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PlayStation Plus: A Year in the Life

Posted by Steve Bitto, in Playstation Plus 07 March 2012 · 3,384 views

Sony PS3 PSN PlayStation Plus PlayStation Network

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PlayStation Plus is a service offered through the PlayStation Network that gives subscribers access to exclusive and discounted downloadable content. This content includes, Full Games, Game Trials, Betas, Qore, Dynamic Themes, Avatars, and more. I will keep a running tab of how much money I have spent and saved each week by being a subscriber to the service. Not only that but I will also include what trials I downloaded, betas I have enlisted in, etc. since these don't have a real cost value but are exclusive to the service all the same. IGN's PlayStation editors are doing this and I figured it would be a good idea for me to do it here at Game Podunk as well. At the end of the year hopefully I will have atleast saved myself the $49.99 I initially invested!

I wanted to factor in a system so casual gamers could get an idea of how good Plus would be for them. While an avid PSN user like myself values the opportunity to play all the games PS+ has to offer, critically acclaimed or not, casual gamers might have a more mild experience. At the end of the day I couldn't come up with something that worked well so it will be up to each reader to decide whether the following purchases and downloads are worthy of their own hard earned buck!

The Scroll of Savings

February 2, 2011
Digger HD: $9.99 Free
Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage: $5.99 Free
Karimogi (Mini): $2.99 Free
Hero of Sparta (Mini): $4.99 Free
LittleBigPlanet Sackboy Prehistoric Moves: $5.99 Free
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 Dynamic Theme: $2.99 Free

February 8, 2011
Stacking: $14.99 Free
Qore Episode 33: $2.99 Free
Fat Princess: Blue Princess Avatar: Exclusive Free

February 14, 2011: Valentine's Day
Flying Hamster (Mini): $2.99 Free

February 15, 2011
Let's Golf (Mini): $4.99 Free
Sonic The Hedgehog Dynamic Theme: $2.99 Free
Yakuza 4 Demo: Exclusive Free

February 22, 2011

Overall, February was a great start to my PS+ experience. Stacking was excellent and lead my PS+ content for the month. The Minis were fun and gave my PSP some new life. Exclusive demos, Qore and dynamic themes kept the content rolling although they were not my main interest. Apparently, March will be the month of free Sega content for Plus users. Sonic with trophies? Sign me up.

March 1, 2011
Sonic The Hedgehog: $4.99 Free
Spyro Year of the Dragon: $5.99 Free
PIX'N LOVE RUSH (mini): Exclusive Free
Playstation Move Heroes Demo: Exclusive Free

March 8, 2011
Qore Episode 34: $2.99 Free
Mortal Kombat Demo: Exclusive Free

March 15, 2011

March 22, 2011
Playstation Move Heroes Game Trial: Exclusive Free
Socom 4 Beta: Exclusive Free

March 29, 2011
Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus: $9.99 Free
Comet Crash: $9.99 Free
Vector TD (mini): $3.99 Free

After my second month with PlayStation Plus I am still very impressed with the program. The first and last week of the month were packed with free content including two PSOne Classics, Comet Crash and Sonic the Hedgehog. The middle of the month wasn't as impressive but still had the early demo for Mortal Kombat (which I loved) and the Socom 4 Private Beta. So while they don't offer free games every week, there is almost always some cool playable content to check out. No official word on whats on the horizon for April but I thought I read something about Red Faction: Battlegrounds. I guess only time will tell!

April 5, 2011
Sonic The Hedgehog 2: $4.99 Free
Qore Episode 35: $2.99 Free

April 12, 2011
Killzone 3 Steel Rain Map Pack: $4.99 Free
Yakuza 4 Dynamic Theme: $2.99 Free

April 19, 2011

April 26, 2011
PSN Compromised!

To put it mildly, April was not the best month for the PlayStation Network or PlayStation Plus. Although I really enjoyed both Sonic 2 and the Killzone 3 DLC, they were overshadowed by the PSN outage/personal info debacle which began on April 20. It will be interesting to see how Sony compensates Plus members in relation to the rest of the PSN community. Will April showers bring May flowers for Sony, stay tuned...

May 3, 2011
PSN Downtime Continues

May 10, 2011
PSN Downtime Continues

May 17, 2011
PSN Up! Posted Image Store Down! Posted Image

May 24, 2011
PS Store Still Down

May 31, 2011
PS Store Still Down

April was bad but May was worse. With the PlayStation Store down for the entire month there was not a single update of PlayStation Plus content. Sony has stated that there will be multiple updates per week until the content is caught up so perhaps an overloaded June will make up for the lack of content. Sony is also adding 60 days to current Plus user's subscriptions so while the damage is not yet undone the news isn't all bad. Hopefully June will have plenty of content and get PS Plus back on track.

