Today, Sony’s going to launch new tiers to its Playstation Plus service. There’s the Essentials tier (which is the basic tier that all existing Playstation Plus subcribers are relegated to now), there’s a Premium tier and there’s the Deluxe tippy top tier, which is the best…at least in Sony’s eyes. The main draw of the Deluxe tier is its access to the Playstation Classics Catalogue, which you get for free on that tier.
It might actually deliver that promise in the future, but currently it’s falling waaaay short.
Right now, that means PS1 games from original Playstation library, though it’ll expand to include more titles from Sony’s legacy consoles lineup.
The problem is that the PS1 games on offer right now do not have indications on what actually is new with them.
All they have is a generic blurb (that’s copy pasted into all the PS1 games’ descriptions) on their product pages that the games are enhanced (visually and technically) on the Playstation 4 and 5.
None of them give specifics (such as what video filters are available or how the new visuals look), so you don’t know what you’re getting.
If you’re not a Playstation Plus Deluxe member who wants to buy a Playstation 1 Classic, it’s basically a crapshoot right now on what sort of enhancements you’re getting. Sony’s not saying so you either pony of the cash, bite the bullet and jump on the Deluxe bandwagon or wait until somebody finds out for you.
None of those options are consumer friendly.
Then there’s the gating of Playstation 1 games.
Imagine the furor if Microsoft did the same thing with its backwards compatible lineup. Yet, that’s exactly what Sony is doing. Currently, there are some Playstation titles (that are currently available in the catalogue) that simply aren’t for sale.
Fancy a bout of Tekken 2? Or some puzzle action with Mr. Driller? You either upgrade to the Deluxe tier or you’re screwed.
So where does that leave you, dear gamer? You’re either being forced to wait, go in blind and just buy the games you want ala carte (that is if they’re available for sale) or subscribe to a more expensive tier of a service you might not even want.
Doesn’t sound super enticing does it?
This is of course, on top of the controversy that’s currently brewing online that some of the titles in the Playstation Classics Catalogue are the PAL version, which run slower.
Singapore’s adopted the NTSC standard (as did the majority of the world) since as far back as I can remember (which goes back to the late 80s) so why Sony would willingly use the PAL versions is anybody’s guess.
There are some titles which were only released in the region, but none of the ones that are currently available were PAL exclusive.
It’s like Sony needed to have some drawbacks to the Catalogue to balance out the awesome things it has going for it.
It might seem I’m coming down on the Catalogue hard but that’s because I have high hopes for it. I simply cannot wait to get to playing some old school PS1 titles that I’ve not played in years, enhanced on the Playstation 5.
The thought of running through Front Mission 3 again or taking down Eve in Parasite Eve or listening to Wild Arms 2’s insanely awesome opening theme has me hopped up and gearing to go! I know I’m not the only one too!
That’s why it’s so disappointing that Sony’s nonchalantly approaching the introduction of their classic games. It gives off a feeling that the whole endeavor’s just a half-baked attempt to combat the insanely good deal that’s Game Pass.
Don’t do that Sony!
You can’t beat Game Pass Ultimate. Hell you can’t even beat PC Game Pass or the regular Xbox Game Pass. At least not right now. They’re too entrenched with massive support.
Establish value in the various Playstation Plus tiers first, make people want to subscribe by giving them irresistible incentives!
Trophies for ALL Playstation Classics games for instance.
Have one guy just go through all the Playstation games you’re planning on releasing and make trophies for them! Draw upon that huge library of Playstation games and make more games backwards compatible than on the Xbox.
You guys have three generations of Playstation consoles to draw upon, not including the PSP and Vita titles…so use them!
You can’t beat the Xbox with sheer power (the Xbox Series X is objectively more powerful than the Playstation 5) or by offering backwards compatibility that’s hamstrung.
Half-assedness will not win this battle.