Playstation Plus: Is It Worth the Money? -Weeks 6 &7

Sigh. Oh Sony. Just when we all think you finally have your act together, you reveal that it was a single solitary moment of lucidity before you plunge back down to your usual level of syphilitic insanity. Two weeks ago, I praised Sony for FINALLY getting Playstation Plus right after four straight weeks of being a middle finger to gamers the world over. Third rate titles, insulting “deals” and overall providing a service that was nothing more than a way to fleece some cash out of the last few people that actually believe in your product.

So of course the very next week Sony announces that Playstation Plus will go bi-monthly and so now instead of getting mediocre games and lame themes to download on a weekly basis, you will still be getting the same lack of quality products that you exchanged hard earned money for, but you will be getting LESS OF THEM. Note to Sony -giving us crap fortnightly instead of weekly isn’t improving things; it’s actually fleecing your customers even more.

Then as a final act of cruelty to Playstation Plus purchasers, they were giving a single deal in week 6: an extra discount on Wakeboarding HD. Jesus. At this rate PS+ should just be renamed to “Crappy Discounts on Crappy Racing Games.”

This of course brings us to Week 7 of Playstation Plus and just when you thought Sony couldn’t get any crappier, they surprise us all by giving us the worst selection yet. 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 August 10th

Qore Episode 27: August 2010 (Free to PlayStation Plus Subscribers, regular price $2.99)

Red Faction Guerrilla Game Trial (Free and Exclusive to PlayStation Plus Subscribers)

PixelJunk Racers 2nd Lap (Early Access for PlayStation Plus Subscribers; PlayStation Plus price $5.24, regular price $6.99)

High Velocity Bowling (PlayStation Plus price $5.00, regular price $9.99)

WipEout Fury DLC (PlayStation Plus price $7.99, regular price $9.99)

UNCHARTED Eye of Indra Comic Bundle (PlayStation Plus price $1.25, regular price $2.49)

Aero Racer – Minis (Free to PlayStation Plus Subscribers; Regular Price 2.99)

Nebula Tunnels Theme (Free to PlayStation Plus Subscribers, Regular Price 1.49)

Yes, I know. It is pretty crappy, but we need to go through the format if only for professionalism’s sake. Let’s take a look where everything falls.

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

Ha ha ha. Nothing. That’s because I own quality downloads from the PSN Store and quality appears to be an alien concept in the world of Playstation Plus!

2. Already own, but regret purchasing.

Nothing. See my snarky comments above.

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

Again, nothing. Like I said, this is a BAD BAD WEEK.

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

Qore Episode 27: August 2010 -Look, I don’t get Qore. I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would purchase a subscription to something that is little more than a collection of commercials for Sony by Sony. Would you pay $19.99 a year to be able to download Coca-Cola commercials or a monthly fee to download movie trailers? Only if you’re a complete moron. So why would you do the same thing with Qore? This is the age of the internet. You can get news and video footage for free. If you want clueless hipsters talking about a product in a way that makes you embarrassed to be a fan of said product or fandom, that’s what the internet is for too. Plus, you have to keep in mind that not only are you paying for these commercials and product placement but it’s insidiously designed to look like third rate journalism. Does anyone think Sony’s going to feature a product on Qore and not talk it up like it’s Shangra-La? Does anyone think Sony is going to say, “Well, damn! That was pretty awful. Don’t buy this game for our system and thus keep us from getting our cut from this awful product.” No, they’re going to say “Kane and Lynch 2 is awesome! You should buy it. Look how great it is. What are you talking about? There was no controversy about the first game and it certainly wasn’t awful. BUY BUY BUY! NOW NOW NOW!”

Honestly, if you purchase Qore, than you deserve to be ridiculed by your peers and have rotten vegetables and fecal matter thrown at you as you slink down the street in shame. At least through Playstation Plus, you’re getting it for “free.” Wow. Is that a Splatterhouse theme and a video game demo I get too? Gee willikers. Well that just makes it all better doesn’t it?

Aero Racer – Minis – Holy shit was this bad. If you know me, I try to rarely if ever use strong profanity in my writing because I find it unprofessional, but Playstation Plus has been so bad I find it almost impossible not to curse at least once in these columns. Aero Racer earns this week’s bit of pottu mouth because it is so unbelievably bad I was kind of shocked it was allowed to be sold on the PSN Store. Seriously, this is one of the worst racing games I have ever played. And it’s more racing game crap! What is with the majority of free games on PS+ being racing games? There are other genres out there Sony!