June 2, 2011
MAG Interdiction Misson Pack: $4.99 Free
Qore Episode 36: $2.99 Free

June 3, 2011
MAG Escalation Mission Pack: $9.99 Free

June 7, 2011
Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2011: $9.99 Free
Infamous 2 Dynamic Theme: exclusive Free

June 14, 2011
Qore Episode 37: $2.99 Free
Streets of Rage 2: $4.99 Free

June 21, 2011

June 28, 2011
UNCHARTED 3 Drake’s Deception Multiplayer Beta: Exclusive Free

The Return of the PSN! June was my favorite month of Plus so far. As a big MAG fan, getting all the add-on content for free was a nice surprise and got me back into the game. Magic: The Gathering and the Uncharted 3 beta left me satisfied and smiling as well. Hopefully these high quality offerings continue and aren't directly correlated to the fact that every PSN user had Plus as part of the PSN Welcome Back package this past month.

July 5, 2011
Bomberman ULTRA: $9.99 Free
Medievil: $5.99 Free
Alien Zombie Death (mini): $3.99 Free
Qore Episode 38: $2.99 Free

July 12, 2011
Golden Axe: $4.99 Free
Back to the Future (Full Series): $19.99 $9.79

July 19, 2011

July 26, 2011

July is my favorite month of the year. With it comes amazing weather, my birthday and now, excellent PS+ updates! Not only did Sony put out loads of free content but they also had their annual Summer PSN Sale where PS+ users got 50% off! I only snagged Back to the Future but I was tempted by Hard Corps: Uprising and Pixeljunk Shooter 2. Medieval was one of my favorite PS1 games so it was a pleasant surprise to see it offered for free this month as well! Six months through and I am doing quite well! Hopefully the second half of my subscription it just as fruitful!

August 2, 2011
Crash Commando: $9.99 Free
Destruction Derby: $5.99 Free
Qore Episode 39: $2.99 Free
OMG-Z! (mini): Exclusive Free
City Dynamic Theme: Exclusive Free

August 9, 2011
Comix Zone: $4.99 Free
Crash Commando Add-On Bundle: $4.99 Free

August 16, 2011

August 23, 2011
Resistance 3 Multiplayer Beta: Exclusive Free
LittleBigPlanet Dynamic Theme: $2.99 Free

August 30, 2011
God of War Origins Collection Demo: Exclusive Free

August wasn't the best month for PlayStation Plus but after last Spring it certainly wasn't the worst either. Crash Commando combined with the DLC was a fun game to play although it didn't hold my attention for long. The big offering for me this month was the Resistance 3 Beta. As a huge Resistance fan, I couldn't help but put in a ton of hours demoing the latest from Insomniac and I was impressed. With the entire PS1 library to offer, I was alittle disappointed with Destruction Derby but I guess free is free. The LittleBigPlanet Dynamic theme was icing on the cake though and Sackboy is still running in circles on my background. I have yet to hear what Sony is offering in September but lets hope they try to blow users away!

September 6, 2011
Assassins Creed Revelations Multiplayer Beta: Exclusive Free
Altered Beast: $4.99 Free
Astro Tripper: $4.99 Free
Plants vs. Zombies: $14.99 Free
Clouds Dynamic Theme: Exclusive Free

September 13, 2011
Bulletstorm Game Trial: Exclusive Free

September 20, 2011
Resident Evil Directors Cut: $4.99 Free
Resident Evil 2: $2.99 Free
Resident Evil 3 Nemesis: $2.99 Free
Resident Evil 4 HD: $19.99 $10.00

September 27, 2011
UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves Drake's Fortune MP Pack: $2.99 Free
UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves Golden Weapons: $.99 Free
UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves PlayStation Heroes Pack: $2.49 Free
UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves Sidekick Skin Pack: $1.49 Free
UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves Siege Expansion Pack: $2.99 Free
UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves - Eye of Indra 1-4: $1.49 Free
UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves Nathan Drake Avatar: $.49 Free
UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves Tetram Avatar: $.49 Free

September was... WOW! PlayStation Plus completely paid itself off in that month alone! Sony offered up tons of critically acclaimed free games, free content for exclusives, an anticipated beta and big discounts on new HD games! Strategic zombie decapitation in Plants vs. Zombies, Resident Evil 1-4 (4 in HD) for only $10 and all the DLC for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves free packed into one month is absurd! If you are even remotely interested in PS Plus, Sony has proven that they will try their damnedest to make you proud of your investment.

