to sound cynical/pessimistic but that could quite easily be explained by the recession in 2009.
 

randomrob

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Legion said:
Tom Goldman said:
FADE estimates that the PSN earned $49.4 million in revenue during the second half of 2010, showing around 40% growth over the same period in 2009.
Not meaning to sound cynical/pessimistic but that could quite easily be explained by the recession in 2009.
40%? I think that's a little excessive for purely a difference in financial climate. 10% perhaps, but I think 40 indicates at least some growth.

On topic, I have Playstation Plus and I like it, I pay a negligible amount of money every year to get loads of great Ps1 games and DLC that would cost me a lot more, if I bought them individually.
 

Twuk

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thenumberthirteen said:
Well my PS3 seems to be constantly knackered so I'm a bit wary about shelling out for a subscription.

If I used my PS3 more often I may actually get it. I don't think it's a rip off, but it's more for the dedicated PS3 gamer.
The same holds true for me, especially lately. I love my PS3, and I heavily support Sony and the Playstation Plus, but right now it's just not worth the investment since I haven't been playing it that much. My little brother, being a hardcore COD fan and regular user of his PS3, jumped on the Plus bandwagon almost immediately.

Plus seems to be a step in the right direction for Sony. As with any kind of revenue, making everything free just won't pay the bills at the end of the day, and I don't mind shelling out a reasonable fee to get some exclusives on the store.
 

Scrythe

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Jun 23, 2009
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Suddenly, this [http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/918011885_nBxvB-L.jpg] comes to mind.

My only real problem with Playstation Plus is that for what you're getting, it doesn't seem worthwhile. So far the only pros are the discounts and free access to betas and demos, but I'm not that impatient that I can't wait 1-2 weeks for a freakin' demo. The cloud saves seems like a nice feature, but flash cards are still cheaper than a subscription.

Hell I'm not even sure if it gives you access to better online servers, or some kind of better online service. Can any Playstation Plus members confirm or deny this is even the case? I'd probably consider an account if I can play SSFIV or whatever without so much inherent lag.
 

Frank_Sinatra_

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Dec 30, 2008
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thenumberthirteen said:
Well my PS3 seems to be constantly knackered so I'm a bit wary about shelling out for a subscription.

If I used my PS3 more often I may actually get it. I don't think it's a rip off, but it's more for the dedicated PS3 gamer.
With Plus (I'm not sure about regular membership) they do sell continuations of your warranty. Just an FYI.

OT: As a PS Plus subscriber I both love and hate Plus. While the game selection of "free" stuff is kinda nice, it's also kinda lacking. Don't get me wrong, getting Spyro 1 & 2 for free along with Crash Team Racing was nice, but the minis and regular games seem to be just thrown on there because they aren't very good... Minus all 5 episodes of Sam & Max :D
 

mjc0961

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Nov 30, 2009
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Of course Plus is making them money. It's a scam, that's what it always has been and what it always will be. You put in your $50, and then you feel like "Oh crap, now I have to buy some of this discounted stuff to make sure I get my money's worth" and now you've bought a bunch of stuff you wouldn't have bought in the first place and spent even more money. Yeah sure, you got some games and avatars for less, but how much of that would you have bought if you hadn't already shelled out the $50 and felt like you needed to buy stuff to make it worthwhile?

And then of course there is the "free" game nonsense that isn't really free at all: you get locked out it you stop throwing your $50 down the toilet- sorry, I mean at Sony- which is a huge ripoff. Also add in the "feature" that allows your PS3 to randomly turn itself on and download firmware updates which isn't so much a feature as it is another scam for Sony to get more of your money (your PS3 turns on during a thunderstorm when you're away from home and begins installing a firmware update. the storm knocks out the power during that installation. your PS3 is now bricked, and you owe Sony $150 to get it fixed because your warranty expired. best feature ever amirite? and yes, I have heard multiple stories of that happening to people last summer when Plus first came out).

And to top it off, pretty much all the PS+ offerings have been rubbish games, or games that have been out for so long that anyone who had any real interest in them has already purchased them.

Bottom line: I will never, ever give Sony any money for a PS "Plus" subscription.
 

Odbarc

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Jun 30, 2010
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Those discounts seem like they would only be good for people who buy a lot of them. Week-early demos also a poor incentive.
I didn't get this premium account deal. Just not worth my dollar - I don't use it that often.
 

Torrasque

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So now I can laugh at PS3 owners who claim their online multiplayer is better than Xblive, AND free?!
Awesome!
 

midpipps

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I know a few people who use it they basically see it as renting games. Download the free game play it until you beat it and have had your way with it and then you feel no remorse removing it from the HD to grab the next game that is offered for free. Kind of like if you were to subscribe to Gamefly or something along those lines. I think it is worth it and if I was not so busy right now I would probably have signed up already. Most of them have backlogs of what they have downloaded and have not finished yet.

Torrasque said:
So now I can laugh at PS3 owners who claim their online multiplayer is better than Xblive, AND free?!
Awesome!
Except this is optional. :) Although I would have to say even being a fan of ps3 and spending very little time on Xbox XBLive does seem to have a slicker online system in it. In that XBLive seems to be pretty similar between all games on the platform and PS3 is kind of hit or miss with online since it seems each company gets to make the online interface it wants to some have triumphed others have failed horribly. But that is just my view on it your mileage may vary.
 

