In a move that has, quite frankly, surprised no-one Sony Interactive Entertainment announced yesterday in an email to subscribers yesterday that they would be dropping the monthly games from the PlayStation Plus service for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita with effect from 8th March 2019.
Sony have stated that exist games downloaded by current members will still be available to play after this date as long as members will remain current subscribers, but after this point no further titles will be added for either platform.
To be honest, dropping PS3 support has been expected for some time. The console is over a decade old and was around prior to the launch of the subscription service, which originally offered PSOne games along with Minis for eager gamers. With only a handful of new games being released, subscribers were feeling frustrated at the older games being offered but choices were being limited by availability.
It gets a little hard to understand here. A console’s expected lifespan these days is around ten years yet the Vita is only six years old. Games are still being released on a regular basis and there’s a healthy back catalogue to choose from and there’s even a large library of PSOne and PSP games that could be offered. Certainly sony themselves have released enough over the years that still haven’t been offered to keep the service running for a while longer.
Nothing more has been said about the extended services offered by PlayStation Plus for either platform, notably the discounts on new and past releases through the store and the online save game storage.
It has been clear for some time that Sony’s focus is on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR. Most of their promotion has been geared towards encouraging existing users to switch to the PS4 as their platform of choice, regardless of how profitable the other platforms may be. This is in stark contrast to Microsoft and Nintendo who still embrace their older systems and appreciate the place they have in their infrastructure.
What Sony seem to be oblivious to is that not everyone has chosen the PS4 as their upgrade route. Some have moved on to the Xbox One, some waited for the Switch, others like myself are avoiding the current generation of hardware completely but some are just content with what they own. Afterall, gaming is an expensive hobby and with so many games out there why shouldn’t we enjoy what we have?
For Vita and PS3 owners we’re now in a catch-22 situation. With no new games being offered, we’re being asked to pay SIE £50 a year for nothing new and unless we own a PS4 that’s a lot of money. Ultimately it depends on what you have downloaded and how you value access to that collection. To purchase all of them could cost hundreds if not thousands of pounds depending on your length of membership and what you wanted to keep. Some games have been deleted from the system so without PS+ these will be gone for good. It’s a question that individuals can only answer for themselves but I suspect that Sony will have a lot of unwilling subscribers just using the service to keep their games.
The only positive note – for Vita owners at least – is that we can hope for more PS4 games that are Cross Buy and still get the occasional free bonus game.
Sorry Sony but you have a lot of disappointed gamers today…