PlayStation's appeal to bargain hunters

By Troy Rawhiti-Forbes

The Wonderbook and its launch title, Book of Spells, were given a grand introduction in June prior to the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Photo / Herald online
The Wonderbook and its launch title, Book of Spells, were given a grand introduction in June prior to the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Photo / Herald online

As Santa Claus puts his reindeer into their annual pre-Christmas training programme, PlayStation is aiming to meet Kiwi gamers' digital delivery demands with a renewed focus on its subscription benefits service.

Sony Computer Entertainment New Zealand's David Hine said cash-conscious gamers should be "salivating" after recent tweaks to PlayStation Plus, which serves fee-paying users as a means of access to a range of full games, premium downloadable content, trial versions, and exclusive access to beta versions.

The touted "instant game collection" allows players to download a number of full games from an annual portfolio of at least 45, which currently includes Borderlands and LittleBigPlanet 2, at no additional cost. The titles remain accessible for the life of the user's membership.

Hine said that meant Kiwi gamers, who are "always after a bargain," would be getting 30 times the value of their membership fee, which tops out at $90 for a full year's subscription.

He said feedback from the PlayStation community probably helped to drive some of the new features.

"The gaming community is never backwards in terms of coming forward, and [Plus] is targeted towards the high-usage gamer."

For players on the move, that means a gigabyte's worth of cloud storage for game data, having been raised from 150 megabytes.

Hine speculated that membership might enable future real-world benefits for Kiwi gamers, such as preferential treatment at events and access to visiting developers.

An announcement detailing what PS Vita owners can expect to get out of PS Plus is expected to be made in the New Year.

A redesigned version of the PlayStation Store which, according to SCE, allows better search and navigation through over 20,000 items of gaming DLC and over 100,000 video entertainment options, was made available to New Zealand gamers this week.

This weekend, PlayStation will show off a number of upcoming titles at the Armageddon expo, including God of War: Ascension and LittleBigPlanet Karting, as well as Assassin's Creed III: Liberation for Vita, and the Wonderbook's augmented reality exclusive, the Harry Potter companion Book of Spells.

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