Kingdom Hearts coming to PS Plus Extra makes absolutely no sense

By Lee Brady,

Almost every Kingdom Hearts game is coming to PS Plus Extra, which is a massive get for Sony's subscription service. For PS Plus Premium subscribers, however, it's just one more reminder of how inept Sony's top tier has been.

The Kingdom Hearts series was announced to be joining PS Plus Extra along with an influx of new PS Plus games this November. This is a massive get for PS Plus, and will surely be welcomed by most Extra subscribers looking forward to finally jumping into the Square Enix and Disney crossover. The same can't be said for PS Plus Premium subscribers, who will be left scratching their heads as Sony drops the ball on its most expensive PS Plus tier yet again.

Kingdom Hearts PS Plus PremiumKingdom Hearts III on PS Plus Extra makes sense, but that's the exception rather than the rule.

PS Plus Premium not adding Kingdom Hearts makes no sense

Push Square beat us to the punch reporting it, but it's a topic that struck us immediately when it was announced PS2 games like Kingdom Hearts I, Kingdom Hearts II, not to mention a PSP game like Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, were all announced for PS Plus Extra this month. Once again, it appears Sony's definition of what does and does not qualify for the "Classics Catalogue" is completely arbitrary.

Fans will already be riled up given how little PS1, PS2, and PSP games with trophy support from Sony's retro archives are being added to PS Plus — especially given how there are leaked games for PS Plus Premium that we know Sony has been sitting on for months now, yet aren't quite willing to throw them to Premium subscribers as a bone just yet. Now even games that by Sony's previous metrics should be added to PS Plus Premium are getting snubbed in favour of PS Plus Extra.

Kingdom Hearts PS Plus PremiumMuch like Kingdom Hearts, if you're not super entrenched in PS Plus knowledge already you'll have no idea what's going on.

We thought we had this figured out: if a game was initially available on any console older than the PS3 and hasn't seen a big modern remake like Demon's Souls or Shadow of the Colossus, then it qualifies for PS Plus Premium's Classic Catalogue. This has been true even for games that have been ported to PS4 from PS3 or earlier, as is the case with Bioshock 1, Bioshock Infinite, Batman Arkham Asylum, and so on. This approach received new attention when PS Plus Extra subscribers found out that the Yakuza series would be split between Extra and Premium, with games like Yakuza 5 Remastered on the more expensive catalogue despite, you know, being remastered for PS4.

Why the same treatment wasn't carried over for Kingdom Hearts III and Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory against the older titles, we're not sure, but there was already a hole in Sony's logic courtesy of the Assassin's Creed series on PS Plus. Despite their age, Assassin's Creed III Remastered, Assassin's Creed Rogue Remastered, Assassin's Creed II and its sequels all went straight to PS Plus Extra despite originally launching on the PS3. What makes sense for Yakuza clearly doesn't make sense for Assassin's Creed, and now that trend continues with Kingdom Hearts.

ape escape reviewYou can always get your Ape Escape fix without PS Plus.

Between the inconsistency and the fact that a month went by with PS Plus Premium adding no new games, the upper tier of PS Plus is starting to look more and more like a joke — an additional charge every month that nets players a bunch of older titles they can often get cheap physically or simply by downloading them on the PS Store, as is the case with PS1 games like Ape Escape and Resident Evil Director's Cut. The promise of a curated classic catalogue of retro PlayStation games certainly enticed many of us to jump in from the word go, but given how poorly run the entire experience has been, Sony would have to turn things around significantly if it doesn't want players to realise there's simply more value in PS Plus Extra — or, more honestly, uncomplicated single-tier subscription services like Game Pass.

Let us know in the comments what your thoughts on this debacle are, and if you're looking for a retro PlayStation fix, here are the best PS1 classics on PS Plus Premium — you'll note that every single one of them is also available for purchase separately on the PS Store.
Lee Brady
Written by Lee Brady
Lee is a Staff Writer specialising in all things PlayStation. He loves talking about classic PS1 and PS2 games on PS Plus, picking apart the game design of new PlayStation Studios releases, and trying to explain his love for Sonic, Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. He can also speak Japanese — albiet poorly.