Sony’s new PlayStation Plus makes old games an expensive option

Sony just announced New PlayStation Plus Subscription Categories, which will be available later this year, and with the new “Extra” and “Premium” levels, you’ll have access to the back catalogs of many PlayStation games. However, if you want to play classic PS3, PS2, PS1 and PSP games, you’ll have to pay for the “Premium”, which is the most expensive option, which means Sony joins with Nintendo in putting some of its older games behind their high. Cost subscription.

Using a subscription to access classic games is nothing new to Sony. For years, the company has offered access to PS4, PS3, and PS2 games as part of PlayStation Now, a subscription service entirely separate from PlayStation Plus. But instead of using the Plus shakeup to bring more games to the standard, Sony has instead decided to use classic games as a carrot to encourage players to sign up for Premium, which will cost $17.99 a month, $49.99 for three months, or $119.99 per month. general. That annual fee is basically what you’d use to pay for the year’s subscription to both Plus and Now — although if you’re a Now subscriber, Sony says you’ll be migrated to the new Plus Premium.

Nintendo has a similar tiered pricing strategy with its Nintendo Switch Online service. This subscription was launched in September 2018 with access to A handful of NES gamesAnd, about a year later, Nintendo Add SNES Games All were available at relatively low prices of $3.99 per month, $7.99 for three months, or $19.99 for one year. But if you want to play Nintendo’s selection of N64 or Sega Genesis games on your Switch, you’ll have to pay $49.99, which is more than double the standard annual membership, For a full year of expansion pack.

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On the other hand, Microsoft has taken a different approach with its Game Pass library. With Xbox Game Pass, you can play the same Microsoft titles on your Xbox whether you pay the lower $9.99 per month Game Pass or the more expensive $14.99 Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Microsoft has also invested a lot In backward compatibilityWhich means you can still access and play many old Xbox games on Xbox Series X/S without a subscription.

Compounding potential frustrations with Sony’s approach is that the company has been somewhat dismissive of the importance of its back catalog in the past. Here’s PlayStation Chief Jim Ryan in a 2017 interview With time:

“When we plunged into backwards compatibility, I would say it’s one of those features that is much needed, but not really used much. This, and I was in Gran Turismo Happened recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, PS1 and PS2 games, they looked old, like why would anyone play this? “

Ryan admitted it could have been more straightforward In 2021 Axios Interview:

“The point I was trying to make – obviously not very good – was how great the PS4 version was and how far the series had developed. I certainly wasn’t trying to be disrespectful to our heritage.”

But the 2017 commentary is still touching—especially when you consider how much influence many PlayStation games have, like hard lime metal series, Jack and DaxterAnd the shadow of the Colossusto the history of the video game.

Although many old PlayStation games have been remastered or brought to other platforms, it’s still great to play the way it originally looked. And during PS5 Backward compatible With just about every PS4 game, the only way to play PS3 and PS2 games on Sony’s latest console is with the PlayStation Now service on its way out and soon via the revised PlayStation Plus.

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However, subscriptions provide a convenient way to Keep retro games It may be hard to find. With some digital game stores Close and hardware become obsoleteSubscriptions are one way to make old games easier to access. But it seems that Sony – and Nintendo – are moving towards making old games Just Available through subscription and keeping some behind the most expensive tier. And for PlayStation 5 and Switch, there’s no way to buy old games one by one, as with the Nintendo Virtual Console.

Sony hasn’t shared the older games that will be included in PlayStation Plus Premium, so we don’t currently know what you might get if you’re planning to set aside money for the more expensive subscription. However, the company promises that “up to 340” games will be available on the premium tier – a much larger amount than you can play on Nintendo Switch Online. This Premium pick will also include some PS1 and PSP games, which are not currently available on PlayStation Now.

Despite the high cost, I’m excited to check out some classic PlayStation games, thanks to the new Premium tier. But I do wish there were ways to play it on my PS5 instead of getting extra money on top of what I already paid for PlayStation Plus – or that Sony offered some of it in the standard tier.

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