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My Impressions on v3.40 and PlayStation Plus |

Alright, so last night, Sony simultaneously released System Software 3.40, as well as the PlayStation Plus service. Some people have jumped on board, some are on the fence about it, and others don’t plan on getting it. Well, I was one of the first. Using the $20 gift card I won, and a credit card, I purchased PlayStation Plus, 15 months for $30 ($50 if you didn’t win one). With a price tag like that, many question whether the value outweighs the price, etc, etc. This is going to vary from person to person, but here’s my take on it.


First of all, the service mostly caters to the person who constantly buys stuff from the store, or plays a lot of games. If you’re that kind of person, you will most definitely get the most out of this service. What’s also cool about it, if you care for it anyway, you get a PlayStation Plus icon next to your name and avatar on the XMB for your friends to see (if you’re a master account who had purchased the service).

As for other accounts? All the stuff you get from using the service is usable both on sub accounts and other master accounts you have on the system (like Qore, most everything simply has an expiration date, unless you continue your service). Yes, if you cancel your service or allow it to lapse, you will lose the ability to play some of the games you got for free, but you never bought the game, you bought the service. Purchased the game previously? There are no substitutes, but given the content of the first month alone, there’s bound to be something worth checking out in the months to come.

So now for the juicy stuff. For me, personally, this month has already paid for itself. Future episodes of Qore will come free with your subscription (which includes its own quirks and the like, with their own exclusive demos and content), so, for a year, that’s $25 right there. And since I never had WipeOut HD to begin with, I get that free, too (a $20 value). There’s $45 right there.

This doesn’t include Rally Cross (still need to play that) and the stupidly fun Age of Zombies mini (seriously, get it! The language they use for the text is like a new form of English, I guess you could say ‘stoke-ish’ since your character seems to be stoked all the time :P. Its stupid, but funny, and the gameplay is awesomely addictive).

Since I already have InFAMOUS, I didn’t bother with the free trial, but I did find out that you must finish your trial before you can purchase the title, if you didn’t purchase it outright in the first place. The file was a little over 7GB in size, so, just an FYI.

Midway also has some exclusive PS+ sales going on for a few of their games. You can pick up Gauntlet 2, Mortal Kombat II, Rampage, and Rampart at 50% off ($2.50 a piece). If you go to the exclusive sales section for Creat Studios and Tik Games, you’re in for a few tasty deals. You get $2 off Cuboid (which isn’t much), plus the DLC packs for free (there are 3 of them, ranging from $2.99 to 4.99 each). The same goes for Magic Orbz (3 DLC packs) and Mahjong Tales (1 DLC pack). You also get $3 off Smash Cars (and the DLC is free) and $3 off Wakeboarding HD.

Other stuff? 20% off the Fat Roles DLC for Fat Princess, plus 2 free avatars. Overall, and assuming you purchased everything available, you would have already surpassed the initial investment, and this is only the first month! And keep in mind, games you bought with a PS+ discount, as well as all the DLC (even the free stuff) will be yours to keep, even if you cancel your subscription.

Now, with the store stuff out of the way, I didn’t get to see the Auto Update in action, as I was asleep at the time, but assuming it updated some of the games for me, it might have only updated games that I had already played, and not games that I have downloaded, but haven’t played (since I tried WipeOut HD on my UK account to see if it would let me, and it said there was an update available). For PlayStation Plus itself, I think given all the deals and everything, its a much better alternative to Live. For me anyway. The PS3 is still rocking the free online play. Given that, you aren’t losing any gameplay or anything like that if you haven’t purchased Plus, unlike Live, where you have to, essentially, pay to play, unless you only do single player all the time.

Some v3.40 Impressions

The new firmware version adds a few cool features. Since I currently don’t have any videos to edit, I couldn’t use the editor (as copyrighted content and videos uploaded to the PS3 prior to the update won’t work), but I’ll find a few videos I can pop onto a Memory Stick and upload to the PS3 later.

Anyway, to upload pics that are stored on your PS3, you must first update the Photo Gallery. After you do so, you can find one of your own pictures on the PS3, and assuming you have your PS3 and Facebook accounts linked up, select the pictures (or pictures and albums) and choose to upload. You can add the pictures to folders already on your Facebook account, or create a new album.

You can comment on, and edit or add captions to, pictures that are on Facebook as well. It doesn’t stop there either. You can also view photos in all of your friends’ albums, too, as the photo gallery downloads them as well (you can’t copy any photos to the PS3 that I can see anyway. I was still kind of shocked to see that I had been able to comment on pics :P).

There is also a new application for Facebook, called the PlayStation Network App, which shows off a list of all the trophies you unlocked, from the most recent game to the oldest. There is also a ‘Friends’ tab in the application itself that doesn’t seem to work for me, though. The trophy part can easily be put up in your profile as a tab. It doesn’t seem like, at its current state, you can ‘box’ it.

I also didn’t turn on the power save function, as I really have no reason to use it. Anyway, one of the other features will be a huge help in getting people to decide what games to purchase. The 5 star rating system. If you bought something from the store, you can now rate it with stars. This will differentiate the ‘meh’ downloads from the ‘!’ downloads. After going on for the first time yesterday, it appeared that a ton of folks had already rated a bunch of the games on there (new and old), so definitely a useful feature.

Well, that’s about it on my impressions of both. PS+ will offer a lot in the long haul if they can keep at it (which is awesome) and v3.40 added some unexpected, but sweet, surprises. Can’t wait to see what the next 14 months have to offer!

  • I love my PlayStation Plus icon hehe.