5. Wouldn’t bother downloading this regardless.

Red Faction Guerrilla Game Trial – Look, Red Faction: Guerrilla isn’t a bad game. In fact last year our own A.J. Hess gave it an immensely positive review. No, my problem is that Sony somehow thinks it is doing Playstation Plus fans some sort of magical treat by giving you a sixty minute trial of the game. This of course is next to nothing but the open cinematics and a scant few minutes of play time. It’s arguably shorter than a regular demo. Then add in the fact that said “trial” involves downloading a full 6GB game, and you will be spending more time downloading than playing your precious trial. What the hell Sony? I’m not sure if you think gamers are all idiots or the people you have working on Playstation Plus are just morons, but this has no logic or even sanity behind it.

PixelJunk Racers 2nd Lap. Ugh. Another Racing game. Wowee. I can save less than two dollars on something I wouldn’t enjoy anyway. Again, what is it with Sony and pushing racing games down the throats of people. If I wanted to drive something, I have an actual vehicle for that.

High Velocity Bowling. Wow. Half off a bowling game. Again, if I wanted to bowl I would actually go do it. Even if I did want to play virtual bowling I could get out my copy of Wii Sports which was FREE with my Nintendo Wii and would be a far superior choice to this. Half off a pile of botulism doesn’t change the fact that it is still botulism.

WipEout Fury DLC. This makes me angry. Very angry. Why? Because you have to look at it from the insidious minds of whoever is putting PSPlus together. First, you offer a game for free on PSPlus, that is no longer yours if you leave the service. Then they offer a slightly discounted edition of the DLC. If you actually liked WipEout Fury (God help you), and you were stupid Sony imagines your thought process to be, “Oh, I’m going to get the DLC for this since it’s on sale and I already have the game for free. Have my money evil tyrannical corporate overlords!” In truth, as you are only renting WipEout, you are buying DLC that you can no longer use once you leave PSPlus, or it is discontinued (As it should be, since it sucks ass) leave you with $8 worth of content that you can no longer use unless you actually purchase WipEout. So that two dollars or so in savings actually involves you paying $50 for PSPlus, $8 for the DLC and then another $20 for WipEout when you leave the service. That’s nearly $80 for something that would cost you $30 if you didn’t have PSPlus, or more than double the cost of the game. THIS is why Sony and its horrible PSPlus product are evil.

UNCHARTED Eye of Indra Comic Bundle – Really, Sony? Half off some crappy motion comics is supposed to be some sort of deal or treat? Screw you.

Nebula Tunnels Theme – Yay! Another free ugly theme. Thanks Sony! It’s great to see you want to provide games with repulsive visuals to stare at. You really care about your end consumers!

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

Nothing. Considering everything here was god awful to terrible, even being free wasn’t enough to get me to download some of this week’s horrible offerings. That should tell you something!

So there you go. I downloaded $5.98 worth of products this week, bringing my grand PS+ download total to $63.88. That’s more than the 15 month subscription cost for the service, but when you consider that out of all of that, they only thing I downloaded that I kept or bought was Hamster Ball, that tells you the actual quality of the service and the products offers. Seriously, HAMSTER BALL. That’s just sad.

So one week out of seven so far puts Sony at a pathetic .142 batting average. If this was baseball, they’d be down in AAA in the blink of an eye after this horrible performance. People, if you haven’t purchased Playstation Plus than for all that is holy, or even unholy, don’t buy this horrible “service.” It’s insulting at best and a complete and utter lack of respect for you as a Sony Playstation 3 owner from the company that you already forked out a few hundred dollars to already. If you have purchased it, then I feel your pain, but at least my purchase was a tax write off – what’s YOUR excuse?



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20 responses to “Playstation Plus: Is It Worth the Money? -Weeks 6 &7”

  1. stephan Avatar

    You are joking right, it’s completely optional yet you rag on the deals?
    Who gives a damn? If theres nothing in there you want this month then just don’t get it?

    I’ve not been online on my xbox360 since a month after I bought it, I don’t play my ps3 much as I’m mainly a pc gamer but atleast I don’t have to shell out everytime I want to play on it.

    Stop complaining…

    1. Christopher Bowen Avatar

      Yes, Stephan. That’s what we do here.

