PlayStation Plus Bonus: Sony Finally Admits PS Plus Free Games Offer Are Not Enough?
Sony Computer Entertainment Italy announced earlier this week PlayStation Plus Bonus, a new service that will allow PlayStation Plus subscribers to have promotions on several offers by selected partners. Those promotions are divided into three different categories: "Vouchers", "Discounts" and "Benefits". For example, the first month will count on a €30 voucher to use on "Volagratis.Com" for a a/r flight to any destination; a €60 discount on portable audio system SRS-X3 Bluetooth by Sony; a €10 benefit on Sky Online Cinema and Entertainment monthly tickets.
While the "Vouchers" and "Discounts" sections will be updated every month with new offers that will replace the older, as it happens with the Instant Game Collection, "Benefits" will be available for more time even if new offers will be added on a monthly basis.
At this moment, Sony has made it clear that PlayStation Plus Bonus is an Italian exclusive, so probably we are not going to see it anytime soon in other countries. Anyway, at least in this case, Italy looks like an European test territory to understand if this kind of promotion can really interest worldwide gamers.
Someone could think Sony has launched PlayStation Plus Bonus to add value to PlayStation Plus subscription that, in many gamers' opinion, has lost appeal in the transition to PlayStation 4. This could be true, as PS4 free games have been so far just indie games (inFamous First Light and inJustice are the sole exception) and Sony has been trying to preserve its exclusive launch titles' value in local stores. European gamers will have six new games from April 8 on Instant Game Collection: Never Alone for PlayStation 4, Dishonored for PlayStation 3, Tower of Guns e Aaru's Awakening for both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, and Killzone Mercenary and MonsterBag for PlayStation Vita.
Many have not appreciated this offer, once again based on indie and/or digital games, even though PlayStation Vita is finally receiving a "AAA" game like Killzone Mercenary. We knew this was going to happen, anyway: with PlayStation 3, Sony had much more choice among triple-A games, since PlayStation Plus was launched in the middle of the last generation and many titles offered were already budget-priced in stores (both digital and retail). Because of the reasons I explained before, the situation is pretty different for PlayStation 4, as the console is "younger" than other PlayStation platforms and there's still some money to be made thanks to the few first-party exclusives now available.
Our point is: does Sony admit his offer is not enough by introducing PlayStation Plus Bonus? Probably yes: Instant Game Collection, as we learn from Sony's press releases, counts on 45+ free titles per year, while other services included in PlayStation Plus subscription are 2GB cloud space and automatic updates download even if PS4 is in stand by. Not that much, if we consider PlayStation Plus is now mandatory for those gamers who want to experience multiplayer gaming sessions. Adding other "bonus" services could be a good choice, even though I am not sure gamers, in particular those who live in Italy, are interested in this kind of promotions, basically because PlayStation is a pretty mainstream brand in that country. Strangely enough, this idea would fit better on Xbox gamers rather than PlayStation fans.
Should Sony introduce PlayStation Plus Bonus in other countries, anyway, that would mean they are satisfied with how it works and that, after all, it's not just "#4thePlayers". Players want games, and that's where PlayStation Plus seems to be lacking so far, at least on PlayStation 4. The service is relatively young over there and we could be expecting some more months, or even years, before seeing its full next-gen potential.