We’ve all known that this time was coming, but it is finally here – the end of PlayStation Plus for the PS Vita and PS3. Sony Interactive Entertainment unveiled the final PS Vita PlayStation Plus games lineup that will be coming to the instant games collection. I have to be honest and say that with such a significant event, the offerings are something of a let-down. The latest releases will be hitting the store on 5th February and will have a slightly extended stay until 8th March. After that time, there will be no new titles for PS Vita owners.
A Service Upgrade
Their big push this month is an expansion to the core service itself. As well as the games, we have been provided with cloud storage for save game data (ideal for making backups when uninstalling games to save space, especially with the high cost of memory cards). Sony have announced that this space is being increased from 10Gb to 100Gb. However, their announcement seems quite vague and gives the impression that this increase is for PS4 users only. PS Vita and PS3 owners have had a smaller amount of storage available to them so it’s unclear whether this 100Gb is now a shared total across all platforms owned.
As you’d expect, the big games are reserved for the PlayStation 4. The two “main” releases this time are Ubisoft’s For Honor and Hitman: The Complete First Season. As we’ve come to expect over the last couple of years it’s clear where most of the budget for PS+ has gone when it has come to securing games so it has left little for other formats, so PS Vita and PS3 owners have suffered.
The Final PS Vita PlayStation Plus Games
So what are PS Vita owners getting in the last month? Disappointingly there are no AAA titles offered to us despite the wide range of choices available and considering the partnership SIE has entered into with Ubisoft for the PS4 games, it wouldn’t have been difficult to close the service off with one of their bigger PS Vita releases. Instead, we are getting three indie titles and while two are relatively new – less than a year old – another was released an astonishing six years ago! What is significant is that all three PS Vita titles offered are Cross Buy so we close up the service in the same way we have for the last couple of years – sharing games with the PS4 and having nothing exclusive.
So what are the games for the final PS Vita PlayStation Plus lineup? The oldest of the trio is the controversial Divekick. While some raved about this two-button beat-em-up, others were rather critical of its simplicity. Released in 2013, this is being shared as a Cross Buy title with the PS3 but is hardly the star of the month.
The other two games, from 2018, are both Cross Buy with the PS4 (giving PS4 owners four games once again) and are the shoot-em-ups Gunhouse (the updated version of the PlayStation Mobile game) and Rogue Aces.
And the PlayStation 3?
The PS3, I would have to say fares a little better but not by much. There are only two games available for PS3 owners. The aforementioned Divekick shared with Vita owners and its big game in the shape of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots. Now while this may be a major title, it too is a very old release again from five years ago. MGS4 may have been a big release at the time but it was also a huge selling title so most who wanted the game when it was released would have purchased it so it won’t be of interest to many. It does make you feel as if both the PS Vita and PS3 have been treated as an afterthought and should have been offered something special for the last few months.
What’s Next For PlayStation Plus?
It’s disappointing to see the service end like this with lacklustre offerings for both the PS Vita and PS3. What’s more for those of us without a PlayStation 4 it feels as if we are now being held to ransom by Sony Interactive Entertainment. If, like me, you have been a member of PlayStation Plus for a long time you will have built up an extensive collection of titles from the instant games collection. However you will only have access to these while your membership continues. If you don’t own a PS4 (which many PS3 and Vita owners don’t contrary to what Sony may believe) it means that you will be paying full price for PS+ simply to pay for old games you have downloaded. You don’t need the online access as it was free for other platforms, you don’t get new titles each month so the only benefits are the cloud storage and your old games.
Will Sony offer a cut price membership for those without a PS4? Absolutely not. They have no incentive to and instead they’ll just use the change as an attempt to encourage us to buy PS4s instead. What we can hope for, as Vita owners at least, is that with the removal of PS3 and Vita games is that more PS4 games will be added. In fact I am banking on it. Ideally I am expecting to see the removed titles to be replaced with a couple of indie games each month from March onwards. And if history has shown us anything with PlayStation, indie developers love Cross Buy, so we may yet see some more Vita titles through PlayStation Plus… just not the way Sony has intended so watch this space.