      We complain because there might be people interested in buying Playstation Plus. We consider it a duty to help those people make intelligent purchasing decisions. Playstation Plus has been a horrible, terrible deal since the first weekend, due to their creative decisions on what to market (I noted in my wrap-up the first week that they were disingenuous about what what “free” really meant) and due to the low quality of games. Anyone that was snookered into paying for a year of this at $50 really got bent over the barrel so far. It’s our job to call these people out, to protect them from purchases like this.

      It’s people like you that are setting customers back. Instead of just saying “well, I disagree with this, I think it could be worse”, you actively flame those that set out to make the lives of customers better. We call a spade a spade – an expensive spade that doesn’t even dig that well, mind – and you tell us to “stop complaining”. It’s people like you that Sony, Microsoft, Activision and other big companies simply love. You’re simple, mindless consumers who do what you’re told.

  2. Allan Avatar

    Christopher is right, it’s his duty as a journalist to point out these flaws. PSN+ is like having two toilet rolls next to your bog, one is a normal double layered soft tissue (and free)…the other unravels as you put coins in the toilet roll slot, but all you get is the double layered soft tissue, with a few pictures on it. Maybe one extra ply as well.

    Stephen, you’re already paying everytime you use your xbox internet since there’s a fixed cost of $/month. (unless you don’t have a Live subscription). And ultimately are Microsoft’s perfect yet money mindless customer.

  3. Alex Lucard Avatar

    Stephan – you’re an idiot. If people don’t complain or at least scrutinize, then gamers out there might actually think the service is acceptable or even GOOD and thus blow fifty dollars, which might be a lot of money to them.

    A good journalist protects the public rather than serves a corporation. We don’t see that mindset very often in gaming journalism where it’s become the norm to give mediocre or even bad games “7 out of 10″‘s or where for profit sites suck up to whoever pays their bills. It’s not cool and frankly, neither is Playstation Plus.

    As we saw in week five, when Sony does something right and actually gives a paying customer a nice diverse mix of games, as well as making them high quality ones. But that’s one week out of seven and so far the service has been nothing but something to fleece more money out of gamer’s pockets.

    If that’s not something to complain about, I don’t know what is.

  4. Allan Avatar

    Apologies Alex, I didn’t check who wrote the article, thought it was Chris. Blame him, he was quicker at protecting your article hahaaa.

  5. Alex Lucard Avatar

    Allan – It’s all good. Chris does tend to be the really angry one of us on staff, so I can totally see why you thought that.

  6. Dhaise Avatar

    So my 5 bucks a month (retail price) XBL subscription doesn’t look like such a raw deal.
    Offering Qore at a discount is the premium sony experience?


  7. Alex Lucard Avatar

    Dhaise – No no no, Qore is FREE. That makes ALL the difference. :-P

    The only good thing I can say about PSPlus right now is that it is optional and that you can still play games online via PSN for free where XBL costs money and you pretty much HAVE to get that to do so.

  8. Wesley Avatar

    I agree with everything this article pointed out. First when I heard of PSN+, I felt that Sony has finally started listening to their supporters and is gonna give us the best gaming service with all the features we have being nagging about in that blog of theirs….. I was wrong….

    E3 came and we saw the internet rumors were true, PSN+ was nothing but a mere watered down version of Steam… Way watered down…. No XMB 2.0,no in-game cross chat, no PS2 BC emulation, no cloud service, no auto trophy sync, and worst of all. NO FASTER INTERNET BROWSER!!!!

    No i enlighten me….

    HTF is Sony planning on building a better gaming/multimedia community if it cant even give gamers what they want. Its so disappointing seeing lie after lie after lie.

    1st lie:
    The PS3 will always be PS1/PS2 BC…(removing the PS2 BC, not giving any hint, or indication of it EVER coming back, their loss too. Seeing its the biggest library of console games… EVER!)

    2nd lie:
    We will never remove the OtherOS function
    (not that I ever sued it, but good to know its there)

    3rd lie:
    I.G.C.C is a reality and will be implemented soon!(they have been saying this since late 2007, if it isnt gonna happen now , IT NEVER WILL!)

    just my 2 cents

  9. Leandro Avatar

    I think you’re trying too hard to make it look worse than it is. Qore for free is really cool. Sure, you can see the videos on the internet, but on PS3 the quality is higher and you also get themes, demos and minigames with it.

