It’s been a while since Sony unveiled its revamped PlayStation Plus subscription service, and it appears that it hasn’t quite hit the mark for gamers. Sony’s Q2 2022 financial report showed that rather than being a staple service for PlayStation gamers, PS Plus is actually rapidly bleeding subscribers.
PlayStation Plus has lost two million subscriptions between the past three months of Q2 2022. It’s clear that the service is not enticing gamers to continue their subscriptions. So how could Sony make PlayStation Plus better?
1. Make PlayStation Plus Subscriptions Cheaper
Proper advertising about the differences between the PlayStation Plus Extra, Essential, and Premium tiers was lacking around the time of the service’s release, which left gamers confused about whether the higher tiers were worth the massive price difference.
The PS Plus Essential tier is the cheapest, costing gamers $59.99 per year. This is still pricey for a subscription service with minimal perks, but the Essential and Premium tiers increase in price, totaling $99.99 and $119.99 per year, respectively.
These prices make Sony’s PS Plus service the most expensive gaming subscription by far. With economies struggling in the wake of the global pandemic, reducing the cost of the higher tiers would make the service more accessible.
2. Make PS3 Games Downloadable
The main benefit that gamers get out of opting for the most expensive tier is access to Sony’s Classics Catalog. This is a library of retro games from the PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP.
The Classics Catalog offers a huge library of titles, making the PS5 one of the best consoles for retro gaming. But unfortunately, all the retro games from the PS3 era are only playable via the cloud.
If you don’t know what cloud gaming is, it is like playing a game remotely. Rather than having the game installed on your PlayStation, it is being streamed from a server. So instead of actually playing the game, your console is receiving a video playback of it.
This is a more unreliable way to play games and can introduce problems such as latency and lag, especially if you are located far away from the servers. Making PS3 games run natively on the PS5 is a surefire way to improve that branch of the service.
3. Improve the Performance of the Games on PS Plus
A point of contention among gamers regarding the Premium tier of PS Plus is that the games in the Classics Catalog don’t run as well as they could. The Classics Catalog uses the European version of its retro classics, which only run at 50Hz.
If you are a European customer and are used to playing these retro games at 50HZ, not much has changed. But for US gamers, the difference between 50Hz and 60Hz is vast.
Gamers that are subscribed to the highest tier are paying a premium price to access the Classics Catalog. Providing them with a premium experience by offering the best version of the games should go without saying.
4. Consolidate the PS Plus Tiers
Having three tiers is confusing to those trying to figure out which one they should subscribe to, and the differences between the Extra and Premium tiers don’t necessarily seem worth the price gap. If Sony can’t make the higher tiers more affordable for gamers, consolidating them could bridge that gap and make it easier for the public to decide what tier is right for them.
At this point, the differences between the Extra and Premium tiers are subtle. If Sony were to combine them, the more expensive tier immediately seems worth the extra price.
5. Improve the Library of Games in the Classics Catalog
The Classics Catalog offered alongside the Premium tier is extensive, offering access to over 400 titles spanning several different consoles. But it lacks many of Sony’s most beloved, staple retro franchises.
This is more than likely due to the fact that remasters of classics like the Spyro: Reignited Trilogy and the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy are already available for purchase on the system. But nothing compares to the original.
Nostalgia is an intrinsic human emotion, and having access to the original versions of their childhood favorites could make subscribing to PS Plus more worthwhile to long-time fans.
6. Include Free DLC for PS Plus Premium Subscribers
If the current perks aren’t enough to entice gamers to subscribe to PS Plus, offering access to free DLC would be a relatively cheap way to draw more customers into subscribing.
This is a model used by Nintendo for its Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack. Nintendo provides free DLC to subscribers of their most expensive tier. This entices gamers to both subscribe to the service and purchase the game the DLC is for.
If gamers already have the game, they are more likely to subscribe. If gamers are already subscribed, they are more likely to purchase the game. Offering free DLC is a great way to boost both subscriptions and game sales.
7. Make Trophies Available for All PS Plus Games
Trophies are in-game rewards that gamers can win for a variety of different things ranging from uncovering secrets to completing zero death runs or finishing the game on the hardest difficulty.
Trophies are a newer addition to games that entice people to keep playing and add some serious replayability to the titles that offer them. Trophy hunting is also quite time-consuming, which would improve the retention of subscribers to the highest tier.
Not all the games on the PS Plus Classics Catalog offer trophies. By adding trophies to all the games in the retro section, trophy hunters would be drawn to the idea of collecting all the awards for their favorite childhood games.
8. Create More Advertising for PS Plus
Sony has acknowledged the fact that the rollout and subsequent advertising for its PS Plus subscription service was lacking. Every month, the rotation of games offered on the service is refreshed and replaced with other titles for gamers to enjoy.
This is great and makes customers want to come back to try the latest games on offer. But they also lead busy lives, and the current games on PS Plus aren’t necessarily always at the forefront of people’s minds.
At this stage, the current games are revealed via a PlayStation Blog post which gamers have to seek out themselves. If PlayStation created a simple trailer each month for people to see, they would instantly be reminded of the service and what it has to offer them.
These Tweaks Could Vastly Improve the Quality of PS Plus
PlayStation Plus is still in its infancy. It has some serious potential, but Sony has to nurture it a little more to entice gamers to sign up and continue paying their monthly subscription fee.
By offering a few more perks, such as access to DLC, more retro games, trophies, or even just advertising the service, Sony could see a rise in subscriptions to PS Plus.