Did you know that PlayStation Plus is now the better part of 10 years old? When Sony launched their PlayStation Network way back on the PlayStation 2 it was something of a novelty and something that blew console gamers minds at the time.
By the time the PlayStation 3 rolled around, online was something that was really starting to become essential in the world of console gaming and the PlayStation Network was actually a really big deal. During the PlayStation 3 era, Sony took a major shot at Microsoft by making it so that you could play your PlayStation 3 games online without having to pay any extra money.
Eventually, Sony realized that they were missing out on some major revenue and that was why in 2010, PlayStation Plus was created. This served as a premium online service that was there to offer discounts, free games and cloud saves to gamers.
Do I Need PlayStation Plus?
In 2019, if you play video games online then you need PlayStation Plus. There are a handful of games (Fortnite being the most notable one) that will allow you to play online without a PS Plus account. For the most part, if you want to play something like Black Ops IIII, Red Dead Redemption Online or FIFA, you simply must have a PlayStation Plus account in order to do so.
I would bet that the majority of PlayStation 4 players in 2019 will have a PlayStation Plus membership. Online play has become such a huge part of gaming that many big titles these days rely on people playing them online.
How Much Is PlayStation Plus?
The cheapest way to get PlayStation Plus from Sony is to buy a 12-month membership which as I write this is $60. It is worth noting that if you shop around on places like Amazon and eBay, you can buy a 12-month PlayStation Plus Subscription card usually for a few bucks cheaper than Sony themselves are asking.
I would always suggest you have a look around before you actually give Sony your money. A 12-month subscription card is just as good as playing Sony directly.
Can I Share PlayStation Plus?
You can actually manage with just one PlayStation Plus account in a household that has two PlayStation 4’s. For example, I have a PS4 in the living room and my son has one in his bedroom. As of right now, online gaming is something he only dabbles in so we get away with sharing the account.
It is very easy to do. You just have your one PlayStation Network account that has a PlayStation Plus subscription as the primary account on both PS4’s. Then you just make sure that the PS Plus account is logged in when you want to play online, you can still use other profiles that are on that PlayStation 4 console, but the PS Plus account holder must always be logged in.
This works out great in some cases. However, if you have two kids that play online a lot then sharing is not really an option as you cannot be logged in and online on two different PlayStation consoles at the same time.
What About The Free Games?
The biggest draw when PlayStation Plus launched on the PlayStation 3 had to be the fact that they gave you free games each month. Back in the PlayStation 3 days, the free games were the main draw of the PlayStation Plus service and Sony went above and beyond.
Bioshock Infinite, Mortal Kombat, Sleeping Dogs, DMC, Street Fighter IV, Need for Speed and Uncharted 3 are just some of the games that were given away as part of PlayStation Plus for the PS3. It is more than fair to say that gamers were actually spoiled by the offerings that Sony was giving away at this time.
As things moved onto the PlayStation 4, gamers required the service in order to play online so the free games were not as much of an essential draw. The results on the PlayStation 4 have been rather mixed. Sony has given away some great titles on the PlayStation 4, but there are a lot of indie titles that make up the free games each month.
For a while, you were actually getting PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita games each month as part of your subscription. The Vita games, in particular, were a huge draw and I know for myself personally, most of my Vita collection is made up from the free games I got via my PlayStation Plus membership.
At the end of the day, a free game is a free game so it is hard to criticize Sony for their offerings each month. However, if you have been with PS Plus since the days of the PlayStation 3. A time when Triple-A titles were regularly given away each month, I can see why some of the offerings may seem like Sony are cheeping out.
It is worth mentioning that these free games are only yours as long as you keep your PlayStation Plus account active. If you stop your account or miss a month. Any PlayStation Plus games you have on your PlayStation 4 will be locked. Thankfully you can resign up at any time and all of those games will once again be made available to you.
Do Not Forget About Your Discounts!
One thing that you will always see when you go to the PlayStation Store is a lot of deals. This is something that I actually think Sony does not get enough credit for when it comes to their PlayStation Network service.
As well as getting free games each month with your subscription. It also entitles you to discounts on certain games. Sometimes a game will be on sale anyway and as you are a PlayStation Plus account member you get more money knocked off it. Sometimes this has been just a couple of bucks sometimes it has been a case where you get nearly 75 percent knocked off the regular asking price!
I have purchased many games that I was on the fence about due to the fact that there was a large saving due to my PlayStation Plus membership. I always recommend that you check the store to see what savings are on offer.
Other Free Bonuses
Over the years being a PlayStation Plus member has also come with other perks. One of the best examples I can give is free themes. Now there are a ton of free themes available on the PS4 in general. However, there are usually a few PlayStation Plus exclusive themes that are a lot of fun to spruce your PS4 dashboard up with.
Free movies and other software have also been offered from time to time, but in all honesty, with you, this is not something that I myself have dabbled in so I cannot say for certain how good it was. However, you do on occasion get other little perks for being a PS Plus subscriber so keep an eye open.
How Well Does It Work?
Sony had a really hard time with their PlayStation Network being hacked a while back, but I have to say that as someone who is on their PlayStation 4 nearly every day. The number of times I have had the service be down on me since I got my PS4 has been very minimal. Of course, when you are paying for a premium service this is very, very frustrating to deal with.
I know that some people have had issues with their PS4’s PS Plus and PlayStation Network in general, but I have to say that I have found it to be an easy to use and very reliable service over the years. Now granted it sometimes feels like it needs to update every other day, but I would say that is the case with most online services these days.
The Social Aspect Of It
Ok, so this is more of a PlayStation Network overall thing that PlayStation Plus, but I do feel they are tied together. After all, if you are playing online, you will want to chat with other players most likely.
The social aspect of gaming is one thing that I feel Xbox do better than PlayStation. The way you chat to your friends and send messages on the PlayStation 4 is not bad by any means and you get used to it. However, it is a bit clunky and could be smoother if you ask me.
Sony has finally allowed us to change our user names. At first, I thought this was great as I have been using the same one for years and it is kind of dumb. The catch is that this can actually cause some problems with certain games! I am not sure how widespread of an issue this was, but it was certainly something that Sony thought enough to warn people about.
Is PlayStation Plus Worth It?
If you play games online then really you have no option, but to have a PlayStation Plus membership. I do though feel that the PlayStation Plus Membership with its free games each month and cloud saves is not bad value for money at all. At the end of the day, getting two games per month is great. Sony will never be able to please everyone in the games department and what I think is a great game, you may think sucks.
The added discounts that your membership gives you are amazing and well worth taking advantage of. I think the main problem people have with PlayStation Plus is that the price has gone up little by little, but we no longer get PlayStation 3 or Vita games so it feels like we are paying more, but getting less. I think adding a third game each month (which they sometimes do) would have been great.
In all, I think that PlayStation Plus is a solid service and it is something that most PlayStation 4 players should make use of.