Let’s take a trip back in time. Back to when the Xbox players had to pay for their online services and Playstation players didn’t. Xbox had the more stable services, with more updates and a better quality of life and the Playstation had a somewhat unstable service that wasn’t updated all that often, but it was free! Everything seemed to balance itself out in the end and consumers on both ends were fairly happy with how it all ran. Then Playstation made PS+ mandatory if you owned a PS4. Let’s talk about how this changed the way that Playstation looked and felt.
So as I said before, Playstation customers were used to a service that wasn’t all that reliable, went down often and didn’t update the home page all too much, but they had friends on the system, some exclusives they enjoyed and the online service was free so it wasn’t a big problem. Fast forward to today and ask yourself a question, what did the mandatory PS+ subscription really change?
The short answer is not much at all. The slightly longer answer is while it definitely hasn’t made the service more stable, akin to Xbox Live, it has bought and brought exclusive content to the Playstation that Sony just couldn’t afford before. Things like Watch Dogs exclusive gameplay, Call of Duty’s new home for competitive and early DLC and Destiny’s marketing and further exclusive free content are great bonuses for the PS4, but what it comes down to is would you rather have all of the aforementioned perks, or a stable online service that doesn’t go down for days at a time with a risk to personal information such as credit cards and passwords.
Playstation are a laughing stock in the coding world, with so much of their encryption being sub-par and seemingly hackable by anyone with a computer and some semi-sophisticated software. Sony need to start investing some of that money they are screwing loyal customers out of into something that benefits everybody on the network, rather than exclusive content that is in some cases, completely irrelevant and too late (buying Call of Duty in 2015, what on Earth were you thinking Sony?).
The way I see it, Sony have two very clear options. Either take Playstation Plus back to an optional service that people actually want to buy if they support the company and give away some really great bonuses that makes it worth the money. Or they should invest much more of the money from subscriptions than they currently are into infrastructure and focus on making Playstation services the best they can be for the money, and leaving the game exclusivity deals on the back burner for when Sony are actually capable of running an online service that isn’t down on a monthly basis.
What do you guys think? Is Sony’s PS+ really worth the money? Would you rather PS+ was an optional service once again with benefits that make you want to buy it, rather than a mandatory fee? Let us know down in the comments!