Inside Pulse 12

Playstation Plus: Is It Worth the Money? – Weeks 10 and 11

Wow, not only is this Playstation Plus update pretty horrendous, but it didn’t go up until 9:55pm EST. All I can say to that is if you want a perfect example of why Sony is in dead last in terms of hardware and software sales for this console generation, all you have to do is look at how horribly they manage their weekly updates. Microsoft and Nintendo can get their updates out at the same time every week, but can Sony? Hell, no. It’s a guessing game that can occur anywhere between 5pm and 10pm EST without any real head’s up or warning. It’s terrible customer service, highly unprofessional, and yet much like the kick to the groin that is Playstation Plus, some people will take the abuse and heap sycophantic praise on Sony like a whipped dog. So this week, not only do we have a potentially pretty crappy Playstation Plus update, but it’s exceptionally late to boot. This is time I could have spent playing Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions or Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

With this week’s edition, we’ll be continuing with the same format. We’ll take a quick look at the Playstation Plus lineup for this week and then break it down into six categories:

1. Already own, but would have purchased without PSPlus if I hadn’t.

2. Already own, but regret purchasing.

3. Don’t own, but would have purchased w/out PSPlus.

4. Wouldn’t have purchased, but downloaded due to PSPlus.

5. Wouldn’t bother downloading this regardless.

6. Discount isn’t enough to make me pull the trigger.

So there we go. Six possible categories each PSPlus item can fall under. Then at the end of the column we’ll see if I got my $3.33 for the mouth out of it.


Playstation Plus Downloads For the Week of September 7th

Qore Episode 28: September 2010 (Free to PlayStation Plus Subscribers, regular price $2.99)

Warhawk Game Trial (Free and Exclusive to PlayStation Plus Subscribers)

Warhawk: Booster Combo (Free to PlayStation Plus Subscribers, regular price $15.99)

Warhawk Dynamic Theme (Free to PlayStation Plus Subscribers, Regular Price $2.99)

UFC Undisputed 2010 – TUF Fighter DLC Pack (Free to PlayStation Plus Subscribers, regular price $1.99)

God of War: Ghost of Sparta PSP Demo (Early Access to PlayStation Plus Subscribers)

Blast Off – Minis (Free to PlayStation Plus Subscribers, regular price $2.99)

Mystical Fractals Theme (Free and Exclusive to PlayStation Plus Subscribers)

Ratchet & Clank Dynamic Theme (PlayStation Plus Price $1.50, regular price $2.99)


Yep. This is what Sony provides to its loyal customers twice a month. It looks pretty weak, but, let’s bite the bullet and do the breakdown.


1. Already own, but would have purchased without PSPlus if I hadn’t.

Nothing. That’s because Playstation Plus rarely offers anything I’d actually pay money for. So far the only thing I’ve bought is Hamsterball when it was $2.99 and even then that was with extra credit left over and even THEN it still turned out to be worth less than the amount I played for it. At least I bought it at it’s lowest price instead of the rapid fluctuations that occur in PS+

2. Already own, but regret purchasing.

Again, nothing. All the things that cost money here are things I’d have never purchased in the first place.

3. Don’t own, but would have purchased w/out PSPlus.

0 for 3 so far. As I’ve said it’s a pretty lackluster PS+ offering this week, and that’s me being kind.

4. Wouldn’t have purchased, but downloaded due to PSPlus.

Qore Episode 28 – Much as I’ve said before, I will never understand why anyone would purchase Qore. First, it’s directly controlled, sponsored by and paid for all by Sony. This means there will never be a drop of actual journalism in these things. It’s all one big marketing piece for Sony and to convince people to BUY BUY BUY right NOW NOW NOW. There’s no integrity or constructive criticism -just hype disguised as a poorly done program about Sony by Sony. I look at Qore the same way I look at Coke’s own 145 minute”documentary” Coca-Cola: The History of an American Icon – the only people stupid enough not to recognize it as one big advertisement deserve to be fleeced of their money. It’s a product for simpletons and I have to wonder how many people have both a subscription to both Qore and Playstation Plus, allowing Sony to steal from them twice?

God of War: Ghost of Sparta PSP Demo – Whoo! Free demos! That’s what I’m talking about, baby. Oh wait. Demos are always free. Let me start over. Whoo! Early access to PS3 demos! That’s what I’m talking about, baby! Oh wait. This is a PSP Demo. Hmm. Well, it’s a good thing I own a PSP then, right? Because you know it would be insane or outright evil of a company to offer a service that is directly geared for PS3s and then to offer a PSP demo as the big “item of the week,” right? I mean there can’t possibly be PS3 owners who don’t have a PSP, right? RIGHT?

Whoops. Not the best move here Sony. People purchased Playstation Plus for PS3 reasons, not PSP ones. I honestly would bet money against anyone owning just a PSP and then purchasing Playstation Plus, because they wouldn’t be able to use at least 85% of the service. Now what about the thousands of people that own a PS3 but not a PSP? They’re kind of screwed this week, aren’t they? I mean unless they buy a $100+ portable system.

