On the PS4, any online gaming requires a $50/yr membership to Playstation Plus, where the PS3 could do basic online multiplayer gaming for free on PSN (Playstation Network)
1. Part 1 – Why?
After paying $400 for the console that comes with ONE controller and NO game, buying a SECOND controller for $60, and a couple of games for $60 each, why is Sony asking me for MORE money?
Without online multi-player, you can only access about half of the content from many of the games. On the PS3, a basic level of online / multi-player access was available for free through Playstation Network, which could be “upgraded” to PS+ to gain access to ADDITIONAL content and features as part of the subscription. Why the break with this policy?
You can’t even use the PS4’s web browser without a PS+ account, so you basically bought a $399 brick unless you fork over ANOTHER $50 for a 1-year PS+ subscription.
I’ve seen less-aggressive sales tactics during a timeshare presentation.
I felt like Sony had their hand in my pocket from the moment I opened the PS4 box.
This kind of policy is clearly aimed at the late teen / early 20 demographic, who have been brought up spending their parents’ money, and don’t care if they get “juiced” for an extra $50/yr.
The PS5 should simply have a credit card scanner next to the disc slot. I’m sure there will be random pop-ups in the middle of a game: “Pay me another $1!!”, like some kind of twisted peep show.
On the PS6, they are simply planning to ACH my paycheck, and they’ll send me whatever’s left. You know. Whatever they think is fair.
2. Part 2 – They don’t make it easy…
Signing in to the PS4 apparently activated a 2-day trial. It did not say “this is only a 2 day trial”. It just mysteriously stopped working. I had to google for the details.
I was NOT able to redeem the 14-day trial advertised in the Playstation Store. WHY THE HECK NOT? Why can’t I get the same 14 days free that everyone else does? TWO DAYS? That’s a slap in the face.
A $49.99 1-year membership requires $50 “wallet” purchase. So, what the HELL am I EVER going to do with that extra 1 penny credit???? Sony is a bunch of penny thieves — they obviously watched ‘Office Space’ too many times.
Sony’s website would not accept my credit card for the “wallet” purchase. No explanation, other than “your credit card information is invalid”.
I ended up having to purchase a $50 “wallet” code from Amazon (using the same credit card that Sony claims is invalid).
After getting my code, which is presented as 12 alpha-numeric characters in 3 groups of 4, separated by dashes, I quickly discovered that the entry form on the Sony site had 3 separate boxes. I know this is minor, but WHY NOT allow copy and paste?? One MORE issue to deal with.
Upon clicking Submit, a message popped up stating that I could not enter this wallet code on a PC – HAS to be on the PS4. Why the distinction? I have one account, but I can’t redeem codes THAT I BOUGHT on a PC, ON THE PC, ON SONY’S OWN WEBSITE! Talk about a broken process…
Meanwhile, support is only M-F, 8-5 (this is called 8 x 5 support). There is NO ONE I can call, early Sunday morning, to figure out WHY my stuff stopped working, WHY my 14-day trial won’t work, and WHY my credit card wouldn’t work. “Check the forums for support!”, says a happy little message. “Cram it in your drive slot!”, is my response.
As I considered sending an e-mail, I quickly realized that there is no “contact by e-mail” option — support is via online “chat” or phone only – NEITHER OF WHICH WAS AVAILABLE.
Once this was all sorted out, I was advised that my PS+ subscription was set to auto-renew, but that I could turn auto-renewal off in my account settings. Auto-renewal is something I completely detest. It’s a technique designed to keep billing you, whether you use the service or not, so it’s really designed to milk you out of more money without your direct consent. At least PS+ provides a NOTIFICATION that they are doing this, unlike some other services that just do it, or bury the notification in fine print.
It’s fair to ASK me IF I WANT auto-renewal – some consider this to be a convenience – but PLEASE LET ME CHOOSE. Do NOT CHOOSE FOR ME.
I spent an HOUR SCREWING AROUND WITH THIS. For such a “critical” function, you’d expect it to be easy!
3. Part 3 – No titles!
On the one hand, early-adopters always pay more. They pay higher prices for the tech, and then suffer through the bugs. When a new console is released, the release library is formulaic — you always have at least one of:
- Next-gen version of a popular current-gen title (AKA Battlefield 4)
- A driving game
- A fighting game
- A button masher
- A remake of an older title not available on the previous gen
- A kid’s game (Something blobby or blocky in nature)
The “early adopter” tax is well-known, and well understood.
PS4 has been out OVER 6 months, and the only titles out there are the ones listed above! As of this writing, there are only about 10 titles available. There are more coming, this fall, and obviously net-new game releases will be targeted toward the newer hardware, but paying SO MUCH MONEY for so little value really makes the EXTRA cost of Playstation Plus hurt even worse. Sony should JUST GIVE IT AWAY for now, until they have enough of a user base, to ostensibly justify the subscription model to support the back-end servers.