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PlayStation Plus Membership Changes: Everything You Should Know

The PlayStation Plus membership scheme has just been renewed by Sony, and it’s on the way this year. What are the new tiers like, and which perks will you get from each one? Let’s find out all the details you must know before you jump into a subscription.

 

What Is PlayStation Plus (PS Plus)?

PlayStation Plus Memebrship
Photo from Amazon

 

The gaming industry is only growing, and with it comes changes in various gaming platforms’ services. Gone are the days when your only option to play games was to purchase each title individually. Now, modern players have the option to either buy (and own) their games or access them through monthly subscriptions.

That’s essentially what the PlayStation Plus service is all about. With a PlayStation Plus membership, you can avail of free games on your PlayStation console. It’s also your gateway to online multiplayer which isn’t always available to all players. These come for only one fee that you pay monthly, annually, or quarterly, depending on the payment scheme you choose.

Of course, this definition refers to both the old and new PlayStation Plus membership. The benefits are similar, but the new plans do have major changes and additional perks that old subscribers don’t enjoy. We’ll discuss the changes a bit more below.

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Revamped PlayStation Plus vs the Old PS Plus and PS Now

PS Plus
Photo from Amazon

 

In the past, Sony’s PlayStation Plus membership offered one primary service: online multiplayer. It was optional, as it required an additional subscription fee for users to gain access. However, many PlayStation fans regarded it as essential if you wanted to make the most of your current games.

On the other hand, Sony’s PlayStation Now (PSN) service functioned a bit more like Google Stadia or Apple Arcade. With it, you could stream games on your PlayStation console and access Sony’s large game library – no installation necessary. You could even play older titles released on the PS2, PS3, and PS4. However, the downside with PlayStation Now was that it required high-speed internet. Otherwise, you’d have to suffer through lots of lag when streaming PlayStation’s selection of games.

With these two separate services available, it’s no wonder many fans complained about Sony’s offerings being too complex. Many compared PlayStation Plus vs Now and said that the former was almost necessary to get the full PlayStation experience. The only way Sony eased these complaints was by offering free games monthly along with a PS Plus subscription, and these games are yours so long as you retain your subscription.

However, it seems like Sony’s changing its model entirely and is combining both PS Plus and PSN under one subscription. The revamped PlayStation Plus membership would offer you both – but that depends on the tier you subscribe to. We’ll discuss the different tiers in detail later. For now, know that some subscription tiers offer only the old PS Plus’s perks while others added PSN’s benefits.

 

New PlayStation Plus Membership Release Date

The new PlayStation Plus membership scheme was announced by Sony on March 29, 2022. However, it won’t take effect until later this year – at an unspecified date this June 2022. Moreover, each platform (PS4, PS5, and PC) will get different release dates. These are still unknown and will be announced later on.

For now, users can only subscribe to the old PlayStation Plus membership. Once the new membership scheme rolls out, current subscribers will automatically be subscribed to the base-level PS Plus Essentials tier.

 

How Much Is a PlayStation Plus Membership?

What’s interesting about the new PlayStation Plus membership is that there are nine ways to pay. Each subscription tier offers different payment schemes, segregated by payment frequency. You can renew monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on how much you want to commit.

Of course, like most segregated subscription plans, opting for longer-term payment schemes yields greater savings. We’ll talk more about each plan later. For now, here’s a rundown of each subscription tier and how much you’ll pay for each payment scheme. The table below also includes a summary of the benefits you’ll receive.

PS Plus Essential PS Plus Extra PS Plus Premium
Monthly $9.99 $14.99 $17.99
Quarterly $24.99 $39.99 $49.99
Annually $59.99 $99.99 $119.99
Perks PlayStation Plus Previous Tier’s Perks + Additional 400 PS4 and PS5 games Previous Tiers’ Perks + PS1, PS2, and PSP games

 

Is There a Free Trial?

Unfortunately, we currently do not know whether a PlayStation Plus free trial will exist under the new scheme. However, if the old PS Plus subscription is anything to go by, then there might be hope for one.

Currently, customers who want a PlayStation Plus membership for free can do so with a 14-day free trial. You can dip into the product’s offerings (online multiplayer and access to a few free games) with it. At the end of the period, your subscription will renew automatically, and PlayStation will register you as a paid customer. Afterward, you’ll have to pay the recurring monthly subscription price.

