Inconsistent PS Plus Premium games add insult to price hike injury

PS Plus Premium's got no 'new' games for September 2023, making Sony's choice to raise prices truly bizarre given the lack of consistency at the highest tier.

Inconsistent PS Plus Premium games add insult to price hike injury
Kes Eylers-Stephenson

Opinion by Kes Eylers-Stephenson

Published

All of those PS1 and PSP games with trophy support have dried up entering September 2023, leaving PS Plus Premium with no new games outside of pre-existing PS2 ports on PS4. While a fair few older games make up the list of the best PS Plus games, Sony's lack of consistency at the most costly tier is making the price hike feel nakedly ridiculous.

Kes

PS Plus Premium see no new PS1, PSP, or PS2 games following price rise

The PS Plus Premium tier price hike for 2023 took effect on Wednesday, September 6, 2023. This change increased the cost of an annual subscription to Sony's highest subscription tier from $119.99 to $159.99 / £99.99 to £119.99 / 119,99€ to 151,99€ depending on your region.
In response, you might have expected Sony to make sure that the new games arrived on PS Plus Extra and Premium for September 2023 with some degree of consistency, seeing as customers will have been starting to doubt whether they were really getting the right value out of the service. Unfortunately, that's not what happened, and instead we saw Sony fail to deliver a newly emulated PS1, PS2, or PSP game for the first time since April 2023.

While fans were treated to a handful of classic Star Ocean games coming to PS Plus, one of which was the emulated PS2 classic Star Ocean Till the End of Time, it was an emulated classic that had been available on the PS Store since 2017. One of the main draws that subscribers have come to expect of PS Plus Premium is the addition of newly emulated classic PlayStation games — particularly since the service has only failed to meet this standard five times in over a year.
While a certain lee-way can be granted to Sony for missing a few months soon after the big PS Plus revamp in 2022, the same cannot be granted now that we're firmly into PS Plus Premium's second year. Unfortunately, due to Sony's inconsistency as a streaming service provider, this is the kind of slip we've come to expect of PS Plus Premium, and it touches upon a number of other frayed nerves when we consider exactly how Sony handles its highest-priced subscription tier.

Sony still hasn't signalled to its subscribers what any given month's new games will consist of, platform wise. Subscribers will never know whether it'll be PSP games, PS1 games, the odd PS3 game, or the exceptionally rare years-old shoddy PS4 ports of classic PS2 games. Add to that the fact that Sony is now asking for an extra $25 over a PS Plus Extra subscription and it seems to me that the company is expecting a lot of blind trust from its customers.
Even now, Sony has failed to give its customers any consistent idea of what PS Plus Premium will offer in terms of games. While regularly we've come to expect PS1 and PSP game emulations, occasionally we'll get the very different PS4 ports. Where new emulations with trophies are effectively new games for the modern PlayStation console for customers to finally dive into, PS4 ports and remasters from third-parties are simple old games that have usually been around on the PS Store for a while, offering none of the value customers seem to be paying for most other months.

That's not to say that one of these types of PS Plus Premium additions are inherently more valuable than the other, but it's the fact that the pair categorically mean different things to gamers, yet Sony seems to treat them as the same regardless. That creates a sense of inconsistency in the delivery of games on the PS Plus Premium tier, as it undermines the value customers think they're paying for each month, and it creates a fundamental misunderstanding between what the Premium line-up means to players and what it means to Sony.
For PS Plus Premium to have got a price hike without Sony either adjusting its output to fit player expectations, or at least going out of its way to tell players exactly what they should expect, makes the company seem tone-deaf and out of touch with its own customers.

From seemingly every angle, our understanding of what PS Plus Premium is or what it will offer in any given year feels perpetually undefined and inconsistently met. Ultimately, that inconsistency makes it hard to simply trust Sony to provide value with its choices for PS Plus Premium, and that's a shame for a service that carries so much potential to wow us each month.
You can continue reading all about what we thought of the first year of the service in our PS Plus year one review! Do you agree? Is it the inconsistency of PS Plus Premium that makes the tier insultingly expensive? Let us know in the comments below and we will see you down there!
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Editor Kes is our resident expert in PlayStation and Sony news. He writes about PS5 exclusives like Horizon, The Last of Us, God of War, and Death Stranding 2 using experience from years of playing PlayStation games. He also covers PS Plus and trophy news, as well as his favorite games — The Witcher 3, Assassin’s Creed, and some indie gems — before an evening swim.
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