Written by Stryctnin; PSHG Co-Founder
When PS Plus first started up in 2010, I was quick to buy it mostly because of the promises of exclusive items and games. The first few months of owning Plus didn’t seem well worth it to me. There were only a few games available once a month, usually an old, outdated one that probably had lost sales over the years. I had purchased a year subscription so I was in it for the long haul. Eventually they added the Cloud feature, where you could save your game save files onto an online server. And that, to me, is well worth the 50 dollars a year. Plus, you get 3 or 4 really nice free games a month and discounts on other major game titles. Needless to say I have renewed my subscription twice and will continue to do so for as long as I use the PS3 and game or get too old to care or just flat-out die, whatever comes first.
For the past 2 years, owning PS Plus has been totally all about gaming while any advantages or exclusives towards Home seem to have slipped their minds. We were promised Home exclusive items, right?
Well, no, not really. From the official PlayStation Blog that first reported PS Plus, they mentioned the great benefits of the free games, discounts and other services but there is not one word about Home.
When you subscribe to PlayStation Plus, you’ll get free games and DLC (pretty sweet), frequent discounts on PlayStation Store, early invitations to select betas of popular games, and free monthly episodes of Qore – our high-definition, interactive gaming lifestyle show. You’ll also enjoy new functionality such as Full Game Trial where you can “try before you buy” – play a Blu-ray or PSN game for up to one hour and then you can buy the game, download it and keep your progress and trophies. Another cool feature is Automatic Downloads that will push select demos, game related videos, patches and firmware updates to your PS3 so you don’t have to think about it. Total it up and you’ll get hundreds of dollars of value through the year with exclusive digital content from both our World Wide Studios Group and our publishing partners. And every month we’ll be adding new content and continually adding new features, making PlayStation Plus an incredible value, time saver and ticket to front-of-the-line access.
There were rumors, however, of exclusive items, spaces and rewards for Home users who subscribed to Plus that would eventually come.
X7 came close but it wasn’t entirely exclusive to Plus. As you know, you could purchase any mansion space or any gold or platinum suit and waltz in. And that’s the thing, people have been demanding it for years; a space in Home that is exclusive, that only a limited few can enter because of something special they have purchased or subscribed to. Much like the Lockwood Prairie space, I feel we will be seeing more of these types of spaces coming out in the future.
Finally, PS Plus subscribers will be getting a taste of an all exclusive Home feature, when the Home 1.7 patch goes live. Although, I must say, it’s a bit of a strange choice to be giving them. Mostly because I feel the hardcore people that do subscribe to Plus do so for the games, not Home. So for these features to be exclusive to them and not a regular Home user seems…well…odd. Just odd. I feel that giving an exclusive outfit, a PS Plus jumpsuit or tuxedo would be more fitting. Something that would draw a gamer into Home.
For years I’ve wanted to customize the color of my avatars hair color beyond the options they have offered since day one and finally, thanks to Plus, I will. Now, I can customize my hair style and my makeup if I so choose. What makes it even better is that the 8 colors you last used, are saved and easily accessible in a palette. That will make things a lot easier for those quick changes from outfit to outfit. Of course though, my avatar usually wears black. In addition to a plethora of colors to choose from for your hair and makeup, you’ll also be given 8 new exclusive colors to choose your pop up text.
Another perk coming to only PS Plus subscribers is the amount of save slots, they will be increased from 24 to 48. That is a really, really big deal. As most of you remember, we went for the longest time with only 12 slots. But, again, I question why is this available for only Plus members?
Wouldn’t this feature be more suitable for the more hardcore Home users? Seriously, this is one of the most requested things Home users want. It totally makes no sense to me whatsoever. I mean, as a Plus subscriber, I appreciate it but I don’t understand the logic behind it.
Actually, I do.
Blend the two together to get more buyers. These features, while obscure, may lure more gamers into Home but it will definitely make more Home users buy PS Plus subscriptions. In a way, I believe, they are trying to make more pay as you play exclusives in Home. Pay for this and you get to go in this section, like Xi 2, X7 and the Prairie. Exclusivity. And people will buy it just for that.
Really, the only thing being offered new as a perk that makes sense and is logical is an exclusive icon character label. And that alone, in my opinion would not draw new Home users, especially people that use Plus for the free and discounted games. Will it matter to them that they have extra colors to choose from for hair? No. It only matters to those that already use Home frequently.
So, while the idea is in marketing, is it good marketing? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but I honestly feel that these perks are only tests and will soon be available to everyone. But in the mean time, I think they will get a rise in Plus subscriptions.
The Home 1.75 Patch has been delayed, they expect it to be released on Feb. 13th. To read the full details of the Home 1.75 Patch, please visit: http://community.us.playstation.com/t5/PlayStation-Home/INFO-Home-1-75-Patch-Notes/m-p/39367397#U39367397