 

How to Cancel PlayStation Plus Membership?

If the Sony PlayStation score you give for the membership is low, you can always cancel your subscription. You can do this anytime before the free trial ends. If you’re a paid subscriber, you can do so anytime before your subscription period ends. This will automatically halt your registration to the service and will halt any future charges. However, do note that canceling your PlayStation Plus membership won’t give you a refund for the previous period.

If you’d like to proceed, you can do so through your PlayStation 5. Simply open the console and head to Settings. Afterward, navigate to “Users and Accounts” then go to “Account.” Under this area, look for “Payment and Subscriptions” and then click on “Subscriptions.” You can cancel your registration to the service here.

 

PlayStation Plus New Membership Tiers and Perks

 

What does a PlayStation Plus membership get you? Here is a breakdown of each subscription tier and what you gain with any one of them.

 

PS Essential

What is a PlayStation Plus membership like under the Essential tier? If you’re already a paying subscriber of the current PlayStation Plus service, then this tier will feel familiar. That’s because it essentially provides what the current PlayStation Plus membership offers.

With it, you can access the service’s online multiplayer feature and make the most out of multiplayer games. It also provides you access to free games monthly – ones that you can keep as long as you stay subscribed. Moreover, the service offers you exclusive discounts on new PlayStation games you can buy in the PS store. You can also store your save files in the cloud instead of locally on your console.

However, do note that it’s somewhat of a downgrade compared to the previous service. Why do we say this? That’s because the old PS Plus subscription offers users three new free games every month. On the other hand, the new PS Essential PlayStation Plus membership will only provide you with two. Sony didn’t highlight or mention this during the unveiling of the service – and you can see why.

Nonetheless, if you aren’t deterred by the drawbacks and simply want the benefits, you can subscribe to the Essential tier. However, there are three payment schemes to choose from namely, monthly, quarterly, and annually.

Naturally, registering for a PlayStation Plus 12-month membership will provide the most savings. It’ll only cost $59.99 annually (essentially $5 monthly). If you dislike the long-term commitment, you can also dip your toes and subscribe monthly with a $9.99 fee. An in-between option also exists and costs $24.99 quarterly (about $8.33 monthly).

 

PS Extra

The PS Extra tier is the perfect option for customers who previously subscribed to both PS Plus and PS Now. That’s because it offers essentially the same perks as both services combined. With it, you get all of the benefits of the Essentials tier including online multiplayer, exclusive deals, and cloud saves. However, instead of two free games monthly, you get access to a wider library of games. 400 to be exact.

These 400 games may include new and classic titles offered on the PS4 and PS5. Sony also promises that the tier will provide you access to both 3rd and 1st-party titles. Once you subscribe, you can download any of the games anytime you want to play them. However, do keep in mind that Sony hasn’t revealed what titles will be included in the tier. We can only make guesses for now, so you’ll have to wait until the launch date before deciding.

Likewise, the PS Extra PlayStation Plus membership is more affordable if you commit long-term. A PlayStation Plus one-year membership will cost a hefty $99.99 – but that essentially translates to $8.33 monthly. On the other hand, you can also opt-in every three months for a $39.99 fee ($13.33 monthly). However, if you’re completely against commitment, you can also opt for a $14.99 monthly fee.

 

PS Premium

Lastly, Sony’s highest-end PlayStation Plus membership is dubbed “PS Premium.” The only difference it has over the previous two tiers? Access to cloud gaming, backward compatibility, and classic games from ages past.

With a PS Premium, you can, of course, play the games you’ve already bought on your console. However, you can also access 340 more games from older consoles, including the PlayStation, PS2, PS3, and PSP. This greatly increases the number of games you can access – and that’s certainly a perk. It’s also beneficial for long-time PlayStation fans who want to relive older titles and get a boost of nostalgia.

Like the previous two tiers, PS Premium is more affordable when paid for annually. It’ll only cost about $119.99, which translates to roughly $10 monthly. If you want a long-term subscription but don’t want to commit to a year, you can try the quarterly subscription.

The quarterly subscription will cost only $49.99 every three months, essentially allowing you to pay $16.67 monthly. Finally, you can opt for a traditional monthly subscription at $17.99. That’s the most costly alternative out of the three but it’s great for folks who don’t want to commit long-term.

