Sony Details Plans to Improve PlayStation Plus, as Subscribers Quadruple Since PS4 Launch

President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Andrew House detailed, during the Investor Relations Day ongoing in Tokyo as I’m writing, the plans to improve PlayStation Plus in the near future.

According to House, shifting PlayStation Plus to being required for online gameplay multiplied the number of subscribers by four since the launch of PlayStation 4.

The future plans for PlayStation Plus are threefold:

  • Strengthening the online multiplayer line-up to drive adoption of the subscription and membership service.
  • Strengthening the free content delivered to subscribers every month, increasing the value of their subscription package.
  • Enhancing the community-based features of PlayStation Plus, to make it appealing not just to core gamers, but also to a broader audience.

The presentation slides also included prioritized access to alpha and beta of games, while during the rest of the presentation a sizable investment in strengthening the server infrastructure of the PSN was also mentioned.

House further explained that while PlayStation Plus is one of the higher margin businesses for the company, if not the highest margin one, there are implied costs related to it, especially due to content acquisition (IE: securing the games that will be given for free).

Join the Discussion

  • Monokuma

    The presentation slides also included prioritized access to alpha and beta of games

    Now that i’d be down for, at least for Sony first party games, and particularly for alphas.

    • ExplodingJuice

      Yeah that would be pretty cool. I want to see what they meant by :
      Strengthening the free content delivered to subscribers every month, increasing the value of their subscription package.

      • Duffyboy

        less indie titles and more AAA free plus games…and if they really wanna make plus amazing….give plus users exclusive 1-3 hours trials to day 1 release games through ps now

        • RyTeOuS

          you mean stream day 1 release through PS Now? That would result in a bad representation of the game since it is limited to 720P and recommended 5Mbps down internet speeds. I like the idea, but better to have it downloaded through PS store

          • Duffyboy

            that would work too.at least they could promote ps now too cuz since ps now launched i never even tried it cause of the price and no free trial

        • ariessiren

          Agree on the Indies. Overkill.

          • http://twitch.tv/ts0cha0tik Cha0tik TV

            There is no such things as an overkill on games. They are giving indie developers a chance to make games on their platform and so far the Indie devs have been delivering on content in some cases more so than the AAA. If you want more AAA titles cool but I disagree with less indies because that gives us less of a catelog to CHOOSE from.

          • someguy

            Totally agree. Bring on the games big or small. Indie or AAA I would never discriminate. Every game is worth a shot.

          • DeadnBuried

            The poster likelymeant that the amount of Indies provided through Plus has been ridiculous. They can add every indie game under the sun to the PS Store and nobody would mind, but when we’re given indie games on all three platforms month after month it’s definitely overkill.

            When took out a 15 month subscription it was on the strength of games offered at the time; Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, recent Assassin’s Creed games, Borderlands 2, DMC, Metal Gear Rising, Dragon’s Dogma, Arkham City, etc. Games like that made Plus the best use of money that I’ve ever come across, id recommend the service to anyone. But somewhere down the line that all changed, and suddenly all three platforms get nothing but indie games and it just isn’t what a lot of people paid for anymore as a result.

          • http://al2009man.wix.com/beta Al. Lopez

            at least offering Indie Games for Free is better than broken games as of this winter season.

          • DarthDiggler

            @deadnburied:disqus

            I am repeating myself …

            PS4 has been light on the AAA games for PS+ because the PS4 is only a year old. They introduced PS+ on PS3 in 2010, 3-4 years after the the PS3 was released which gave them 3+ years of AAA games to work with.

            We will likely see more AAA games in 2015, because more games will be outside of their retail sales windows.

          • DeadnBuried

            You don’t need to repeat yourself, as id already said that that was not the problem. Its perfectly understandable that the PS4 has only had indie games all year (though I am surprised Knack hasn’t yet been on Plus), howeve, Plus also changed for the PS3 and Vita; both platforms saw a dramatic decrease in quality and suddenly we’re only getting indie games on all three platforms.

