Sony’s PS Plus ‘cinema’ strategy differs heavily from competition

By Sean Lawson,

The head of PlayStation Indies talked openly about PlayStation topics, but in particular on Sony's PS Plus strategy and how the service is offering something different for developers in comparison to Xbox Game Pass.

PS Plus is attempting to break through to new audiences in the ever-growing and competitive gaming market. PlayStation Indies head, Shuhei Yoshida, discussed PS Plus and what the service is trying to provide developers who choose to put their games on the subscription service. Sony has a lot to live up to when the Xbox Game Pass service offers AAA games, day one, to any who signs up for a membership.

How long is this on for? It's been three hours already!How long is this on for? It's been three hours already!

Can Sony's PS Plus compete against Xbox Game Pass non-competitively?

Sitting down with GamesIndustry.biz, Yoshida discussed a variety of topics in the 30-minute-long YouTube video. One aspect that really stood out was how he viewed PS Plus and how Sony's strategy for the tier system is starkly different to its competitors. First off, day one AAA releases are just not a thing that will be happening on PS Plus, with Yoshida even referring to Stray as an anomaly to the strategy they have. This means the chances of us getting any more day-one releases onto PS Plus are pretty slim it looks like, something that has been stated previously.

Yoshida said: "Our approach is to help publishers with the lifecycle management [of their games]. It’s like when a movie comes out in the theatre first and then goes to pay-per-view or a subscription service or free television. So, every time it's generating new revenue or reaching out to a broader audience.

"So, in the same kind of way, we believe in the premium release of a title, but after six months or twelve months, when the game’s sales come down, inclusion into something like PS Plus Extra can help resurface these games. Some people may have missed playing these games when they first came out [and it's a] great chance to get [new people to] play and if there's DLC coming out we can help [garner] the interest. So, we are encouraging publishers to make use of these services."

What do you think of Yoshida's stance?What do you think of Yoshida's stance?

A very interesting insight into what we can expect to see from PS Plus going forward. Yoshida's analogy of PS Plus working like the aftermath of a cinema release does make sense, games that have been out for a little while can get a burst of interest from fans who maybe didn't want to pay full price for a game when it was first released. Yet, at the same time, if the game is a AAA blockbuster there is a high chance a vast amount of subscribers have already picked up and played, meaning the traction on PS Plus for that game is going to be minimal. Thus, any hardy gamer's interest that is subbed at either the Extra or Premium tiers will have lowered interest as time goes on.

It's clear that Sony needs to up its game if it wants to be able to compete with the juggernaut that is Xbox Game Pass. In recent months, players who are subscribed to the Premium tier of PS Plus have received no new PlayStation Classic titles at all, one of the key highlights of splashing the cash and subscribing at that tier. What's the point if we get nothing out of it? Thankfully this month did see a stream of PlayStation Classic titles join the PS Plus Premium games list, with the likes of Syphon Filter 2 — which is the sixth PS1 classic to receive a platinum trophy — the Sly Cooper series, Toy Story 3, and a few other titles.

PS Plus might not be able to compete with Xbox Game PassPS Plus might not be able to compete with Xbox Game Pass

It's hard to decipher if what Sony is doing is a bad idea or not, on one hand, I personally love the idea of giving older games their flowers and breathing new life into IPs that some may have forgotten about. Yet, a lot of players are going to be looking for those new games that everybody is talking about, if PS Plus doesn't have them, but Xbox does, it's probably going to cause frustration for PlayStation users. This is certainly an interesting topic and one we are sure is going to get you guys talking in the comments below. So, please sound off in the comments below and let us know how you feel about this approach from Sony!
Sean Lawson
Written by Sean Lawson
Sean is a Staff Writer with a focus on the geekiest Sony news. He writes stories about PlayStation exclusives such as Demon’s Souls, Marvel’s Wolverine, as well as RPGs. Sean’s favourite games include Mass Effect, Tomb Raider, Tekken, and Persona.