For gamers, PlayStation is one of the favorites and most widely adopted brands in the past and current generations. In fact, as of this writing, the recently-released PlayStation 4 is already the best selling next generation gaming console, which clearly speaks for the brand’s popularity.
One of the aspects of PlayStation consoles that several gamers don’t know much about though, is PlayStation Plus. This service, if used properly, can enhance the gaming experience of any PlayStation owner dramatically.
Let’s take a close look at this service and at several little-known things that you as a gamer should know about it.
First, the basics…
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What is PlayStation Plus?
PlayStation Plus is a membership service for PlayStation owners that encompasses several features and that benefits PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and PSP owners.
How Much Does it Cost?
If you are thinking about joining PlayStation Plus, you can choose to do so for either a single month, three months or a year. The prices for these subscriptions are $9.99, $17.99 and $49.99 respectively.
How Can I Subscribe?
You can purchase memberships directly from the Sony Entertainment Network (SEN) website of your region. Alternatively, you can also purchase PlayStation Network (PSN) prepaid cards from Amazon or you can fund your PSN account via Paypal.
However, note that PlayStation Plus memberships are tied to your PSN account’s region. For example, if you have a U.S. PSN account, you can only use a U.S. PlayStation Plus subscription with it. And if you have a U.S. PSN account but would like to be subscribed to the European PlayStation Plus service, you would have to first create a European PSN account.
Important: Just for the record, you can easily create a PSN account from any region you choose regardless of where you are located.
Now that the basics are behind us, let’s get to more detailed stuff.
If I Have More Than One PlayStation Console, Do I Need More Than One PlayStation Plus Subscription?
No. If you have PlayStation Plus, your subscription covers both the PS3 and PS4, as well as the PS Vita and PSP.
In fact, with one subscription, you can have the features and content of the service on up to one PS4, two PS3s and two handhelds (PS Vita and PSP) all at once.
I Heard PlayStation Plus Gives you a Few Free Games. Is That Its Only Benefit?
One of the most common misconceptions about PlayStation Plus gamers have, is that it ‘only’ gives some free games. But in fact, as memberships of any kind, it provides quite a few additional perks that are not too known, like:
One GB of online storage to store save data from your games: This is a great option to keep your progress safe in case your consoles breaks. It is also a seamless way to sync your progress across consoles that run the same game.
Automatic Updates: This feature allows PlayStation consoles to automatically download system updates, game patches and even to sync trophies. The best part of all is that you can adjust this feature to have all the functions mentioned above take place during night time for example.
Exclusive trials, game betas and other content: If you are a PS3 user, PlayStation Plus grants you access to exclusive game trials and betas (games not yet ready for final release). Additionally, exclusive PS3 themes and avatars are also usually offered by the service to subscribers.
Sales and discounts: This is without a doubt one of the best aspects of PlayStation Plus. Every week, the PSN website updates its storefront offering new titles. With PlayStation Plus, subscribers are given at least an additional 10% discount over any promotion available and on most new releases.
And of course, there’s the free games, also known as the Instant Game Collection.
But let’s leave it at that for now. Make sure to check out the second part of this article to learn all about the Instant Game Collection, its offerings, why you should seriously consider which region you subscribe to PlayStation Plus from and a couple of potential drawbacks the service has.