Since 2007, I have owned an Xbox 360. Before that I had a PS1 for about a decade. For some reason I skipped the PS2 and original Xbox generation. It seems I was more than content playing Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon day in, day out until my mid teens. In fact, asides from those games, my only other real interest in video games was football simulators. So when the day came for me to upgrade my slowly falling apart PS1, I was eager to buy a PS3. After all, it looked so cool, and after my 10 years of wumpa fruit collecting I trusted Sony to once again deliver the goods.
Unfortunately, at the tender age of 15, I had no income, and relied souly on my £2 weekly pocket money. So along comes my birthday, and an eager mother aiming to please her greedy son. I requested a PS3, and hadn’t even considered the Microsoft alternative… until, that is, my mother saw how much a brand new PS3 would set her back. Clearly £300 was not a price she would ever consider spending on her only son. So instead I was given an Xbox 360… and I loved it. Over £100 cheaper, and just as sexy as the PS3. I was in love.
I won’t bore you with the details of my red ring of death stories (Three Xboxs in as many years) but I loved it. I lost my Call of Duty virginity on Xbox, I found my love for third person shooters through Lost Planet on Xbox, I even played through a variety of new Sonic games on Xbox, each more disappointing than the last. Fast forward to 2012, and my heart is souly set within the world of Xbox… But then one day, my eyes fall on the the PS Vita. I instantly fell in love again, and it is a love affair that has lasted to this day (a whole 2 years later).
To play online with Xbox, you need an Xbox Live Gold account. Membership fees prices vary, depending on how long you need (1 month £4.99, 3 months £14.99 or 12 months £39.99) and even though Sony offered online play for free, the online experience on the 360 was always of a high standard. You get what you pay for. So when I picked up the Vita, I became aware of a service known as PS Plus. From what I had been told, it worked similar to Xbox Live subscriptions, except instead of online play, you receive free games every month. But what made me take an interest, was the fact that free games weren’t just available to PS3 owners, but also to owners of the beautiful PS Vita. Very interesting…
But as someone who has never owned a PS3, and will most likely not own a PS4 for a very long time, I always assumed paying for PS Plus would be a waste of money, considering most of the best offers would surely come to PS3 owners. I was surprised to see that triple A games such as Gravity Rush and Uncharted: Golden Abyss were made free through plus on vita. That sounds pretty appealing right? Just one problem though… the majority of the games that have been free on PS Plus for Vita are ones I have now paid for and played. Darn.
But 1 day, I noticed that on the PS vita store there was a free 14 day trial option for PS Plus. So I decided to give it a try. After all, its free? What can go wrong… well let’s just say I landed up paying for a month of PS Plus after the trail ended (Its a long story, and involves an unhappy Colin not reading terms and conditions). So In the UK, the PS Store prices for PS Plus are as follows:
1 Month: £5.49
3 Months: £11.99
1 Year: £39.99
Not that bad price wise, very similar to Xbox Live Gold subscriptions.
So during my brief spell with Plus, I played Guacamelee! For free and also received small discounts on Hotline Miami and GunSlugs. (10% off their normal price).
So, to go back to the point of this article… is PS Plus worth picking up if you do not have a PS3 pr PS4?. My answer is…
What I have found, is that a lot of new PS Vita owners are previous PS3 players. This means that the likelihood of them already having PS Plus is high. If you already had PS Plus with a PS3, prior to owning a Vita, then that means the library of free vita games you have most likely already downloaded is huge. So vast infact, that you most likely won’t need to actually buy a vita game for a good few years.
In a way this leaves people like me at a disadvantage. Sure we could pay of PS Plus, and have it work across all future Playstation purchases we make. But what if you own a 360 and are planning on buying an Xbox One? Microsoft do not have a handheld gaming counterpart, and the chances of them ever releasing something like the vita is very (Vita) slim. But Sony’s plan does make sense really. Its all business. PS Plus is there to encourage you to purchase more Playstation products, so you can play games for free across a number of devices. In Sony’s ideal world, you would own a PS3/PS4, and the offers on PS Plus would encourage you to pick up a Vita.
It seems they didn’t think about people doing it the other way around, like me. I seem to be a kink in the system. An Xbox lover, who is having a cheeky affair with a Sony handheld. To make matters even stranger, I’m more interested in purchasing an Xbox One than PS4. Why I hear you ask?… Well I’m not sure. After all it makes sense for me to pick up a PS4 and take full advantage of PS Plus. Maybe its a tribal thing. I’m so used to Xbox, and the way it works, that I’m set in my ways. Maybe I am just too old to learn new technology? But for what ever reason, Xbox is in my heart. The only problem is, so is my PS Vita.
So in conclusion, for any PS3 owners picking up a vita, PS plus is something you should have already invested money into. There is no question that it gives you fantastic value, and some awesome games for free. But for everyone else? I’m not so sure. Sony do enough offers and sales through the year to justify simply saving you money, and waiting for awesome games such as Killzone: Mercenary or Tearaway to be reduced in price. So for now, its a no from me for PS Plus. I will say though Guacamelee! was a fun game, but its only £9.99 normal price, and that is a relatively cheap price for such a good game.
So the biggest conundrum for me as a PS Vita owner with an Xbox 360, isn’t whether I should subscribe full time to PS Plus or not. I shouldn’t even be thinking about that until I’ve sorted my other unresolved issue… When the time comes, should I buy a PS4 or an Xbox One? Then, once that is answered, the path of PS Plus will become much clearer to me.