Print 25 comment(s) - last by The Raven.. on Jul 1 at 12:38 PM

Free download games only playable as long as gamers pay membership fee

E3 wrapped up earlier this month and lots of new hardware, games and other new services were announced at the show from major game developers. Sony was one of the major electronics companies that unveiled many new items at the show.

One of the more confusing items Sony debuted during its E3 keynote was PlayStation Plus. The confusing aspect was what exactly came with the purchase of the service. Sony Sr. Director of the PlayStation Network Susan Panico has posted to the official PlayStation Blog to clarify what the new service includes ahead of its official launch on June 29.

Some of the key offerings that PlayStation Plus provides are full access to the PlayStation Network game WipEout HD; PSP minis; PS One classics like Fieldrunners, Age of Zombies, Rally Cross; and a game trial of Infamous. The service will also provide a free monthly episode of Qore.

Panico points out that the current PlayStation Network will remain a free service. PlayStation Plus subscribers will get the existing PSN features plus PlayStation Plus features with exclusive games, store discounts, exclusive demo selections, betas, and early purchases. Buyers will also get full game trials and automatic downloads.

The full-game trials will last only one hour unless otherwise stated. If players get through several levels of a trial game in that hour and decides to buy, the purchased game picks up where the player left off in the trial.

One of the cooler features, and one that all PS3 owners should get, is Automatic Downloads. This feature lets the player set their PS3 to wake up at any time of the day or night to download updates automatically. The actual installation of updates has to be done manually though.

PlayStation Plus-specific games will be downloadable for the entire month and new games will replace them. Once the user downloads the free games, they are available to players as long as they remain PlayStation Plus members. The discounts in the PlayStation store will range from 20% to 50% and users will be able to keep their purchases made with discounts even if they don’t renew a membership.

The pricing is $49.99 for a year and $17.99 for three months of service. Sony will also give buyers of the year package an extra three months for 15 months total.

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By bighairycamel on 6/25/2010 10:17:02 AM , Rating: 3
The full-game trials will last only one hour unless otherwise stated. If players get through several levels of a trial game in that hour and decides to buy, the purchased game picks up where the player left off in the trial.
So you spend ~10 hours downloading a full game so spend 1 hour playing it? I'ld rather just have a demo even if it only plays for a half an hour.

I play my PS3 way more than my 360, but if I was going to spend $50/yr I would do it on XBL. Going to have to pass.

RE: Pass
By nafhan on 6/25/2010 10:27:20 AM , Rating: 2
This reminds me of having a Costco membership: it's great if you buy a lot of stuff there, but otherwise it's a waste of $50 a year. Unless those free games are really good or they start adding more perks (Hulu?), I just don't see a lot of people buying into this.

RE: Pass
By killerroach on 6/25/2010 11:01:42 AM , Rating: 2
In some ways, it's backfiring on them, as I've started halting what games I get from PSN because I'm thinking some of them may be discounted with a PSN+ membership on some of their occasional sales (seeing as I already own Infamous and Wipeout HD, nothing I can do there)...

I'm probably going to pony up for the subscription, as I do get a lot of stuff off PSN, but it's really making me adjust my buying habits in the meantime.

RE: Pass
By Phynaz on 6/25/2010 3:32:20 PM , Rating: 2
You sit there and wait 10 hours? Why wouldn't you start the download and go to school/work/bed?

RE: Pass
By BZDTemp on 6/26/2010 5:24:56 AM , Rating: 2
No you don't. You let the automatic download feature do it and then play the one hour when you feel like.

RE: Pass
By ImSpartacus on 6/27/2010 3:16:13 PM , Rating: 2
The reason you spend 10 hours downloading the entire game is to make it easy to purchase it.

For the layman, being able to punch their credit card number in and instantly continue playing is paramount. Sony makes the process easy by guaranteeing that the consumer already has the game downloaded.

It's kinda like donating to a cause via txt. When it's absurdly simple, people will just do it.

Now, I'm not sure if this feature will sell PSN+ for people, but it's a start.

RE: Pass
By afkrotch on 6/29/2010 3:05:49 AM , Rating: 2
I'm liking the feature, but I really don't want to pay $50 a year for it.