            A year ago I would count the days until the next Plus announcement and id have games on all platforms that id be genuinely excited to play, but within months of the PS4 coming out Plus changed for the worse; the idea of the Instant Game Catalogue dropped off, and suddenly the PS3 no longer had 10 games available at all times with new ones cycling in, nor did the Vita have the five or so that it maintained, and the only games cycling in were now indie games. At this point we are lucky to get one excite-worthy game a month.

            Sony say that Plus subs have quadrupled since the launch of PS4, but they’re certainly not using that revenue to boost the service, as it’s quality has totally dropped off over the last nine months.

        • DarthDiggler

          @julianstrachan:disqus

          less indie titles and more AAA free plus games.

          No Man’s Sky is an Indie title. Just because a game isn’t made by a team of hundreds doesn’t mean its any less of a valuable title. AAA games have more contractual hurdles for PS+. PS4 has been light on the AAA games for PS+ because the PS4 is only a year old. They introduced PS+ on PS3 in 2010, 3-4 years after the the PS3 was released which gave them 3+ years of AAA games to work with.

          give plus users exclusive 1-3 hours trials to day 1 release games through ps now

          I disagree, the publishers and studios should have the ultimate control over if they release a demo. What you are proposing would be a forced demo program. While I understand what you are asking for many developers and publisher don’t release demos for a reason. It’s not always due to a lack of confidence in the product, there are costs associated with it. Also the game quality for the trail would vary from user to user depending on their internet. I wouldn’t want people to play my game unless it was in the best possible format for launch.

        • Guest

          If they did that with AAA games, you’d have lots of people taking all day to download something to be able to play it for 3 hours.

  • They Call Me Senpai

    I’d welcome the prioritization of alpha and beta access. The enhancement of community-based features and the strengthening of free content is good news.

    • DarthDiggler

      @disqus_0UBWeO4eXa:disqus

      PS+ (depending on the publisher) already grants Alpha / Beta priority. For example: Destiny Alpha was only available to PS+ players.

      • Bobby Jennings

        They want to strengthen that though.

  • doplerradar

    Not surprising it has increased dramatically since it is required to play online for PS4. Overall, good business move for Sony.

  • SkinnyAssGamer

    PS Plus Features That I Would Like To See:

    – Sony picks out 10 games for PS4, PS3, and PS Vita (At least 3 being cross buy supported) and the community votes on these games which ever games gets the top 2-3 slots gets put on PS Plus free for that month.

    • http://gamingirl.com/ Twinkling82

      not that many games are cross buy.

      • DarthDiggler

        @gamingirl:disqus

        Yeah that promo would be over in like 2 months. LOL

    • TommyDilfinger

      I like the voting method. So many of the PS+ games I already own or have on PC. I get a lot of these indie games during Steam sales and Humble Bundles.

    • doplerradar

      That will be easy for first party games but it may be too complicated for 3rd party games. It will require extra work to find 10 publishers/developers willing to do that.

  • Blaine

    I’m surprised Plus has such a high margin. I’ve been very pleased with the “free” games in the past, but I’d be lying if I said the quality on offer has been as good lately. It’s not only because of lack of content, either. If they have such a margin, share the wealth a little Sony! Better free games, or a wider selection of games on sale, would go a long way! And more servers, too, while you’re at it.

    My experience with Sony servers in the past, especially regarding MAG, has been great. But they did cut back on servers relatively quickly, and lag became prevalent. If they had more servers per game and kept them online longer, I’d feel like my + money was well spent.

  • Rickowned

    I would like Alpha and beta access for sure instead of random joe blow that doesn’t have PS+ or anything really. It sounds mean but I am paying for a service.

