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!