Sony – on Thursday – announced a big change to its PlayStation Plus service that will surely disappoint several console owners. According to the Japanese company, the service will not offer free PS3 games and Vita games starting next year, i.e., from March 2019.
In a blog post, the company announced that the monthly lineup now “will focus on PS4 titles and no longer include PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita titles.” Justifying its decision to axe PS3 and Vita games, Sony said, “Many of our fans are playing on the PS4 platform, with the increasingly vast number of PS4s in homes around the world.”
In 2010, Sony first offered free games to PlayStation Plus members. Since then, the company has maintained the tradition of offering free games that now equals two PS3, two Vita, and two PS4 games each month. However, from March 8, 2019 it will be just two PS4 games per month. February 2019 will be the last month to follow the six-game format.
For the games that the users have already downloaded from the service, they will continue to enjoy those as long as they continue to subscribe. The PS3 was launched in Nov. 2006, while Vita in Feb. 2012 in North America. Sony reportedly ended the production of the PS3 in Japan sometime in May of last year.
Since the company is cutting two versions from the PlayStation Plus, it will be interesting to see if it reduces its prices, or comes up with a new complementary service. For now, the Japanese company has not announced anything about the cost, which is still at $59.99 per year.
Sony, however, did say “We’ll continue to prioritize the benefits you receive through your PS Plus membership, such as online multiplayer, online game save storage, PS4 monthly games, and exclusive PS Store discounts across content and network services.”
Other things too are the same for now, including the clause that players need a PlayStation Plus membership to play the “free” games. Other benefits of the service also remain the same, including cloud-based storage for saving files, exclusive discounts at the PlayStation Store, and access to the online multiplayer on PS4.
Despite the benefits, if users do not want to continue the service, Sony has a reminder for them. The Japanese firm says that if users don’t want to continue, they must turn off the auto-renewal from the account settings before March 8, 2019.
Meanwhile, the PlayStation Plus March 2018 line-up includes RPG Bloodborne and platform-shooter Ratchet & Clank for the PS4, Legend of Kay and Mighty No. 9 for PS3, and Claire: Extended Cut and Bombing Busters for the PS Vita users. All these games will be available to play starting March 6. This means you still have a few days to download February’s titles (if you haven’t done so already) including Knack, RiME, StarBlood Arena, Spelunker HD, Mugen Souls Z, Exiles End and Grand Kingdom.
If you are not a subscriber to the service yet, but want to try these games for free, PlayStation Plus offers a 14-day trial for free. After that the service will cost $10 a month, or $25 for three months, or an annual charge of $60.