Sony Announces “PlayStation Rewards” Programme

Apparently taking a cue from cereal companies in the 1960s, Sony has announced a PlayStation Rewards loyalty programme. The idea is just like collecting all of those boxtops from back when my mother was a child: the more money you spend on the PlayStation Network, the more rewards you get. The programme is set up on a tier system, with three levels: Select, Pro and Legendary, with more rewards given as players advance a level. Much like how there’s a progress bar showing when your next level of PlayStation trophies is, there will be a bar to show what your next level is and how far you are. Rewards are listed as including exclusive PSN avatars, dynamic themes and even entrance into a seepstakes for an expenses-paid trip to CES 2011. The programme will start as a beta for PlayStation Plus early adopters and Gamer Advisory Panel members, and is currently scheduled for a Spring ’11 release to the public.

“PlayStation’s most important asset is its loyal fans and PlayStation Rewards gives us an opportunity to show our appreciation for their amazing passion and desire to continually evolve the gaming world,” said Susan Panico, senior director, PlayStation Network. “We can’t thank our fans enough for the feedback they have given us over the years and look forward to even more dialog to help us evolve PlayStation Rewards to make it the best possible loyalty program it can be.”

It’s a bit devious of Sony: hope that people are as competitive about their tier level as they are during actual games. However, I have two questions before I consider this seriously: what are the specific rewards in total, and how will this integrate with PlayStation Plus? Is Sony going to force our hand and make PlayStation Plus members exclusive to this, or at least seriously nerf the programme for people who are going the free route? Once those questions are answered, I’ll have a more definite opinion. PlayStation Plus sounded like a brilliant idea when it first came out, too.