    Oh, Aero Racer is a really fun minigame.

    Considering everything we got up until now, Age of Zombies and Fieldrunners are fun minigames, too. I also liked Wipeout HD and Critter Crunch (I was actually playing Critter Crunch demo before PSN Plus made it free and was thinking about buying it). I used the discounts to buy Cuboid and Super Stardust HD and I don’t regret it. And all of this I got in 2 months, there are still 13 months left.

    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      Leandro – It’s good to see you’re easy to please. As a consumer, a journalist and something that actually works in the industry, I’m deeply insulted by what PS+ has been so far. Critter Crunch is the only true gem I’ve seen offered by it, and even then, you’re just renting it.

      If you’re cool with spending $50 on a service that lets you well…spend more money, just slightly less of it, then that’s fine. But keep careful track of how much you actually save and compare it to how much PS+ costs at the end of the subscription.

  10. Alex Lucard Avatar

    Wesley – it is possible that down the road PS+ will improve, but considering Sony still can’t update at a set time each week, I doubt it.

    I think the make or break for PS+ is going to be what they do around DCU Online.

  11. stephan Avatar

    The guy who wrote the article said last month was a good psn+ month, but the other months he didn’t want the shit from + because he already had it/other reasons.
    So it’s not useful to him, fine.
    Me and plenty of others never bought anything from PSN , for people like that the offerings (may be) fine.
    If you already have the freebies, don’t get PSN+.

    One guy here compares the free PSN to a ‘double layered soft tissue (and free)’ toilet roll, so again, what are you bitching about?
    The basic PSN is fine.
    You don’t miss out on anything by not paying for PSN.

    Then some other dimwit who says ‘Stephen, you’re already paying everytime you use your xbox internet since there’s a fixed cost of $/month. (unless you don’t have a Live subscription). And ultimately are Microsoft’s perfect yet money mindless customer.’
    Try to master third grade comprehensive reading before overreacting.
    I said PSN is free, xbox live aint, since I use neither of my consoles often I’ve not used xbox live since I got my xbox (as I’m not going to pay them a subscription on top of my games+ISP sub to play a few hours a month), but I’m able to use PSN whenever I want to play online on my ps3.
    So AGAIN, what the hell are you all whining about.

    Want to bitch n whine? Go complain about micro transactions and DLC, shit that one used to get by default (extra maps/patches that add extras/etc etc) with a game has all been cut out to be able to sell at a premium afterwards.

  12. stephan Avatar

    Since you can’t edit comments.
    I’m the kind of person that sets customers back?
    Please, I’ve not bought a DLC since they came up with the stupid idea, I’ve not bought a crappy console port once, I’ve not spent a dime on xbox live , I’ve not even dignified the existence of most Ill conveived ideas’, games and greedy marketing strategies by spending a single dime on any of them.
    Yet I own 3 copies of hl2 , 4 of half life (used to lan alot) , and an original full price copy of every game I ever loved and that had love and dedication put into it.

    You go back to throwing your wallets at DLC/activision with their 70 dollar games/xbox live gold subs/Alienware and Apple PCs etc while bitching about how a service you get for free.

    If you want to complain about sony, go condemn them for removing backwards compatibility from the newer models or for spending more money on advertising than the average african country can spend on health care.
    But whining about little things just to complain is pathetic.

  13. Alex Lucard Avatar

    Stephan – spend a little more time on the site and you’ll see complaints about Sony akin to the ones you mentioned. For example, I constantly rail on the fact that no one should buy a PS3 without backwards compatability unless they are brand new to gaming and thus don’t own any PS2 games. it wasyet another “screw you” to gamers from Sony, which is pretty much all they do nowadays. I own a 60 gig with a much larger hard drive than it originally came with.

    You’ll also see regular complaints about DLC content and microtransactions and how the industry has become as oriented on nickel and diming customers as the avation industry. The problem is gamers AREN’T voicing their complaints or making a statement by refusing to purchase things. They’re just taking it like sheep.