  • thecman25

    Well the only thing i want them to do is improve the servers

    • FuckTheHeatt

      Lol forreal. I expected servers to be so good on the PS4 since we’d be paying subscription for the first time. Sadly, it’s no better than the PS3 servers

  • Craig Sloan

    Good to hear, PS Plus has been good for a few years and this one has not been as good. That’s just because there are not so many games you can just give away already. Enticing people will either Alphas or betas for games for PS Plus subscribers is a nice idea. They also do have discounts off games so many do something else with that like a EA access thing of PS exclusive games. They need to focus more on their servers for sure because that’s an obvious weakness compared with their competition. Also for them to be focusing on online their first party games are usually Single Player focused so either get some online focused third party games like they are doing with Planetside or create some more new ip exclusive that are online focused etc. It’s already good they way you get a mixture of Vita, PS3 and 4 games for “free” on PS Plus each month and usually 2 or 3 of each so keep doing that just with bigger titles.

  • ariessiren

    Glad they will be looking at the free content. Been abysmal since the drop to 2 games per console. Sends the more money they make on it, the cheaper the games are getting. Really need to offer better titles that show what the ps4 can do. Way too many cheap Indies vs higher quality Indies being offered. Just feels cheap.

  • Aurizen

    I think they should definitely let us keep the games we download for free even if our subscription expires.

    • James

      Can’t see ’em doing that – they want you to stay subscribed to PS+.

      • Fetch > Delsin

        Yup. They need the money.

        • DarthDiggler

          @Aurizen:disqus & @disqus_sYUWUdIMCB:disqus & @fetchdelsin:disqus

          Actually you are all 100% wrong, feel free to check with the PS+ T&Cs which you obviously are not familiar with. :)

          If your subscription lapses with PS+ you can keep ANYTHING you paid for, so if you got a discount on a game, DLC or add-on you keep that forever.

          If your subscription lapses with PS+ and you resubscribe, you have full access to all the content you previously had for free.

          This has been the case since day one.

          • Scottie Richardson

            Darth – I don’t think you understand their conversation. Nice try, though.

          • DarthDiggler

            @scottierichardson:disqus

            I think they can reply for themselves.

            They were implying if the PS+ subscription runs out that you loose the consent you had previously if you resubscribe. At least that is what I discerned from these comments…

            I think they should definitely let us keep the games we download for free even if our subscription expires.

            Can’t see ’em doing that – they want you to stay subscribed to PS+.

            Yup. They need the money.

            Perhaps your English is not as good as you think. I don’t see how you could read these comments in any other manner.

  • Jerry Flowers

    But will they allow Sub Account upgrades?

    • DarthDiggler

      @jerryflowers:disqus

      Do Sub-Accounts build on the trophies of the primary accounts or do the Sub-Accounts have their own trophy data?

      If the former, that is likely apart of the reason they don’t un-moor sub-accounts. They may not have the data granularity to extract all the info in order to make the 2 accounts separate and “whole”.

      • Jerry Flowers

        The trophy data is specific to me, one of the only connected things is the wallet.

  • brianc6234

    Sony needs to improve it on the PS3. Ever since they started it on the PS4 they’ve been giving weaker PS3 games. There’s a lot of great PS3 games they could be giving away. Games that don’t cost that much anymore but are still great games.

    • TommyDilfinger

      I’d like to see some of those HD collections myself on PS3.

  • James

    I think they’ve dropped the ball this year when it comes to “free” PS+ games.

    Since moving to PS4 – they’ve stopped with the AAA and just gave us indie titles.

    Nothing wrong with that initially, it’s just all indie titles now and it was never like that on the PS3.

    I think the best compromise is giving away two games – one indie and the other a year old AAA… Or something like that.

    But whatever Sony do – they need to improve their “free” PS+ games…

    • extermin8or2

      How can they give awayv year old AAA when the console is not yet a year old *faceplam* it won’t be till Saturday…

      • TommyDilfinger

        You forget PS+ isn’t just for PS4. I’d still like some AAA games for my PS3 to play. Or some decent Vita games that work on the PlayStation TV.

    • Castor Troy

      They must have a build up library to start given full AAA titles! Are you a new sub to +, because the first year on PS3 was the same with +!!! Also did you see next months lineup or are you just pretending to know sh*t!?!

    • WingsOfChicken

      Last time I checked I’ve been getting AAA exclusives…oh you’re one of them.. PS+ is for all 3 systems and there have been PLENTY of AAA free exclusives this year on PS3..