 

New PlayStation Plus vs Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass
Photo from Amazon

 

With all that said, is access to PlayStation Plus games and exclusive features worth it? How does it compare to competing products like the Xbox Game Pass?

Firstly, we have to admit that the new PlayStation Plus membership scheme certainly surpasses Sony’s previous services. Previously, you’d have to pay for two different subscriptions just to get the perks of the current PlayStation Plus membership. Each of these services costs $9.99. That means current users who want the benefits of both need to pay $20 monthly.

With that said, the revamped PlayStation Plus membership is certainly welcome. You no longer have to pay twice the amount for access to both benefits. If you want PS Now benefits, you can opt-in for the PS Extra tier at $14.99 monthly. Even the highest-end tier only costs $17.99 instead of $20.

However, just because Sony seems to have streamlined its offerings doesn’t mean it’s immediately better than the Xbox Game Pass. That’s because Microsoft has refined its subscription service and built it on a solid foundation. Unlike Sony, Microsoft stuck to backward compatibility when the Xbox One came around. Moreover, it did not stop when the Series X and S came out.

In addition, the company also built an incredible cloud gaming service that lets users access big-name titles as they release. It also bundles proprietary games into the Xbox Game Pass service.

All things considered, the Xbox Game Pass seems to offer a more seamless and straightforward experience compared to PlayStation Plus. Sony’s offerings, on the other hand, seem more like efforts to make up for the company’s lack of planning. For example, the backward compatibility feature may be available, but it requires a network connection because of hardware restrictions.

 

Which PlayStation Plus Membership Should You Get?

New PS Plus
Photo from PlayStation

 

If you’re satisfied with the old PlayStation Plus, then the PS Essential tier might be right for you. After all, Sony simply rebranded the whole thing and slapped it onto their subscription service as the lowest plan. However, do note that the Essential tier will only get you two new free games monthly instead of three.

Regardless, it’s the best option if you’ve already finished the biggest titles on both the PS4 and PS5. It also maintains the status quo and allows you access to the PlayStation’s most essential feature: online multiplayer. Moreover, you don’t even need to renew your subscription manually when the time comes. You’ll automatically be ported to the Essentials tier if you’re a current PS Plus subscriber.

On the other hand, if you’re a PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now subscriber, you might have more thinking to do. That’s because the PS Extra and PS Premium tiers are so closely priced. The difference is only a meager $2 to $3. With that said, which of the two is better?

If playing retro games on old consoles is important to you, then the PS Premium tier is the better choice. It offers almost twice as many games and only costs a little to upgrade. Of course, not everyone prefers PlayStation’s older games, especially if you’re picky when it comes to graphics. Nonetheless, it’s the only way to revisit the old classics (unless you’ve somehow kept your old consoles and CDs alive).

Of course, if you prefer not to play old classics, the PS Extra tier should suffice well enough. It already provides access to 400 PS4 and PS5 titles. This is already a good deal if you only plan on playing a few old titles every year. Moreover, it’ll save you $20 to $36 yearly.

 

The Verdict

Is it worth getting a PlayStation Plus membership? Yes, but it depends. If you’re already a PlayStation Plus membership holder, then subscribing to at least the Essentials tier is certainly a no-brainer. After all, it merely continues your current subscription, and you won’t lose access to the all-important online multiplayer. It’s also worth considering subscribing to both PS Plus and PS Now.

On the other hand, there are a few considerations new (or even old) players might have to think about. The biggest one would be the titles Sony will release on the PS Extra and PS Premium tiers. Currently, all we know is that the titles will come from the PS5, PS4, and older consoles for Premium subscribers.

However, Sony hasn’t mentioned any titles specifically, so you’re not sure if you can even play the games you want. After all, the only perk of the higher tiers is that you can access a large library of games. If all of them turn out to be bland or unpopular titles, then it’s hardly worth considering. Nonetheless, we say that the Essentials tier is at least worth it for now. It’s something most PlayStation users can’t go without, especially if you rely on online connections in games.

Albert de Venecia

Albert de Venecia

I love playing video games on either console or mobile platforms. I also collect action figures of superheroes and robots.

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