October 4, 2011
Qore Episode 41: Exclusive Free
Costume Quest: $14.99 Free
Elemental Monster Online Card Game: $.99 Free

October 11, 2011

October 18, 2011
Burn Zombie Burn!: $4.99 Free

October 25, 2011
inFAMOUS Festival of Blood: $9.99 $7.99

PlayStation Plus slowed down a bit in October. Although I downloaded less content, the overall quality was on par with previous months. Costume Quest, Burn Zombie Burn and inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood are all enjoyable experiences that represent the best the PSN has to offer. I am thirsting for a good beta but I'm not sure there will be any in November. Two betas I would love to see on PS+ are Starhawk and Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City but we'll have to wait and see. Unrelated to PS+ but equally awesome: DC Universe Online goes free to download and free to play November 1!

November 1, 2011
Hydrophobia Prophecy: $9.99 Free
Crash Bandicoot: $5.99 Free
Crash Bandicoot 2: $5.99 Free
Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped: $5.99 Free
Crash Team Racing: $5.99 Free
Qore Episode 42: Exclusive Free

November 8, 2011
inFAMOUS 2 Festival of Blood Dynamic Theme: Exclusive Free

November 15, 2011

November 22, 2011

November 39, 2011
de Blob 2 Game Trial: Exclusive Free

Another good month for PlayStation Plus. My PSOne Classics are starting to rival my collection of originals! I'm not sure how I feel about the new format where they offer the majority of downloads at the start of the month. Although they offer a good amount of content, I enjoyed have little surprises every week or two. The PlayStation Network has had a lot of ups and downs this year, it will be interesting to see how they close it.

December 6, 2011
Spyro the Dragon: $5.99 Free
Tomb Raider Underworld: $14.99 Free
I am Alive Dynamic Theme: Exclusive Free
Qore Episode 43: Exclusive Free

December 13, 2011
Marvel Pinball: $9.99 Free

December 20, 2011

December 27, 2011

December was a pretty weak month for PlayStation Plus. I expected Sony to close the year out with a bang but instead they went out with a whimper. While Tomb Raider: Underworld was a quality offering as a free game, the PS1 classics had already been included in previous updates and Marvel Pinball provides only a limited experience without any of its DLC packs (which were not free). With all that said, I expect January and 2012 in general to pack some impressive offerings through Playstation Plus.

January 3, 2012
Swords and Soliders: $9.99 Free
Syphon Filter $5.99 Free
Syphon Filter 2: $5.99 Free
Syphon Filter 3: $5.99 Free
Darksiders Full Game Trial: Exclusive Free

January 10, 2012
Nothing! (Wanted Crysis on sale but missed it)

January 17, 2012
Starhawk Beta: Exclusive Free

January 24, 2012
Assassin's Creed Revelations Dynamic Theme: Exclusive Free
Hitman Absolution Dynamic Theme: Exclusive Free
Qore Episode 44: Exclusive Free

January 31, 2012

Sony kicked of 2012 with an impressive PlayStation Plus line up. The complete series of Back to the Future games were available for free along with the entire Syphon filter series. Unfortunately, I already purchased Back to the Future earlier this year through a PS+ sale so I missed on that free game. In the second week of the month Sony ran a 12 in '12 sale which offered great PSN games for 50% off to Plus users. I was too busy to take advantage of the sale however and missed out on Crysis and Pixeljunk Sidescroller. Dynamic themes and the beta test for Starhawk rounded out the exclusive content for the month. It's doubtful that Sony will follow up the great start to 2012 with an equally impressive offering but last February was quite impressive so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

February 7, 2012
House of the Dead 3 Demo: Exclusive Free
Simpsons Arcade: $9.99 Free
Final Fantasy V: $9.99 Free

February 14, 2012
House of the Dead 3: $6.99 $4.89
Far Cry 2: $9.99 Free
Battle Fantasia: $19.99 Free
Fatal Inertia EX: $29.99 Free
Inferno Pool: $9.99 Free
Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars: $9.99 Free
House of the Dead 3 Dynamic Theme: Exclusive Free

February 21, 2012

February 28, 2012
Dark Jak Avatar: Exclusive Free

Bottom Line

Current Investment/Savings: $82.64/$499.05

Well that's it for 12 months of PS Plus and the verdict is in! WINNER!

I have saved loads of money on everything from full downloadable games to PSOne Classics to Dynamic Themes. With almost $500 in savings, it's hard to argue with the amount of content Sony is offering but what about the quality? Over the past year I received discounts on games like Resident Evil 4, House of the Dead 3, inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood and Crysis (offered but I accidentally missed it). In addition to the discounts, I received critically acclaimed games like Stacking, Costume Quest and Plants vs. Zombies completely free!

