The first half of 2022 was filled with reports and rumors suggesting PlayStation was busy building its own version of Game Pass. PlayStation eventually caved and confirmed that was indeed the case. Well, sort of. It's evident PlayStation isn't particularly interested in creating a Game Pass replica. The thought of people not having to pay £70 for games like God Of War Ragnarok and Horizon Forbidden West likely sends shivers down Jim Ryan's spine. It's going to be a while before we get games of that size on PS Plus day one.
Summer arrived and a new tiered version of PS Plus was gradually rolled out. I, for one, was very excited about all of this. In fact, there were times when I felt like I was the only one outside of PlayStation HQ excited about the new system. As games that would be included in the Extra and Premium libraries were revealed, while many bemoaned what would and wouldn't be included, my excitement grew. Perhaps not having an Xbox, and therefore not knowing the magic of Game Pass firsthand, meant my expectations for PlayStation's subscription service was lower than most other people.
As soon as PS Plus Premium was available in Europe, I upped my Essential subscription as high as it would possibly go. Thankfully I wasn't one of the many who became tangled in a web of stacked subs and an inability to save money due to various complications. Right off the bat, I was not disappointed. As I scrolled through the games that were available when the new service launched, I felt like my excitement had quickly been justified.
I've played a lot of games available through PS Plus since and downloaded even more. However, as the first six months of the new system have ticked by, it has slowly dawned on me that I'm paying for something I don't use. I've started playing Yakuza, I've finally gotten around to trying out Horizon Zero Dawn, and I've even taken Prey for a whirl. One of the many games you are contractually obligated to play if you want to work at TheGamer. Hey, they were right about Mass Effect, so I figured it would be worth a go.
What you will have likely figured out for yourselves by now is I have been making the most of PS Plus Extra, but the benefits of Premium have remained relatively untouched. The biggest selling point of making the step up from Extra to Premium is its classics catalog. Six months ago, when I was doing all that library scrolling, I was wowed by the games available to me. Particularly Toy Story 2 and Jumping Flash, a couple of PS1 games that hit me right in the nostalgia.
What should have been clearer to me sooner was the fact I had been blinded by nostalgia. Not a first for me. I recently rewatched Casper for the first time since I was six and yeah, it's bad. Back to PS Plus, and I played both of those games for a combined total of about two hours, and honestly, that's probably being generous. Since then, the Premium tier has remained pretty much untouched in my house. At this point, you might be thinking this sounds very much like a “me” problem. However, it has been more than six months, and there has been very little added to Premium's classics catalog.
Certainly not enough to warrant the additional money people are paying for it each month. In fact, since none of the classic games available at launch, nor any of the few titles added since, have pulled me back in, I am quite literally throwing money away by not stepping down to the Extra tier. Don't get me wrong, I am a big proponent of PlayStation's back catalog being preserved and made playable on current consoles. The thing is, this ain't it. Almost all of the heavy hitters are missing, and it seems a little unfair that if you want to play the limited titles currently available, you have to pay for all three tiers.
The classics catalog isn't the only thing you get with Premium, of course. There are also extended free trials of some far newer triple-A games. Again, that was something I was wowed by to begin with, but again, there has been a lack of fresh content added. Big titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Horizon Forbidden West were there to bring people in at launch, but the addition of The Last Of Us Part 1 seems to be the only major follow-up in the first seven months. Had there not been an adaptation to promote, we might not have even had that.
By the time you read this, I will have downgraded my Premium subscription to PS Plus Extra. As I've already noted, I can't get enough of Extra, and even if I felt the same way about the middle tier as I do about Premium, I'd be willing to pay the additional cash for it just so I don't have to explain to my three-year-old that he can't play Paw Patrol: On A Roll anymore. As for whether I will ever step back up to Premium, it seems unlikely. Yes, there's every chance a new wave of games from my childhood gets added in the future and a flood of happy memories overrules my wallet again. The thing is, I picked up a copy of FA Premier League Stars for 79p at this weird market the other day, so unless PlayStation has SSX Tricky and The Simpsons Hit & Run ready to go, I'm really not sure how they'll win me back.
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