Premiere starts June 29th
The days of totally free content for PlayStation owners are coming to an end with the introduction of the new PlayStation Plus. Along with Microsoft, Sony will be charging $49.99 per year for the PlayStation Plus access, which the company has described as a “Premium Service” much like Xbox Live Gold level access.
While many Sony owners have already expressed unhappiness over Sony’s decision to move in this direction, the truth is that bandwidth, content and servers cost money. This is a reality that isn’t going to change. Sony hopes to ease players into subscribing to the Plus service by offering a lot of bonuses that will be available only to Plus subscribers.
Some of the Plus offerings will include four free games per month and will include a PlayStation Network title, two PSP mini titles, and a single PS1 classic title. These will be different each month. In the first month, Sony will offer Wipeout HD, Fieldrunners, Age of Zombies, and Destruction Derby. The best part of this is that games from previous months are still accessible as long as your subscription remains intact.
Perhaps one of the biggest offerings is going to be exclusive early access to demos, betas and trials. While these might come to regular subscribers at some point, some will be exclusive to Plus subscribers. Plus subscribers will also be offered dynamic themes and premium avatars and, of course, additional downloadable content. They also will be able to get a discount of selected items from the PlayStation Store, with discounts ranging from 20% to 50% off.
The yearly subscription will run $49.99 a month, but you can opt to try it for three months for $17.99. No monthly pay as you go option has been announced. Those who subscribe for a full year between June 29th and August 3rd will be able to download a full digital copy of Little Big Planet and users can keep it if they choose to cancel once their subscription is up. Sony looks to kick this off with a bang; but it will certainly be interesting to see how long they can continue to offer all of this premium content. It has been suggested that this would be necessary to gain subscribers, but look for it to drop off over time, according to our sources.