  • The [spoiler] pretty, gold [/spoiler] PlayStation Plus icon folken rules!!!

  • i am a bit disappointed that you can’t use eyecreate files in the video-uploader, would be a nice feature to record and edit stuff recorded with the playstation eye. maybe eyecreate will be updated…
    psn+ really looks like a great deal, although here in europe it looks like you pay a little more (49$ = 49€ accordings to sony) and get a little bit less content, looks still good

  • EdEN

    If you subscribe to PS+ and already own the Tik/Creat games, do you still get the DLC for free or do you have to buy the games AFTER subscribing to PS+ in order to get the free DLC? That would be a great incentive to subscribe for a year and between Wipeout HD, the free DLC and Qore the subscription would have paid of itself in just a month.

  • Jay

    yes, they are counted as different items, so you can still get those free, even if you already bought the game (no need to buy it again)

  • EdEN

    Thanks Jay. Ok, I’ll be subscribing next week to the PS+ service then. As I said before, I will get $50 worth of content just on month 1 and the rest is just extra. Plus we get 15 months which comes down to $3.33 a month. Who here can’t spare $3.33 a month?

  • Two points of good news!!!

    1st the wife said go ahead with getting Plus. Once I tole she could use it on her account.

    2nd the 3.40 update has fixed the issue with HOME that I and many others have had when trying to update to HOME 1.36. It would cause some Slims to reboot at the start of the update. This pretty much cut some users off from HOME, not a major hit for me but I like all my services to work even if I don’t use them often.

  • Jay

    lol, I had no idea about the Home issue. And yeah, everything you get from Plus works on all the other accounts :). now you can be 1337 like me and have that awesome gold plus next to your badge lol

  • heemz

    I think the service would “pay for itself” if you got to keep the free games. Otherwuse youd save money by buying the games and keeping them forever. It just doesnt add up in my head at all

  • Jay

    I dont see how if you get a free game every month, it wont add up in the long run. Its not like you get one free game for a whole year. WipeOut HD is $20 by itself, and if other free games are around that same price (even $10), you would have had to spend, at least, $120 in a year to purchase the same games, and then continue your subscription. that’s another year of the free games, plus the ones you got the previous year, so where, exactly, are you not having it pay for itself? Especially if you purchase items throughout the year, which could, also, potentially surpass the $50 investment (and you get to keep those purchases).

    And if Sony let you keep the free games, you pretty much ripped them off. It’s like Netflix. If you cancel your subscription to Netflix, do they let you keep the discs they sent to you, or even the free ‘watch it now’ service that comes with the subscription? No.

  • No matter what, you are always going to have people that bitch and complain. Sony could be giving everybody playstation plus absolutely free and your still going to have someone that bitches about it.

  • “Sony could be giving everybody playstation plus absolutely free and your still going to have someone that bitches about it.”

    Well, then it wouldn’t be PS+ then, would it? It would just be PSN, the service that Sony has long touted as a selling point for the system by virtue of its price: free. Don’t get me wrong; I may well buy PS+, but it does seem a bit disingenuous for Sony (1) to change to the price model for which they’ve attacked MS, and (2) to encourage users to spend money in order to spend more money (spend $50 to get a 20% discount on something else).

  • i cant understand why people won’t see that a gold live subscription and psn+ are two totally different services

  • care to elaborate? I just don’t know that much about gold as I don’t have a 360. the obvious point here is that sony’s networked services were (ok, are still) free, but now sony is offering a “premium” subscription-based service with additional functionality (that largely amounts to getting discounts to buy more products as well as “renting” games).

  • gold members can use onlinegaming on the 360, plus they get early access to some demos or betas. that’s about it, you could weigh in that microsofts online service has some funtions like party-lobbies and cross game chat, that are not present on psn.
    with psn+ you get some, in my opinion, minor advantages like automatic downloads of updates and early access to some demos or betas.
    additionally you get 1 psn game, 2 minis, 1 psx-classic per month, these are technically rented for the time of your subscription. than you get some small stuff like themes and avatars. and you get access to selected DLC (for killzone2 and motorstorm 2 in the first 2 months), themes, avatars and dlc will be yours and is not rented.
    if you add everything up, it’s quite a good deal. the only problem i see is, that the best targetgroup would be the so called core-gamers, but most of them already own some of the stuff thats included in psn+ (at least the first 2 months)

    ps: sorry, i am no native speaker and my english is a little bit rusted

  • Thank you for proving my point.

  • EdEN

    @heemz: The free DLC for the Tik/Create games is worth and you get to keep it. For me that’s $21 of DLC content for my games that I get to keep, thus bringing down my cost to $29 and with 14 months of service left. I’ll be getting this next week.

  • Just a reminder: You cannot add things that you wouldn’t buy normally and subtract it from your psn plus investment and be happy. However, over time, these price reductions may benefit the frequent buyer indeed. I’m still on the fence! How long does the 3 months extra for one year subscribers will be valid?

  • Emrah: How long does the 3 months extra for one year subscribers will be valid?  

    I’m wondering this as well.

  • Jay

    I would imagine the 3 month free deal will be for the first month (or maybe all of July)

  • Emilio

    I bought Wipeout HD from PSNstore couple of months ago for $9.99

  • EdEN

    Anyone try to subscribe for two years to the service to see if you get 3 and a half years (three free months times two)? I liked the first month and got my moneys worth so the other 14 months are just extra and once Qore is included it will be an even better value and I wanted to support Sony.. and get an extra 3 free months for a total of 30.