Quickie #2: PlayStation Plus

I often hear players, especially the young ones, complaining how expensive games are. And ten years ago, it would have been completely true, but nowadays, with Steam sales, humble bundles, Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus, games have become incredibly accessible for any kid with an allowance of $5 to $10 a month. What I will present below is not aimed at advertising the PS+ service. I am sure Xbox Live Gold is offering similar benefits, but since I don't have it, I won't be writing about it. PC gamers have lots of obvious ways to save cash on games too. Just treat it like... A nerdy noob playing with a spreadsheet :)

Yesterday I turned my PS3 on and remembered that a new month has started, so most probably I will get some new games. For some reason, this month I wasn't searching the web for this info and I got surprised. After last month's Borderlands 2 + DMC, this month I received Metro: Last Light and Bioshock Infinite.

I started doing the math (I like math - shoot me), I even prepared a whole spreadsheet (bring a shotgun) and what came out, pleased me greatly. I have bought the 1-year membership somewhere around August or September. It hasn't even been half a year. It costs $50 in the US, in Poland it is actually a bit more expensive, somewhere around $62.

During that time I have received over 30 games. I even checked the prices (as of 2. February 2014) and here's the exact list with total values:

for PSP:
GTA Liberty City Stories
total value: 59 PLN (~19 USD), average metascore: 88

for Vita:
ModNation Racers: Road Trip, Dynasty Warriors Next, Soul Sacrifice, BLAZBLUE Continuum Shift Extend, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD, MotorStorm RC, Gravity Rush, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Touch My Katamari, Street Fighter X Tekken, 
total value: 1083 PLN (~344 USD), average metascore: 76,9

for PS3:
BioShock Infinite, Metro: Last Light, DMC Devil May Cry, Borderlands 2, Grid 2, Remember Me, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Jak II: Renegade, Jak 3, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Mafia II, Spec Ops: The Line, Far Cry 3, Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen, LittleBigPlanet Karting, Guacamelee!, Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark
total value: 2262 PLN (~718 USD), average metascore: 81

for PS4:
Don't Starve: Console Edition, Contrast, Resogun.
total value: 167 PLN (~53 USD), average metascore: 73,3

Now this means that for the 195 PLN (62 USD) I have spent on the 1-year membership, in less than half a year I got a total of 3571 PLN (1133 USD) in games with average metascore of 79,6. And I'm counting in current values. A number of these games had to be more expensive a few months ago when I got them. 

Now let's analyze it further. My PS3 with 2 gamepads, PS Eye and two Move wands cost me 1300 PLN (412 USD), I bought a PSP for 300 PLN (95 USD) and the 1-year membership for 195 PLN (62 USD). Total cost of 1795 PLN (569 USD) The games I got for these platforms only are worth more than I spent on the hardware. The PlayStation Plus paid me back for the whole investment in the hardware. 

If I wanted to buy a Vita to play all these games I've accumulated, I would need to pay 600 PLN (180 USD), which would still be less than the value of the games I already have for this platform. And it's just been half of the subscription time. By the end of this subscription period, it will save me enough money to buy a PS4... at least twice, and I will already have more or less 10 games for it.

Now I know not all these games are titles I dream of, some of them I won't even touch and yes, I did not get them in day one. Still, thanks to PS+ I have at least halved my new game purchases and I have doubled the length of my "to play" list. Also, if you are a developer, you need to play lots of various games, even those you wouldn't normally buy. And if you are a gamer complaining that games are expensive, I think this is still a quite solid advice how you can make your gaming experience more affordable. 

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