Being able to actually play the game, instead of a demo can show me a lot. I hate those demos that show you the best part of the game. Then you come to find out after spending $50-$60 on the full game, that the only good part of the game, was the demo.

By inperfectdarkness on 6/25/2010 11:07:00 AM , Rating: 3
virtual console still > ps plus & xbox live arcade. and that's AFTER taking into account the dearth of good VC games released lately.

RE: imho...
By Hiawa23 on 6/25/2010 2:11:20 PM , Rating: 3
virtual console still > ps plus & xbox live arcade. and that's AFTER taking into account the dearth of good VC games released lately.

Virtual console would be cool for me if I did not own every console since the Nes setup in my gameroom.

RE: imho...
By Phoque on 6/25/2010 6:02:32 PM , Rating: 4
Post a pic, we want to see!

RE: imho...
By Lazarus Dark on 6/25/2010 9:57:36 PM , Rating: 2
I get nostalgic for the games, not so much for the calous-inducing NES controller. And I don't miss blowing my brains out to clean off the NES cartridge to get it working. I have fond memories of course, but I'd rather play the games on the VC with a comfortable controller. I really like the feel of the Classic Controller Pro.

RE: imho...
By Samus on 6/26/2010 3:37:06 AM , Rating: 2
Blowing your brains out? That's so 1980's...

Use the google and find yourself a gold-platted 72-pin connector, it'll last a lifetime.

Playstation Live?
By jdr123 on 6/25/2010 10:15:40 AM , Rating: 2
or is that next?

By heartlessdeath on 6/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: Negative
By Hiawa23 on 6/25/2010 11:47:19 AM , Rating: 1
I own all the consoles, prefer LIVE to PSN by a long stretch so I am not paying for Plus. Every mic I have used other than the official Bluetooth one made by Sony has bad quality issues & it seems most PS3 owners don't have mics or use them.

Funny, Sony told us we would have to get 2nd jobs to buy a PS3 when it launched, they told us we did not need vibrating controllers, they bashed MS for charging $50 year for LIVE, & now look where we are at, LOL. I really enjoy my PS3, but their online structure, meh, & Home is not appealing to me at all.

RE: Negative
By Quadrillity on 6/25/10, Rating: 0
RE: Negative
By The Raven on 6/25/2010 12:33:24 PM , Rating: 2
Is LIVE a better quality service? Probably, but at least I don't have to pay a dime to play multiplayer with my PS3.

Well let's look at the math:

I pay $30 for a yearly membership.
$30 = 300 dimes
300/365=0.822 dimes ;-)

So I don't literally don't pay a dime for XBL either (on a daily basis, that is) :-P

Joking aside, I can appriciate the $50 fee eventhough I though it was lame before. They have to pay to run the servers that serve all the free demos and video that they let you DL. It's not like there is a P2P client running on the 360 to distribute this stuff. They are not just preventing you from playing with your friends like you would on a PC game.

And let also not forget that Blizzard, etc. charge $15/mo for WOW or whatever? (That's about 5 dimes a day for those keeping track!) That's approx 5x what MS is charging.

[But that is a whole different story as there are benefits to the WOW scheme too. Like you are paying for the game. Whereas with XBL, you are paying just for the connection, access to free demos, etc. and not the discs that you put in the drive. (Unless you are just buying the 360 to play Aegis Wing, Totem Ball, Hexic HD, or Doritos Dino Dash which are free full version games)]

But I do have to say as someone who would've passed up an Xbox for a Wii had I not been gifted one, the MP experience on XBL is hands down better than that of the Wii or PS3 (own a Wii played PS3). I don't know why exactly though I would suspect it is because MS can build a better network infrastructure with the cash.

$30/year is all I pay for XBL since you can find it on sale regularly and just stock up if you know you will use it. Last place I got it for $30 was I've also gotten it on Amazon too. Point is it isn't hard to find that not everyone is paying $50 as you can get it cheaper if you don't buy it online from MS. Just a tip if anyone didn't already know this.

