Sunday, 15 August 2010

Tracking Playstation Plus: July update

In this post from a few days ago, I outlined some of the upcoming content for Playstation Plus subscribers in which the following material was to be offered throughout August:
  • PSN: Zen Pinball
  • minis: Blast-Off, Alien Zombie Death
  • PSOne Classic: Medievil
  • Full Game Trial: Infamous, Mushroom Wars
  • Exclusive Discounts: Zen Pinball Earth Defense Table – 20%, Warhawk Triple Combo Pack – 50%, GT Club PS3/PSN – 50%, WipeOut HD Fury – 20%
  • DLC: MotorStorm Pacific Rift: Adrenaline Pack
  • Automatic download demo: Pixel Junk Shooter, Mafia 2
  • Dynamic themes: Exclusive PlayStation Plus Theme, Exclusive ‘Clock’ Theme
  • Premium avatars: Heavy Rain characters x 2
The official Sony blog has responded to European PS3 owners who were unhappy that our US cousins were receiving more regular weekly content updates by saying that Europeans will get some pleasant surprises throughout the month.  It's a sign that Sony is listening to its customers and are responding accordingly, as they look to improve their Plus service.  I have to keep reminding myself that this service is only a month old and that this is new territory for Sony who will improve the offerings based on what its paying customers tell it.

The additional perks this month include:
  • 1 day early exclusive preview of Mafia 2 demo
  • 2 week early exclusive launch of Pixel Junk Racers '2nd Lap' (free to owners of the original Pixel Junk Racers; 20% discount to newcomers)
  • 2 week early exclusive launch of PS1 classic Tomb Raider (on Monday 16th)
  • [EDIT] Plus subscribers were also given early access to the demo for Ruse
The Plus service seems to be improving as it grows, but at whose expensive?  There are quite a few comments on the Sony blog claiming that the company is 'gimping' its free service in order to make the subscription package seem worthwhile (see post #20 by GrimNebulinx).  Their issue seems to be that they believe the pre-release dates are nothing more than the real release dates that would have happened before the introduction of the subscription package, rendering the two-week delay for free users as the 'gimped' service.  It's interesting to see the Sony community writer, James Thorpe, try to rebuff these claims as earnestly as he can.

What do you think of this pre-release exclusivity? Is is worth the cash or effort?  Do you believe the Sony stance?

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