Well, we knew it was coming eventually - Sony's need for revenue is legitimate, but their new subscription service, Playstation Plus, didn't seem like much of a great deal when Jack Tretton announced it today at the Sony press conference. Mostly because Tretton gave very few details - access to "designated" games free of additional charge, exclusive discounts, special content such as avatars, early access to betas; it's all pretty vague.
What's not vague is the $49.99 annual price tag, or the $17.99 three-month subscription. That's 49.99 and 14.99 euro, and 5,000 and 500 yen, for ye on distant shores. Here's the breakdown of Playstation Plus details, such as they are:
- Full game trial*3 - Members will have access to full versions of designated PS3® and PlayStation Network titles including PS one® Archives (PS one® Classics). The titles on offer will be available for download on PlayStation Store for a stated period and change every month. Members will be able to play the full version of the game for a designated period and even after the trial period expires, users will be able to continue playing the game by purchasing the game on-line*4.
- Games - Member will be able to play the full version of designated PS3 downloadable and PlayStation Network titles including PS one Archives (PS one Classics) and minis*5 with no limit of time as long as membership is effective. These games will become available exclusively for PlayStation Plus members at no extra cost.
- Special content - Content such as avatars and custom themes many of which are exclusive will become available for PlayStation Plus members at no extra cost.
- Discounts - Members will have access to exclusive discounts on designated PS3 and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) titles. Titles will vary every month on PlayStation Store.
- Early access - Members will have early access to designated new game beta trials, game demos and video content prior to public distribution.
- Automatic content downloads and updates - PS3 will automatically download and install designated game demos and game updates and also download the system software update data*6. PS3 will automatically start up at a designated time to download content and will turn off after the download has completed.