Look, I'm not saying PlayStation Plus is bad value. Especially not this month: it's pretty smashing, actually. As well as compelling cat simulator, Stray, we've got Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade, Marvel’s Avengers, five Assassin’s Creed titles, and two Saints Row titles coming in hot.
But where PS Plus Extra fans are dancing in the streets with their feline friends on Day One of the game's release, PS Plus Premium subscribers are looking at their dedicated little section of the PS5 UI and going '...oh'. In the US and UK, the highest – most expensive – tier of Sony's revamped monthly service offers only two additional PSP games this month.
You may well be fans of No Heroes Allowed and LocoRoco Midnight Carnival, and rightly so – they're great games in their own right! – but Sony inferred that we'd be getting substantially more than this at the highest tier of the service.
Yes, it takes work to layer the rewind feature into the games. Yes, it takes work to add in the global save state system that makes once-infuriating games much more playable in 2022. But, by the same token, Sony asked for more money for this service: if you want to raid our wallets for £13.49 per month / £99.99 per year, versus the Extra tier cost of £10.99 per month and £83.99 per year, customers are going to want to feel like they're getting what they pay for.
It's similar to the Netflix subscription I pay for: I pay out £15.99 per month for the subscription, because I have a 4K HDR TV that I want to make the most of. I could happily nudge that down to £10.99 and go down to that oh-so-unimpressive 1080p tier, but I think the service – just about – gives me enough content per month to keep me keen. We all need to see Elliot Page's cheekbones and jawline in 4K to really believe them, after all.
Maybe I'm being too quick with my judgements (or maybe I'm being spoiled by the continually impressive cadence of Xbox Game Pass, down past the other side of the gaming fence). There are suggestions – thanks to a leaked PS Plus listing via PlayStation Italy, now altered to remove references to unannounced games – that Dino Crisis, Ridge Racer 2 and Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny will all be coming to the service in July, too.
If that is the case, then I will climb down from my tower of judgement, hold my hands up and say "OK, fair enough". The starting line-up of PS Plus Premium games left something to be desired: Tekken 2 is only going to carry you so far, Sony. But if we're getting 'stealth drops' in the form of Dino Crisis and Ridge Racer 2, then I'll concede Sony's PS Plus output might be satisfying enough for me to keep my highest-level sub. For now, at least.
Again, Xbox Game Pass does this – and the bonus games it trots out with little-to-no fanfare are usually excellent, to boot. This month it was Garden Story, and in the past we've seen the likes of Generation Zero and a triple-threat of Gorogoa, Olija and The Pedestrian.
I have, not once, thought about kicking in my Xbox Game Pass Ultimate sub; the value of games per month is one thing, but the way it lets me pick up and play across mobile, PC and console is the clincher. Especially when it lets me relive my love for Yakuza, out of nowhere, in the middle of summer.
Can Sony get me to that level? Where I feel that my now-more expensive PS Plus subscription is as invaluable to me as my Spotify, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Xbox, and (heaven forfend) monthly magazine subscriptions?
Is it really only going to take them offering me Digimon World, Kula World, or maybe even No One Can Stop Mr. Domino! once per month to make me feel like it's worth me spending £100 per year on it? Probably. And that can't be so hard to do, can it, Sony?