    You’re also missing that this column is specifically about PS+, not PSN. PSN is superior to XBL because it IS free. That’s one thing I always say is positive about Sony. PS+ however is a paid service and the point of these columns is to look at what;s shady about the service and show how you’re actually not getting your money’s worth and why you shouldn’t buy the service if you’re on the fence. Coversely, it also covers when Sony has a good (or great week as they did with week 5), so it’s not a “shit on Sony” fest. Well, unless they deserve it like this week. :-)

    The problem is you don’t know WHAT you are getting from PSN until after you’ve already purchased and a lot of gamers purchased it on day one because they foolishly trusted that Sony would provide a quality product. That’s their mistake for buying it. In my case, I bought it to do a consumer analysis column like this and it would be a tax write-off at the end of the year. Otherwise, much like buying a console when it first comes out, I wouldn’t have until the kinks were worked out. Because as we see right now, PS+ has a LOT of issues.

    So no one is bitching about a free service. It’s bitching about the Paid version of the service and how it’s actually subpar when compared to the free one. That’s what people are raising hell about and it’s a well justifed reason to. We’d be horrible journalists/reviewers if we didn’t warn people about PS+ and why it’s not a very good service, so that’s what we’re doing. It’s far worse to keep silence and then get emails or comments from readers saying “OMG. I spent $50 on this thing. Why didn’t you say something?”

    Finally, you should be able to edit comments. There’s an “edit” option right next to the datestamp if you registered with the site. If you’re just ‘guesting’ in the comments, it won’t be there.

  14. Christopher Bowen Avatar

    Stephan, are you SERIOUSLY accusing us of not flaming DLC? Have you not read my work (and I’m speaking only for myself, not the other great writers we have here)? Seriously, go through my Unbranding the Sheep archives. Read what I write. I HATE paid DLC, and flame it constantly. Madden ’11 is going to score lower than it would because of its DLC options. So I feel you there.

    But I would recommend you know what you’re talking about before you criticise people. At least read what they’ve said. In the case of Alex and I specifically, you’re way off base.

  15. Christopher Bowen Avatar

    Wait a minute…

    Allan – It’s all good. Chris does tend to be the really angry one of us on staff, so I can totally see why you thought that.

    Hey! :'(

    (Also, I was the first one to respond only because his comment was stuck in our spam queue, and I was the one that approved it)

  16. stephan Avatar

    Fine, next time just leave the personal insults at bay (which people here started with and is what I reacted to).

    There also ain’t much you can do about people being sheep and gobbling greedy marketing tricks up like they are candy.
    Millions of kids turn 12 -14 and get a new console/pc every year, they don’t know any better.
    People that do know how games used to be presented get accustomed to it over the years.

    The gaming business has become way too big to have a community have any effect on it. Those days are long gone.
    Look at the whole l4d 2 boycot on steam, hundreds of thousands of people, the game sold like hotcakes anyhow.
    I still refuse to get the game to this day, but like 80 percent of the people (just taking a swing at the number here I don’t know how much people) have given in and bought it by now.
    It’s like petting the dog for peeing on your carpet.

    10 years ago there’d probably still be some good ol’ fashioned online vandalism (DDOSING, putting nudie pics on the official websites) to protest against the publishers practices that you see today, but people can’t even be bothered with that anymore.

    Welcome to the real world, it’s been like this for every single product and industry in human history, once it gets too big it gets ruined.

  17. stephan Avatar

    ‘edit’: (sorry, can’t see a register button at first glance, not even a ctrl-F search comes up with one, take it as constructive criticism for your site, web design 101 = make sure the visitor can find everything he needs at a single glance-over, very first thing they tought me back in college)

    SO ehm, edit :
    Don’t take it to heart, I’m not saying don’t try to protest it.
    But you’ve got to accept the futility on one side, and my comment is still valid that you could focus on bigger things than a 3 dollar psn+ sub that’s probably right there under ‘Optional’ in the dictionary as an example.

    Shit even video games are the least of the problems with how marketing works today, I’d rather be able to actually buy some meat that hasn’t had water injected into it and been punctured to tenderise it from supermarkets again, and I could think of a thousand other blatant hypocrisies and malpractices in ‘civilized’ society, but then again this is a video game forum.

    Just sayin’,put things into context a bit.

  18. […] Last week, I was pretty irate at Playstation Plus, and with good reason. After all, the service moved to bi-monthly and the offerings were both horrible and insulting to people that had churned out fifty dollars to partake in the service. After that, Sony followed up by not making Dead Nation’s beta a PS+ exclusive, and some non PS+ owners received the beta invite over PS+ subscribers, even though Sony promised a key piece of PS+ would be that subscribers received priority beta access. Whoops. […]

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