For the past two days, those of us in the North American region have been able to experience The New PlayStation Plus. So I decided to go through Sony’s newest subscription plans and discuss whether or not it’s worth upgrading to any of them. I have been doing my best to experience what I want and can get out of these subscriptions, but I also went and tried to do some experimenting with it.
So looking at the basic tiers as shown, we have Essential, Plus, and Extra. If you are someone who already had PlayStation Plus for the free monthly games, cloud saves, and online multiplayer, then odds are you want to at least stick with the Essential tier since you’ll automatically be converted to that one. That tier remains the same, along with its price and benefits. If you have old PlayStation Plus cards and want to redeem them for more months or years, this is what tier they will be redeemed as.
PlayStation Plus Extra
Moving on, the next step up is the Extra tier. This one includes a massive game catalog of PS4 and PS5 games, all able to be downloaded and installed natively on your console. Some of these games are streamable, but you can’t stream it on this tier. There is a large variety of Sony properties (as well as a third party) on this tier. Unfortunately, not all of Sony’s owned PS4 or PS5 games are on this tier, but there are a lot more titles than there ever used to be on Now that can be downloaded. They bolstered the library and the Extra tier the most out of the new tiers.
By upgrading, I was able to play some of the YS series and Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut the past two days as well. I also installed a lot of other new titles that showed up, such as Death Stranding, Death End re:Quest, and Assassins Creed: Valhalla. It was almost like Christmas, seeing all of these games I was interested in playing suddenly become available by upgrading to this tier.
The interface works really well, too, since even if I didn’t want to install something immediately, I could add it to my library and collection as well, which is reflected in my games menu. I can install it from there without having to search the entire game catalog to find it. If you are getting a PlayStation for the first time, this is a great service to consider because of what is immediately available with this tier. However, if you have already bought all the games you want and aren’t anything else… You might not see the value in these tiers. In my opinion, though, there are always games worth checking. You shouldn’t limit yourself because sometimes games may surprise you.
Honestly, the PlayStation Plus Exta tier is the one that feels like the most work was put into it. It has a large variety of games, the interface is well done, and overall it has a pretty diverse catalog. If you want a recommendation, try out all the Infamous games. They are all spectacular titles that play well. One of my favorite games, Infamous: First Light, is in the catalog as well. First Light and Second Son are a part of the Extra tier and are both fantastic experiences, albeit a bit short. Infamous 1 and 2 are in the classic library, however (which we’ll discuss after this). It also feels strange that some of Sony’s more popular properties are missing from the catalog. Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart, for instance, is not included, yet Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut is. If you’re interested, you can see the full list of games available with PlayStation Plus Extra on PlayStation‘s website.
PlayStation Plus Premium
The final tier in the plan is PlayStation Plus Premium. There are a bunch of games to choose from in the Classic Library, but the biggest problem is around 75% of them are from the PS3 Era. Now the PS3 era had a lot of great titles, like the Infamous series I discussed earlier. The problem, though, is PlayStation doesn’t do emulation natively, so you can only stream them from the PlayStation servers. Just two weeks ago, I streamed Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 as well as Infamous when it was called PlayStation Now. Having a 1gb/s download network speed made latency feel almost unnoticeable.
On the flip side, I tried streaming the past two days, and none of them felt good, and my internet connection was still the same. While trying to play any of the Atelier games on the PS3 Classic Catalogue and got frequently kicked out of the service, forcing me to constantly save and skip cutscenes. The latency was horrible, and the image quality was extremely blurry. It feels like there’s a lot more traffic on the PlayStation 3 cloud servers, and Sony was not at all prepared for it. The PS2, PS1, and PSP library are very bare bones. The features they do give you for games like Syphon Filter, such as trophy support, rewind, and speed-up time, actually feel really nice and implemented pretty well, though. I think most of the features might be best utilized on turn-based games to turn back a turn or two or to speed up unskippable cutscenes.
Hopefully, in a year or two, Sony will add more games that can be downloaded and played from the PS1, PS2, and PSP catalogs. The games that don’t require cloud streaming are good, but there isn’t enough to justify the price point of PlayStation Plus Premium. Not to mention that the service’s cloud streaming feature has taken a hit due to the increased traffic and load. Given its current state, I can not recommend this tier in the slightest.
Overall I think the best bang for your buck would be to get the PlayStation Plus Extra tier. Essential is nice, but it’s basically one we already had. The only nice perk is the monthly games you can add to your ever-growing backlog unless you really like utilizing cloud saves or online multiplayer. Premium does not feel worth it in its current state.
Thanks to the minimum amount of games you can actually play as well as the bad cloud streaming service, I just don’t recommend it. PlayStation Plus Extra has a great variety of games and promises to have more games added on to the service. Plus, Stray will be added to the Extra tier once it releases on July 19th. So day one, third-party games are definitely on the table. Just like Xbox Gamepass though, don’t be surprised if titles get added and taken down in flurries.