      …On PS4 not so much because it’s a brand new console and games haven’t been out for a year, yet. If you do a little goggling, or you know; minute research, you’ll see that the free PS+ games were old games that came out at least a year ago…

      ….Then if you did a little more googling..you’d release we’ve hit our year mark and you would find that Injustice: Gods Among Us is free for PS4 next month…and Infamous First Light is free in January.
      It’s not magic, it’s logic.

    • DarthDiggler

      @disqus_sYUWUdIMCB:disqus

      I am repeating myself. :) Not sure why this even needs to be explained should be fairly self evident.

      PS4 has been light on the AAA games for PS+ because the PS4 is only a
      year old. They introduced PS+ on PS3 in 2010, 3-4 years after the the
      PS3 was released which gave them 3+ years of AAA games to work with.

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  • Bliss Seeker

    Why can’t we use the touchpad on the homescreen and internet browser yet…

    • TommyDilfinger

      Especially since the PS TV and PC both use the Touchpad.

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  • albatrosMyster

    Yes, servers and “cloud” computing is relatively cheap (I.E you get Google and Facebook for FREE) so if you can get people to pay for these “services” well it’s like printing money!

    Hence the people who knew their stuff got upset at MS for charging for these things last gen (and a bit in the OG xbox area)… they got away with it mainly because of the nicer interface people had, it tricked them into thinking they had a better service :-/

    Anyway, happy to see they are investing more into it and looking into giving more value to their subscribers, because after the latest PS3 years where we had tons of AAA games every month, now we get two small titles and slightly better deals…

    • DarthDiggler

      @albatrosmyster:disqus

      Yes, servers and “cloud” computing is relatively cheap (I.E you get
      Google and Facebook for FREE) so if you can get people to pay for these
      “services” well it’s like printing money!

      Google and Facebook are both ad revenue plays, that is why they are free. Kind of like broadcast television. Cloud technology isn’t necessarily cheap if you need a 24/7/365 operation. You don’t seem to be very familiar with this tech so I am not sure if you have the proper qualifications to be making comments about the cloud.

      Hence the people who knew their stuff got upset at MS for charging for these things last gen (and a bit in the OG xbox area)… they got away with it mainly because of the nicer interface people had, it tricked them into thinking they had a better service :-/

      Most of the people who “knew their stuff” (I do not include you in that category), were mostly upset about Xbox Live pay-gating the services they already paid for. IE: Hulu Plus, Netflix, etc. etc. Some people were annoyed that MS charged for Multiplayer Access, but they did so in order to provide match making servers and a more robust online experience than PSN for PS3. PS3 didn’t have a dashboard based party system, because they didn’t have the servers allotted for those functions (also it would have been difficult to implement mid-PS3 life cycle). Xbox Live was generally better for online for many of those reasons. To suggest Microsoft didn’t pay for those functions is supremely naive and you are showcasing ignorance.

      Sony decided to step up their game with online and have given us the great free games feature on top of robust multilayer environment.

      It is unwise to make assumptions about technology that you have little to no expertise in.

      the latest PS3 years where we had tons of AAA games every month, now we get two small titles and slightly better deals.

      PS4 has been light on the AAA games for PS+ because the PS4 is only a
      year old. They introduced PS+ on PS3 in 2010, 3-4 years after the the
      PS3 was released which gave them 3+ years of AAA games to work with. Why this isn’t self evident is beyond me. :-/

      Sony was more aggressive with the VITA because the VITA hasn’t done stellar sales like the PS4.

  • Wookie

    Reliable servers and AAA titles for Plus members would make a huge difference and possibly even increase the rate of subscription much further. Although, AAA titles are a stretch but one can dream.

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  • TommyDilfinger

    And can we please change our PSN name already??!!

    • Fetch > Delsin

      I doubt it. I think there’s only one guy managing PSN.

      • DarthDiggler

        @fetchdelsin:disqus

        LOL you really think that? :) Well you have pretty much discredited most of what you have said here today. :)

        • Scottie Richardson

          It’s called dry humor.

