PlayStation Plus Premium is a Bit of a Joke

I’ve been playing PlayStation my whole life. The PS2 was essentially my first console. I had an N64 also but I only played a few games on it before our house was robbed and it was stolen alongside the PS2 when I was in the first grade. The PS2 was replaced but they didn’t sell N64s anymore so I was a PlayStation kid. Games like Sly Cooper and Ratchet & Clank were my childhood and Uncharted and Resistance got me through my teen years. While some games from previous PlayStation generations have been remade or remastered for the PS4 & PS5, most of them haven’t and it’s always made me a little sad how so many classics just got left behind. Then Sony announced PlayStation Plus Premium.

To hear that Sony would soon be offering classic PlayStation games on PS5 made me ecstatic. Did I find it a little odd that it was making classic games available only on the most expensive option of its new PlayStation Plus? Sure. It did seem like by making classic games more expensive than PS Plus Extra which includes a large collection of PS4 & PS5 games, Sony was essentially saying that “this tier exists to pray upon your nostalgia” and that’s morally dubious but for me it worked. I was ready and willing to sign up. Then Sony kept talking about it. In the lead up to launch, each bit of information Sony told us about the Premium tier was less a sales pitch and more an admission that it existed solely to shakedown people wanting to play the classics on a modern PlayStation console. The launch lineup was not only small but missing a lot of PlayStation staples, PS3 games would still be relegated to cloud streaming only & no indication was giving as to when new games would be added (they still haven’t but I’ll get to that after). Despite all that, I subscribed anyway, hopeful that it would be worth it. At the time of writing, it isn’t. Not even close.

PS Plus Extra absolutely is worth it. The catalogue of games available is large and well worth the price. That tier still has the problem of not knowing when things will be added but it’s big and varied enough with both PS4 & PS5 games, and as Stray showed it’s possible for new titles to go there for no extra cost a la GamePass. Based on that, the price is reasonable. Premium is the most expensive tier and the only thing you get that Extra doesn’t have is the classic games library and Sony has done the absolute bare minimum here. The library of classic games has PS1, PS2, PSP and PS3 games. There is one singular PSP game. Some PS2 games are simply ports of the versions that were on PS4 which for some reason causes weird visual glitches in many of them and PS3 games are cloud streaming only which means even when they work perfectly, they can still become blurry and pixelated.

What you’re really paying for with PlayStation Plus Premium is a bundle of mysteries. When will new games be added to it? Which PS2 games are a flickering mess and when will they be fixed? Nobody knows because ever since it launched Sony hasn’t said a word about PS Plus Premium or the classic games library. It’s nice that the PS1 games work and have save states and rewinds but the library is so miniscule right now that it’s hard to be excited. It’s nice you can buy the classic games (barring the PS3 games of course) so you don’t have to be subbed but why risked buying a PS2 game if you don’t know if it will run well or not. It’s a little funny and a little sad that you run PS2 games better on an Xbox than you can a PS5.

That’s not even mentioning the weird omissions from the library. This is supposed to be a way to play classic PlayStation games on a modern system so where is Crash Bandicoot, where is Sly Cooper, where is Spyro, where is SOCOM, where is Resistance? Why are the first two Ape Escape games on there but not the third? Why does the PS3 library have only some games from the Ratchet & Clank Future Trilogy? This service has Quantum Theory and Rogue Warrior available but they can’t even put a full trilogy of their own first party games? This wouldn’t be a problem if there was any indication that these games would be added. Hell, it wouldn’t be a problem if there was any indication that literally any more games will be added but Sony simply hasn’t acknowledged that PlayStation Premium even exists since launch. This is the most expensive option of their service and while it has the potential to be an incredible thing. A way for classic PlayStation games to be experienced on a modern system for both old and new players alike to honor the history of the brand. Right now, it’s a bit of a joke.

Published by Matt Fresh

30% Water, 70% James Bond movies. Matt is a writer, gamer, film enthusiast & silly person. The winner of various fictitious awards, he's fluent in English & pop culture references.

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