RE: Negative
By afkrotch on 6/29/2010 3:28:40 AM , Rating: 2
Is this suppose to be a debate, cause it's full of a huge amount of fail.

Everything, minus multiplayer is available on the free XBL Silver account. Demos, free. Videos, free. Online multiplayer? Need XBL Gold.

Blizzard charges a monthly fee, as you are actually using their servers. XBL Gold? You're connecting to the distant end Xbox (host) and playing that way. The only thing XBL is doing is, helping you find a match. It's exactly like a P2P server, like torrents. XBL server tracks who's online, what they're doing, and whether they are hosting a game. You connect to that and it points you towards what you need.

I think I prefer the free on PS3 and free on PC.

RE: Negative
By The Raven on 7/1/2010 12:38:54 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, no it is not supposed to be a debate.

I was just saying that from my experience, XBL is better than what Wii or the PS3 offer.
I can't explain it, I can just hypothesize since I don't work for MS (or Sony or nintendo for that matter). But I am just trying to explain the result with very limited knowledge as an end user.

I agree with most of what you said because I did some research (thank you Wikipedia!) on the difference between gold and silver levels. Since I have only been a gold member since I got the xbox, I didn't realize what I got with the membership. All I cared about was that I needed it to play with my bro.

I do have to disagree with you that it is just like p2p gaming as there are dedicated servers out there for various games (like Battlefield), but I don't know who funds them and I would guess that it is the publishers that pay for those. How the XBL fee ties into that? It doesn't much I would guess, but I don't think anyone knows because of the distorted agreements that these companies get into lol.

Personally I prefer the PC route myself, but I prefer Steam as it has one of the features that XBL has: an identity tied to money (the games are cheaper too!)

For both Steam and XBL, you have to pay to play. Therefore it will cost you $$ to be a dill hole and ruin someone elses experience. If I can get online without paying for it, then I don't have to worry about the consequenses of spamming people with messages or being downrated by the people that I piss off. I'm not sure how the PSN avoids this but it is something that should be considered a plus in my estimation. (Is it tied to the device like the Wii? That would be good. But you could only have one identity per device.) XBL has a pretty good feedback system (but unfortuantely people don't always use it properly and it has its kinks from what I can tell).

But anyway, that is how I look at it and why I don't mind the charge so much. Feel free to straighten me out again as I am interested to see how PS3 ties the online identity to money. Thanks.

RE: Negative
By Hiawa23 on 6/25/2010 1:47:03 PM , Rating: 1
I have never had issues, maybe it's your internet connection or local interference?

no connection issues, mics are fine on LIVE, it's the way it's setup, many PS3 owners have complained about hearing background noise in their mics, some times sounding like you are in a tunnel. I have just accepted it's just the way it is & it's free, like I said since I bought Sony' BT mic, I hear less tunneling, nothing really to complain about so my online gaming takes place on the 360, PS3 is for Blu-ray & exclusives.

RE: Negative
By Hiawa23 on 6/25/2010 1:53:06 PM , Rating: 2
Oh shut up, Sony puts their pants on two legs at a time just like everyone else; they make mistakes.

Oh come on, can't we discuss like adults? There is no need for that tone. No sense of humor I see...

I already said it's free, so nothing to complain about, I just prefer gaming online on LIVE.

RE: Negative
By mushi799 on 6/25/2010 12:33:00 PM , Rating: 1
You prefer live to psn because MS makes you pay to play online. Genius...

RE: Negative
By Hiawa23 on 6/25/2010 2:02:17 PM , Rating: 2
You prefer live to psn because MS makes you pay to play online . Genius...

This doesn't really need a response, but I prefer Live because of it's functionality, ease of use, & many other features, Live is like woven into the Xbox experience, as far as I look at it.

Come on, no one wants to pay to play online, but it's simple, if I want to game online on the 360, it's simple, plus I have only been paying $30 per year for the last couple of years. Worth it to..

RE: Negative
By Quadrillity on 6/25/10, Rating: 0
RE: Negative
By Quadrillity on 6/28/2010 7:30:48 AM , Rating: 2
I get downrated for stating that paying extra for online is ridiculous and for commending someone for not being a fanboy? You are all idiots.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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