          • DarthDiggler

            @scottierichardson:disqus

            Yep went right over your head.

  • MVM

    Sony, take all that PSN money and improve your 1990 network.

    • Fetch > Delsin

      They’re probably using the money to just pay basic expenses since they don’t have a lot of (if any) money.

      • DarthDiggler

        @fetchdelsin:disqus

        Dude you are just full of assumptions!

        If you want to know what Sony does with their money look at their public records and stop making general proclamations about stuff you are not aware of.

        Of course they are paying for general expenses. What company doesn’t keep the lights on? A company of Sony’s scale must reinvest in themselves too. I am not going to assume where they are doing so, I haven’t read the reports.

        • Scottie Richardson

          You tell him to stop making proclamations about stuff he’s not aware of and in the very next sentence you agree with him. Is that not ironic? Are you on a payroll of some sort? Based on the type of replies to some of these comments, some could assume you are.

          • DarthDiggler

            @scottierichardson:disqus

            Are you reading and comprehending what I am saying? I think not.

            You tell him to stop making proclamations about stuff he’s not aware of and in the very next sentence you agree with him.

            An agreement in the general sense that yes companies (of all sizes) pay for expenses isn’t an agreement with the principles of his argument.

            Is that not ironic?

            Simple minds tend to be amazed by simple things.

            It would have been completely ironic had it not been for the fact that I stipulated that I wasn’t sure what Sony does with their revenues. I am starting to wonder if you understand the concepts of irony and assumptions. :)

            Are you on a payroll of some sort?

            Just because someone is articulate and demonstrates some intelligence that must mean I am paid to do this?

            Based on the type of replies to some of these comments, some could assume you are.

            Let me get this straight — you are calling me out for pointing out someone else making
            assumptions while admittedly making your own assumptions?

  • https://sites.google.com/site/thwiponline/ Thwip

    Please increase the Cloud Game Save Storage from 1GB to something larger, particularly for PS4 users.

    • DarthDiggler

      @Thwip:disqus

      Seriously you have filled your 1GB allotment for Cloud Saves? Save files are usually only a megabyte or a few at most.

      1GB = 1024MB

      Lets assume about 5MB per save file and that is over 200 games.

      • https://sites.google.com/site/thwiponline/ Thwip

        @DarthDiggler:disqus

        Respectfully, you’re wrong. I don’t know the math, yes I do have a lot of games, not 200+ though, but I can assure you, my Cloud Save 1GB is full and I know I’m not alone.

  • cool dude55

    love it ps plus is the bomb.com ps4 4 ever

  • David Griffiths

    add music unlimited to the service and a free hd film each month

    • DarthDiggler

      @disqus_eQb4uAt9ij:disqus

      How about 100% all free games, DLC, add-ons.

      20% more damage in Multiplayer.

      Free movies beamed to your home on theatrical release.

      Music library that spans the beginnings of time 100% free.

      LOL Seriously are you guys just spouting out wish lists or are you seriously offering ideas for features that would make PS+ better? No company can afford to give everything away for free all the time.

  • dapaintrain

    I’d be happy with some half decent games on ps plus these past few months have shown a huge dip in quality.

  • DarthDiggler

    @Giuseppe Nelva

    Sony Details Plans to Improve PlayStation Plus

    – Strengthening the online multiplayer line-up to drive adoption of the subscription and membership service.
    – Strengthening the free content delivered to subscribers every month, increasing the value of their subscription package.
    – Enhancing the community-based features of PlayStation Plus, to make
    it appealing not just to core gamers, but also to a broader audience.

    Odd your definition of detail doesn’t match mine. :) These bullet points couldn’t be any more obtuse.

  • TheFanboySlayer

    All I want is to socially be able to follow my favorite youtuber gamers…….I don’t want to have to friend them but I want to be able to see the screenshots they post and to see what videos they post.

  • http://www.paulogy.com Paulogy

    If they throw in a free PlayStation Now rental every month (your choice of game, or even select among a generous list) I think that would be an incredible increase of value to PS+ without much extra cost on their end.

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  • Rock Uproar

    nm