Now that Playstation Plus has finally opened it's doors to Vita owners I handed over my $50 entrance fee to Sony and joined the club. I had some reservations about doing so, but ultimately decided to to join for 'experiments sake' to see if membership did have it's privileges. Is PS+ a wise investment of my gaming dollars? I've got the next 12 months to find out.
My concerns about joining PS+ were primarily the glaring fact that you don't actually own any of the free games you receive as a member. Sure, you have unrestricted access to them while you're membership is active, but as soon as it expires the door slams shut in your face.
It's more like the free games are on loan as long as you remain a member in good standing (i.e. paying the annual fee). Now I know chances of me playing some these games a year from now is very slim. Plus, I could always just purchase the ones I want if/when my subscription expires. Still the thought of losing access to my Vita's virtual library is somewhat bothersome.
I can only imagine how the pull of keeping my PS+ membership active will intensify as my library of freebies grows. It doesn't take a spider-sense to see that it is going to be difficult to eventually pull the plug on my subscription. I'll worry about that later though, for now I'm a brand new member and it's time to start reaping the benefits.
Playstation Plus' initial 'Instant Game Collection' for Vita owners is quite an impressive list of titles:
Uncharted Golden Abyss
Jet Set Radio Vita
Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
While I already own physical copies of Uncharted & Gravity Rush, its nice to be able to download them directly to my Vita and eliminate the need to carry around the carts. Not that it is a huge hassle to swap out carts, but I do appreciate the convenience factor.
I had full intentions of purchasing Jet Set Radio at launch, so that's $10 saved I suppose. Again, I don't completely feel it's a savings as the game is 'free with a catch'. If I want to fire it up a year from now, that will cost me another $50 to renew my PS+ or I'll end up having to purchase the game outright.
Wipeout, Mutant Blobs & Final Fantasy Tactics are games that I wouldn't have purchased with real money, but for free I'm happy to add them to my Vita. They most likely will not be missed if my PS+ subscription lapses
In total, that's $145 worth of games which amounts to a theoretical savings of $95 after subtracting the $50 annual fee for PS+ (3 month plans are also available for $18). There are also PS3 titles offered for free but none that interested me enough to bother downloading. PS+ also offers discounts from week to week, which I'm very eager to take advantage of as those games you do get to keep after your subscription expires.
So while I continue to have reservations about PS+, my initial thoughts are that it's a great service for those 'hit it & quit it' titles. It remains somewhat agonizing for me when it comes to the games you want to keep indefinitely however. Will have to see how things evolve for me over the year, and if the value is there for me to renew my membership come November 2013.
GamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Tickets are limited!