As a hardcore PSN user I took advantage of each and every Plus offering but many people wonder if PS Plus still beneficial for casual PSN users. The answer is yes. Even if you're not going to download Qore episodes, Dynamic Themes, and PS Minis, Playstation Plus is still well worth the investment. Exclusive betas like Socom 4, Resistance 3, Assassin's Creed Revelations and Starhawk in addition to free games like Hydrophobia: Prophecy, Tomb Raider: Underworld and Far Cry 2 are excellent draws for the casual crowd.

PlayStation Plus is the best and most generous offering of gaming content out there. Now that PS Plus has finally hit it's stride, the year ahead promises to be the program's best year yet. Do yourself a favor and subscribe now!

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While I've only had three months of PS+ thanks to a free code sent to me in my email, it has been pretty cool. I've gotten a dozen or so free games. Sure I wouldn't usually even consider them for purchase, but free is always a good incentive. And now that it gave me Journey nearly two weeks in advance, I love it.
That is pretty amazing. I remember when people were highly skeptical of PS Plus when it first debuted, but now it's really proven its worth; I might even take the plunge and get a subscription sometime soon now.
The only problem with PSN plus and me is that I have lots of games to play so I had a hard time utilizing the what I got in the subscription time and the stuff I got from it: like Hydrophobia, Costume Quest, Burn Zombie Burn, Tomb Raider: Underworld, Marvel Prinball palled to the other stuff I was playing at the time. Especially Hydrophobia. I didn't have time to play the Back to the Future games or Swords and Soldiers before my sub ran out unfortunately. Plus PSN+ didn't really offer discounts on games I wanted. Like during that 3 month subscription all I felt compelled to buy was Rochard.

I'm sure if I got a year I'd be more satisfied since I think I choose a bad time to activate it. But I have a hard time bringing myself to get it despite your favorable impressions (like I've already played the old Spyro games, Crash, Resident Evil and stuff like Plants vs Zombies..what makes me think they'll offer discounts on games I want to buy or free games I'll want to play. Granted, if they have a good discounts on Skullgirls, the Guilty Gear PSN port, Retro City Rampage, Journey, and Jet Set Radio or even have them free, I'll eat my words).
The big discounts come a few times a year during PSN Sales. There are usually 4 or so a year and the games included are marked down about 25% for everyone but an extra 25% for PS Plus Users. They are running a sale this week for the "Best of PSN" which includes Angry Birds, inFAMOUS Festival of Blood, Limbo, Resident Evil 4, God of War: Origins Collection and more all for 50%.

I guess the morale of the story is the longer you have Plus the more likely you'll get something you want.
I don't have Plus on my account but my boyfriend has it on his account. Surprisingly, we haven't used it much for the sales. Just the free games and the Cloud storage. And with how much we've paid for the sub, the fact that we didn't lose much of our saved data when the old PS3 died on us has proved its worth. At least to me, it has.

The only problem with PSN plus and me is that I have lots of games to play so I had a hard time utilizing the what I got in the subscription time and the stuff I got from it: like Hydrophobia, Costume Quest, Burn Zombie Burn, Tomb Raider: Underworld, Marvel Prinball...

Marvel Prinball? Sounds like someone's got NIS games on the mind, ohohoho. :P
I had Plus for about the first three months it was available, and I have to say that it wasn't really worth having. In terms of content I wanted, though, it almost paid off since Stacking was free early on. Now, though, Sony is throwing tons of things at Plus member. It's still not definite that you'll ever get anything you would actually have wanted from the subscription, but it's a lot more likely now, at least.

Marvel Prinball? Sounds like someone's got NIS games on the mind, ohohoho. :P

Not sure how that happened, honestly dood. But yeah, "Marvel Pinball" was probably the best game of the bunch I've played (well, got for free), but I dunno, I felt like I got the experience I wanted out of it in a hour or two.

Not sure how that happened, honestly dood. But yeah, "Marvel Pinball" was probably the best game of the bunch I've played (well, got for free), but I dunno, I felt like I got the experience I wanted out of it in a hour or two.

And see, I think that Costume Quest was the best out of the ones you listed. Out of all the ones I've downloaded, I believe that it got the most play time. Of course, that is with my kids as they love the game.

Dang it, now I want an official NIS "Prinball" game.

Now, though, Sony is throwing tons of things at Plus member. It's still not definite that you'll ever get anything you would actually have wanted from the subscription, but it's a lot more likely now, at least.

That's a good point 905. Plus went through a number of changes over the past year and has emerged a better program. We're definitely getting more quality content per month now than when I subscribed in 2011. They are also better about offering discounts on highly anticipated PSN releases. It will be interesting to see how the Vita fits into Plus.
I'm definitely pleased with PS+ so far. My subscription runs out in July and I'll definitely be getting another year of the service. I've really saved quite a bit of money on free games that I probably would have paid for. They have a pretty decent selection of free stuff each month.

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