Right, what''s going on here then? We have a new subscription service, which has three levels, and on paper they make quite good sense. Here''s a quick-ish report.
PS Plus Essential is basically the old PS Plus, which costs $49.99 per year, and you get the usual monthly games, the online multiplayer access, the extra discounts in the digital store, and all other old bits and bobs, such as cloud storage for your saves and the pretty nice assortment of PS Plus Essential games that went with the PS5.
The other two levels are the new things. The next one up is the PS Plus Extra, which costs 83.99 per year and has all of the above, plus a "Game Catalogue." PS Plus Premium, which costs 99.99 per year, has the potential to cloud stream some games, play some demos, and have access to another catalog of games, which is also known as the "Classics Catalogue. "
It''s probably fair to say that the two catalogues are what will impact most people, and it''s also fair to say these two catalogues are where things stop making quite as much sense. You take a look at the extremely long, very weird list of games you can get with Extra or Premium, and try to pin it down.
There''s some good stuff here: famous Soma and Outer Wilds, advanced, third-party blockbusters like Assassin''s Creed Valhalla and Guardians of the Galaxy, and some brilliant mid-tier, multiplayer, or PvE games that are usually perfect for subscription programs, like Space Hulk: Deathwing and Vermintide 2. There are also hundreds - hundreds of games that you might not have heard of before. Games that, after asking a bit, I''m not sure.
This is first of all fantastic because it is so eccentric Sony to do that, and it''s likely to be Sony at its best. It''s odd, although it''s also interesting to watch people who aim for a bit of hassle in their corporate decisions. It makes the Game Catalogue feel a bit like a bargain bin, where you can select a gem, and then pick up a few items, including a slew of scissors, as well.
The plethora of new PS Plus Premium film tie-ins, including: Cars Race-o-Rama, Brave: The Video Game, Tron: Evolution, and others, is lacking. Not satisfied with this range of jumble-sale, turn-out-your-pockets, and a wide variety of new features, including: Epic Mickey 2, Greg Hastings Paintball, Samurai Warriors, Ninja Gaiden, and several other Dynasty Warriors games.
A lot of the Classics - 350-odd of the 400-odd presumably - are PS3 games that you may only play on cloud streaming, although it''s not that nice. Moreover, the feature, for example, is that it''s not uncommon to just see all games from all versions of Sony''s handheld catalog, except for Echocrome (also on PS3 cloud streaming). This is a horrifying fact.
The first glimpse of the launch lineup - some of whom said the game was somewhat excessive, although Sony believed it followed up game names with a random f-bomb - has given us a little more hope. It''s unusually generous - and above all, after the initial glee of discovering you now have, flicking through the many crack boxes and just-about-playable discs makes you feel a little sad. I''m certain I''ll not pick many of these myself.