L34dP1LL

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It was only a matter of time, I'm assuming that eventually Playstation Plus isn't going to be an option, it will be the norm.
I wonder when they're going to start calling $ony like that, not just Micro$oft.
 

Flauros

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I got it to get into Betas. It was cool playing the DC Universe beta. It also keeps me in line. i get bored and start downloading games, but now they automatically download to my PS3, so i only buy games i want, instead of buying games just because im bored, lol
 

dibblywibbles

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speaking as a very casual ps3 gamer, playstation plus is totally worth it for me. it includes nhl gamecentre(ten dollar value) for free which I have a subscription to, I got twisted metal 2 for 2 bucks(oh the memories!), their more popular game titles are at a discount if you're a member plus certain exclusives which were awesome(DCUO beta comes to mind). they actually add value to their plus members but until my ps3 stops crashing on a regular basis, I'm still going to play most of my big games on the box(this is not a knock on sony, just my frustrating console). all in all it's good value for money!
 

Tom Goldman

Crying on the inside.
Aug 17, 2009
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Torrasque said:
So now I can laugh at PS3 owners who claim their online multiplayer is better than Xblive, AND free?!
Awesome!
Yeah, just like PC Gamers have been laughing at Live users =)

Awesome!
 

Jumplion

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Tom Goldman said:
The idea of paying to receive discounts, demos you can wait a week for, and "free" games you only own until you stop paying still feels a little off to me personally, but with offerings like Stacking it does become more appealing. Maybe Sony will take some more of the edge off as it evolves PlayStation Plus in 2011.

Permalink
The "free" games you get you are allowed to keep until your subscription expires, so if you're still playing Stacking after a whole year then you might as well pony up some dough already.

Currently I have PS+, and it's an interesting service so far. The free games are a good bonus, but there hasn't been anything that you must get. Early access to betas are few and far between, and sometimes limited even further within the PS+ subscribers (Killzone 3 early beta comes to mind, only 5,000 players could go in. Why not let every PS+ member join?). I got the year long subscription with the additional 3 months, so I'd say with what you get, it's a pretty solid deal.
 

Jumplion

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mjc0961 said:
Of course Plus is making them money. It's a scam, that's what it always has been and what it always will be. You put in your $50, and then you feel like "Oh crap, now I have to buy some of this discounted stuff to make sure I get my money's worth" and now you've bought a bunch of stuff you wouldn't have bought in the first place and spent even more money. Yeah sure, you got some games and avatars for less, but how much of that would you have bought if you hadn't already shelled out the $50 and felt like you needed to buy stuff to make it worthwhile?
I have yet to buy anything at a discount with PS+, except for "Undead Nightmare", and I didn't really feel like I "had" to buy anything. Maybe some people do, and if that's the case maybe they've found something they'd enjoy that they might have otherwise ignored. Not for everybody, but still.

And then of course there is the "free" game nonsense that isn't really free at all: you get locked out it you stop throwing your $50 down the toilet- sorry, I mean at Sony- which is a huge ripoff.
As I've said before, if you got a, let's say, $15 game that you got for "free", and you're still playing it after an entire year, you might as well give up the cash to buy the game if you love it that much.

Also add in the "feature" that allows your PS3 to randomly turn itself on and download firmware updates which isn't so much a feature as it is another scam for Sony to get more of your money (your PS3 turns on during a thunderstorm when you're away from home and begins installing a firmware update. the storm knocks out the power during that installation. your PS3 is now bricked, and you owe Sony $150 to get it fixed because your warranty expired. best feature ever amirite? and yes, I have heard multiple stories of that happening to people last summer when Plus first came out).
It ain't random, you set a time for it. It's probably not the most ideal system, as the few unlucky cases point out, though links to said stories would be appreciated.

And to top it off, pretty much all the PS+ offerings have been rubbish games, or games that have been out for so long that anyone who had any real interest in them has already purchased them.
Eh, maybe. There are plenty of small "Mini" games, and classic PS1 games, that I would have otherwise overlooked if PS+ didn't set them up for free. I figure "Hey, I can download it for free anyway, might as well try it". I'll tell you this, I wouldn't have bothered to try out Crash Team Racing if PS+ didn't offer it. Oh, the memories :D

Bottom line: I will never, ever give Sony any money for a PS "Plus" subscription.
Okay, to each his own.
 

GeorgW

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Aug 27, 2010
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I like the idea of it, but it needs some more offerings before I start using it. Great that it's doing well, though!
 

Torrasque

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Mornelithe said:
Torrasque said:
So now I can laugh at PS3 owners who claim their online multiplayer is better than Xblive, AND free?!
Awesome!
Yeah, just like PC Gamers have been laughing at Live users =)

Awesome!
lol, pretty much.
I still enjoy my xbox as much as my computer, and ironically enough, most of the game/tech support I get for any xbox games, goes through the computer.
I was raised on consoles, so thats just the way I am /shrug