The new PS Plus Collection is proof that the best way to get free stuff is to spend some money. Yes, counterintuitive, but ask the super rich: it’s true. It’s also PlayStation’s opening gambit to keep PlayStation gamers their loyal foot soldiers as both sides line up for the next-gen console battle just a few weeks away. Indeed, as the days of the current-gen consoles dwindle closer to the single digits, the battle for platform supremacy continues to heat up — and we, the players, can sit back as the belle of the ball while both companies fight for our attention (and, more importantly, our money).
So what’s the deal? What is the PS Plus Collection? Why should we care? Well, let’s get out the bibs and dig into exactly what the PS Plus Collection is and why PS Plus subscribers and Xbox Gamers should care.
What is PS Plus?
Where the Xbox Game Pass provides access to a large, static library of hundreds of games, the PS Plus is more so an answer to the Xbox Live Gold subscription, with similar selling points being the special privileges that come with it rather than the games themselves.
PlayStation Plus subscribers are given access to two games every month, which they can download onto their machine and maintain access to — once redeemed — for as long as they are subscribed. Miss the bus, however, and you won’t be getting that game for free unless it comes back on rotation.
But The PS Plus’ primary value proposition is the online play, discounts, game-sharing, and 100GB of save-game data cloud storage. If you want to play online through the PSN, you’ll need to subscribe to the PS Plus service the same way Xbox users need Xbox Live Gold.
So What is the PS Plus Collection?
The PS Plus Collection is a bundle of killer games being given to PS Plus subscribers who purchase a PS5 in a bid to bolster the PS5’s drawing power heading into the new console generation. The PS Plus Collection gives players a handpicked curation of almost twenty of the PS4’s biggest titles and makes them available for digital download on the PS5 — day one. This means that as soon as you purchase a PS5 you can immediately dive into games like God of War, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, or Batman: Arkham Knight on the suped up PS5 as soon as you plug it in — provided you have the PS Plus Collection.
Here’s the full list of games confirmed to be a part of the PS Plus Collection thus far:
- Batman: Arkham Knight
- Battlefield 1
- Days Gone
- Detroit: Become Human
- Fallout 4
- Final Fantasy XV
- God of War
- Infamous Second Son
- Monster Hunter World
- Mortal Kombat X
- Persona 5
- Ratchet and Clank
- Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
- The Last Guardian
- The Last of Us Remastered
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
- Until Dawn
Remind Me, What Do You Get with the Xbox Game Pass?
Like the other PSN subscription service, Playstation Now, the Xbox Game Pass provides a large library of games for a monthly subscription fee. Likening it to the “Netflix of Games” is accurate enough, for it indeed does work like the heavyweight streaming service single-handedly shepherding many millions of us through this extended lockdown. Pay the fee and go frolicking through a variegated cornucopia of titles.
The Xbox Game Pass offers almost 400 Xbox One, Xbox 360 and old, old Xbox titles at the time of this writing, ranging from huge AAA bigwigs to off-the-beaten-path indie games that may have never seen the light of day had they been forced to compete for shelf-space with the franchises at the top of the food chain. This includes first-party games on day one –a huge, huge deal considering this means $60+ games for free upon release.
Users can also combine their Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass subscriptions into one, discounted, flat fee that works out to $15 a month for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. This gives users the online multiplayer, PS Plus-esque monthly rotation of free games (2 Xbox One games + 2 older generation games), and discounts of Live Gold along with the Game Pass library for both PC and Console. All in all, it’s a pretty sweet deal if you have a competent PC alongside your console.
So does the PS Plus Collection have the goods to sway users come November?
Xbox Game Pass vs PS Plus Collection
The Xbox Game Pass is the Netflix of Xbox games, while the PS Plus is like having a membership at a video game supermarket — you get benefits and some freebies. When judging how to factor the PS Plus Collection into your consideration come November, the first thing to understand is that if you’re switching sides, you’re inevitably going to lose something.
All of the subscription services on either side of the fence provide tremendous value — free games! — that only accrues with time as your library of freely-gained content grows. Which means you have all the more to lose when you end your subscription, sending everything you’ve acquired into limbo.
The PS Plus Collection is designed to sweeten the deal for those still sitting on the fence over which console to side with this time around — as well as a reward for existing PS Plus subscribers who choose to remain loyal to Sony. The Collection is essentially a huge bundle of free PS4 games that will dump on your digital doorstep free with the PS5 as a humongous THANK YOU.
The collection means that if you’ve been dying to live it up with Kratos and Atreus as they go on a father-son killing spree through the pantheon of Norse mythology, or as Joel and Ellie as they go on a father figure – daughter surrogate killing spree through an apocalyptic afterworld but have been reluctant to shell out the cash this close to the next-gen console release, now’s the time.
If you’re still working out what next-gen console is for you, the PlayStation Plus Collection is certainly something to consider. The current list of 18 games includes some of the PS4’s biggest titles ever, with a total value of many hundreds of dollars if you were to purchase each game separately. And the fact that it comes with PS Plus and not PS Now means you can automatically play any of the games in the bundle online without having to invest any more cash. It’d be like Xbox Users getting almost 20 of the platform’s biggest games with their Xbox Live Gold subscription.
So yeah, as we get closer to the next generation, Sony’s trying to stack the deck as much as it can to maintain the solid lead it attained during this generation, and giving away a bundle of illustrious PS4 games while they’re still hot and before they become yesterday’s news is a good idea.
How this Affects Your Choice of Next-Gen Console
It depends on how much the titles in the PS Plus Collection call out to you. If you’re a longtime PS4 gamer, you may already own many of the games on the list. Or maybe you don’t, wish you had, and would leap at the opportunity to get your hands on Bloodborne before it’s put out to pasture for good.
The people who will derive the most value out of the PS Plus Collection are existing PS Plus Subscribers who already have the monthly fee running like clockwork. If you own a PS4, are already paying for the service, and don’t have all the games on the list you want, then the Collection might present some serious value to you.
If you’re an Xbox Gamer, sure you could always switch the services but you would lose whatever games you have downloaded through the Game Pass. Your saved data will remain there though, floating in purgatory, for the day you ever return home to the Xbox homestead.
What the PS Plus Collection throws into the mix, really, is a cherry on top of sticking with PlayStation. Unlike Xbox Gamers, you don’t stand to lose any of the games you’ve acquired through the service thus far, and stand to gain a boatload more.
In the end, you’ll have to take a look at your own specific case — which console you own right now, how large a library you’ve amassed — and weigh it against what you stand to gain should you opt for a PS Plus subscription and pick up the PS5. The beauty of either console is in the eye of the beholder.
If you’re still hankering for more advice on what is quite possibly the single most monumental choice you will ever make in your lifetime, check out our comparison of the next-gen exclusives and launch titles. Or you know, free yourself of all material possessions and move to a remote Himalayan ashram. Those are your only two options.