Look, for me, this is great. I own a PS3 AND two PSPs. I can take full advantage of this early demo and lord it over our own Aaron Sirois who loves the God of War series more than his first born child (if he had one). I also love early access to demos and the like, but doing this with a PSP game was the wrong way to go, pure and simple. It screws over people who own the service but only own a PS3. Of course, for the past eleven weeks, we’ve seen Playstation Plus is only about screwing over Sony’s most loyal customers to begin with, so I guess there is no difference here.

Blast Off – Eh. It’s another mediocre Minis title. It’s not something I’d have paid money for, but for a freebie, it’s not too bad. I will say this one is better experienced on your PSP, as the graphics don’t hold up too well on the PS3.

Mystical Fractals Theme – Pretty and free. Sure, I downloaded. Of course, I’ll stick to my Trinity Universe theme, thank you very much.

5. Wouldn’t bother downloading this regardless.

Warhawk Game Trial – What you’re getting here is a one Gig download that you can only play for an hour. After that you have to pay $29.99 for a game that has been out for TWO YEARS. How many games are still at thirty dollars, even best selling ones, two years after their initial release? Answer: not many. So this is a pretty big insult on multiple level to PS+ subscribers. Seriously, anyone that was going to buy this did so a long time ago.

Warhawk: Booster Combo – this is actually a pretty good deal here. A free booster pack containing three “operations.” You’re saving $16.99 here and so if you already own the game, you’re sitting pretty. After all, you only had to shill out $49.99 for Playstation Plus to get a free $16 download. Oh, and that extra $29.99 for Warhawk in the first place. So you’re paying a total of $80 to get a free $16 download. In other words you’re either getting the booster, PS+ and Warhawk for roughly 20% off or you’re buying a $30 game just to use a $16 download. Either way, this is something that looks good on the surface but after you look closely, you realize this is just another example of Playstation Plus being nothing more than a coupon clipping scam.

Warhawk Dynamic Theme – it’s great to see a free dynamic theme, but as I could care less about Warhawk and have no intention of buying the game, I have no need or desire to download this theme.

UFC Undisputed 2010 – TUF Fighter DLC Pack – Four fighters for $1.99 is a pretty good deal on its own. Getting them for free is even better. However, I don’t own this game and I probably never will, so there’s no point in downloading this, right? Again, you buy a $60 product and a $50 coupon service, you get a $1.99 download free. That just doesn’t fly with me.

6. Discount isn’t enough to make me pull the trigger.

Ratchet & Clank Dynamic Theme – I don’t like platformers, so I don’t see the point in getting 50% off a theme featuring characters I don’t care about in the first place.


Well, it’s a lackluster week YET AGAIN. but there are some high points. Getting an early demo of God of War: Ghost of Sparta is awesome, but ONLY if you own a PSP. A collection of three booster packs for Warhawk is a nice little freebie as well, but only if you ignore the fact you had to spend $80 to get it free in the first place. Aside from those two caveats, the only good things this week are a free theme and a mediocre Minis title. Otherwise it’s crap and coupons once again. That’s rather telling about the quality of Playstation Plus across the board. Heh, I actually downloaded three demos from the regular PS Store and I’ll probably have more fun with Sengoku BASARA, Quantum Theory and Legend of the Guardians than I will with my three PS+ downloads this week. Ouch.

See you in another fortnight kids when we take another look at how Sony laughs at PS+ subscribers all the way to the bank.

  • darkbridger

    I feel like they insulted my intellegence by putting Warhawk up there. It should AT LEAST be reduced cost. I bought this game almost 2 years ago….. and the expansions… dito on buying almost 2 years ago.

    Ya, it would have been GREAT…. if we were living 2 YEARS AGO.

    Is this all PSN Plus is going to be? “free” 2 year old DLC ? Oh, and let’s not forget all the fricking racing games. I count 4/12 of the games so far as having had a racing theme.

    So that’s most of PSN Plus, 2 year old DLC and racing games.

    Sad

  • Kevin

    I’m with you 100%, but check out that Warhawk Theme even if you don’t own or care about the game. It’s a nice looking animation well worth a free peek. I believe it adjusts to the Time of Day. Try it during the day and again at night.

  • Kevin – Good to know. I’ll try it out.

  • Full Name

    Interesting post, and I agree with most of it. The Mini’s and Game of the month were nothing to brag about.. As for the theme, I have not played around with themes much, what besides a pretty background and icons does it offer? It says “explore fractals” in the description, and I don’t get it. The whole point of fractals is to zoom in etc – is there a simple way to get a screensaver or something activated that shows this?

    Lastly I have to say I agree somewhat with Chad. Stop bringing the subscription price into it. It is a one time cost, that hopefully recoups over the 15 months. For me, Wipeout was a great download that I was thinking of buying anyway. I figure it took $20 off my subscription in the first month. I also played a couple of the mini’s for hours, so probably worth a few bucks. The Hulu early access was useful as well.

  • “Full Name” You have to constantly bring subscription price into things. Remember Playstation Plus is two things: a coupon service and a rental service. You are paying $50 a month to either get reduced prices on things or to rent games. You have to pay it each year, so the collective cost has to be kept in mind, especially fi you are going to compare things to the price of owning a game. Downloading Wipeout doesn’t “take $20 off your subscription,” because you’re paying that subscription each year.

    It’s very much like renting a house vs. buying one. The long and short term price comparisons always have to be brought up in order to see what you’re really getting AND what you’re really spending.