Sony clarifies PlayStation Plus pricing, downloads

Free copy of LittleBigPlanet for early adopters, as first wave of downloads announced

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) has revealed more details of the PlayStation Plus subscription service, including the final UK prices and the initial wave of downloads available.

After months of rumours the service was announced at Sony's pre-E3 media briefing last week and will officially launch on June 29. Although the current online services will be unaffected, and remain free to use, PlayStation Plus will offer free games, discounts, exclusive PlayStation Store items, full game trails and automatic downloads.

The subscription-based membership is available for either 90 days or a full calendar year (a 30 day subscription is also available in Asia). In the UK 90 day access now has a confirmed price of 11.99 ($17.99 in the US, 14.99 in Europe) and 39.99 ($49.99 in the US, 49.99 in Europe) for a full year.

As an introductory offer SCEE are offering a free digital copy of LittleBigPlanet for anyone that signs up for a full year between June 29 and August 3. Access to the game is not dependent on maintaining a constant subscription.

Standard membership guarantees a minimum of at least four free games a month, from a selection of one PlayStation Network game, two PSP minis, and one PSone classic. Titles on offer during the first month (June 29 to August 3) include WipEout HD, Field Runners, Age of Zombies and Destruction Derby.

Unlike the LittleBigPlanet introductory offer games obtained as a member of PlayStation Plus are only accessible as long as a subscription is maintained, although they can be reactivated if there is a gap in membership.

Also available each month will be two dynamic themes, two premium avatars and other miscellaneous premium game elements/add-ons - many of which will be exclusive to PlayStation Plus users and are not tied to maintaining a subscription.

For the first month the downloads offered will include LittleBigPlanet and PlayStation "Game Is Just The Start" themes, two Fat Princess premium avatars and Killzone 2 downloadable content.

Plus members will also be offered exclusive PlayStation Store discounts ranging from 20 to 50 per cent off. In the first month this will include the LittleBigPlanet God of War and LocoRoco costume packs at 50 per cent off, as well as full games Gravity Crash and Fat Princess at 20 per cent off.

Subscribers will also be included in some selected demos and beta trials ahead of other PlayStation 3 users. Writing on the official PlayStation Blog PlayStation network product manager James Thorpe claims that the game themes and avatars alone are worth over 200 a year.

Another major feature of the service is full game trials, which allow subscribers to download two full games and play them unrestricted for a set period of time (typically one hour). The games Shatter and Savage Moon will be offered during the first month.

Finally, only PlayStation Plus users will have access to the new automatic download service, which allows the PlayStation 3 to download software when in standby mode and pre-install firmware updates, game updates and demos. Featured demos in the first month will include Heavy Rain and ModNation Racers.

Thorpe also clarified that the much rumoured cross-game chat for PlayStation Network will not be included as part of PlayStation Plus, although he did not indicate whether the feature would be available as part of the standard service.

Related stories

Sony UK marketing boss Rich Keen departing in November

Exec leaving “to pursue another opportunity in the industry”

By James Batchelor

Job losses at Sony London as first VR project wraps up

Compulsory redundancies means risk of "losing high calibre staff"

By Dan Pearson

Latest comments (11)

Terence Gage Freelance writer 7 years ago
Sounds like some quite nice extras available at launch - I would perhaps be tempted to pay for a three month trial and see how it goes, if it wasn't for the rumour that content will be locked out once you end your subscription.

If it wasn't for that point, paying 12 for a PSN+ trial and getting Wipeout HD for 'free' (which is normally ~12 anyway, I believe) would be a good move, with any other extras effectively freebies.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Michael Vandendriessche Studying Computer Science, K.U. Leuven7 years ago
This looks really interesting from a consumer perspective. I'm getting a ps3 soon and have no ps3 games yet. I've always been interested in littlebigplanet and some of the other games mentioned seem worth the price. I'm definitely willing to pay 50 for a full year, especially considering new games cost more than that.
The fact that you have to maintain the subscription to be able to continue to play the games is less interesting ofcourse, but the free stuff makes up for the price so there isn't really much reason to stop the subscription.
I think this is a clever move by sony.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
I like the value added extras from the Sony back catalog and exclusives. certainly a plus over the microsoft approach. I'm slightly dubious with regards to a 1 hour limited trial of a game. Considering one cannot get too far anyways, would it be worth the internet bandwidth downloading a 2-4gb file which expires the hour after play.

I'm more in favour of content that regressively dissipates with time. With an option to purchase the full digital copy/game upon expiration.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (11)
Mark Raymond Gamer; Consumer; Journalist 7 years ago
I think this is really great value for money, personally. XBL's Gold Membership perks are a joke compared to what Sony's offering. My membership recently expired, and quite honestly I'm reluctant to pay for features that, in my opinion, should be included as standard. The idea of asking money for demo access (and commercial betas), in particular, just blows my mind. Demos are advertising/promotional tools, which I am now asked to pay for. I just can't believe that's what it's come to.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Mark Raymond on 24th June 2010 3:14pm

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
I would be more impressed to pay monthly if Sony start improvig their online servers. It is so difficult just to join my friends in a game of modern warfare 2. I was hoping more they would have introduced an xbox like subscription, I don't care for the betas and the free games! Is there anybodyrhat would agree with me
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
David Amirian Writer 7 years ago
these benefits are pretty consumer-friendly. the only things i dont actually like are ones that improve the console itself, but its not like they cant trickle those down later on and make them non-plus. Its probably more experimental at that stage anyway.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Private Industry 7 years ago
Not a bad deal, looks better then Live Gold membership. The people actually get something here monthly for the money and appreciate that Online gaming remains free the way it should be. Also good that they give away good games instead of the cheap bad games. Too bad already have most of the games offered for free in the first 2 month, still might get that one for a yearly subscription.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Shane Sweeney Academic 7 years ago
Dr. Chee Ming Wong: Well the alternative is to download a Demo for about 2-4gig which has only 15 minutes of game play.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Yeah but I would haveseen the money you're paying monthly go into improving and exapandingthe infrastructure of sony's onlineservers, unless they're going to use that money with playstation plus, but ty havent announced anything like that
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
too late, now you are thinking to do this you should thought about it when Microsoft did it.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Got a typo there:

"PlayStation Plus will offer free games, discounts, exclusive PlayStation Store items, full game trails and automatic downloads."

might wanna change that trails to trials ;)
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.