The All-New PlayStation Plus Review: A solid foundation for the road ahead

The all-new PlayStation Plus has finally launched in Australia, dividing the subscription service into three separate tiers, each with exclusive features and perks. Admittedly, this review is going to run a little differently to our standard reviews in terms of structure. We’ll also conclude without an overall score, as I believe the experience for many users within each tier will vary drastically depending on the games they do and do not own. That being said, we’ll break down each tier and it’s features, summarising the value of each.

PlayStation Plus Essential

The standard, pre-existing PlayStation Plus subscription has now been rebranded as PlayStation Plus Essential, highlighting the fact that for many users, this may indeed be the one they stick with for basic features like multiplayer functionality. The price remains the same at $11.95 AUD for a single month, $33.95 AUD for 3 months, and $79.95 for the entire year. It’s nice to see that the change in structure has not promoted a price hike for the entry level tier. It’s hard to comment on this particular tier, considering it’s giving you everything you’ve come to expect over the years. With two monthly downloadable games, exclusive PlayStation Store discounts, cloud storage for saved games and online multiplayer access, it’s nothing but a safe bet.

PlayStation Plus Extra

In addition to the existing PlayStation Plus Essential features, PlayStation Plus Extra includes a library of up to 400 PS4 and PS5 games, all of which can be downloaded directly to your console. At $18.95 AUD for a single month, $54.95 AUD for 3 months and $134.95 AUD for 12 months, this is definitely the closest tier to the existing Xbox Game Pass subscription model, and it’s worth noting that Sony’s offerings include some of the best games in recent years for both platforms. From the likes of Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s CutMarvel’s Spider-Man: Miles MoralesHorizon Zero Dawn Complete EditionShadow of the Colossus, you’ll have a bunch of quality titles to choose from. PS5 owners can even take advantage of some titles exclusive to the platform, like Death Stranding: Director’s Cut, Returnal and the Demon’s Souls remake.

That being said, the sheer value of this tier is no secret. For gamers that rarely buy titles, or struggle to pick and choose how to spend their money between big-budget releases, you’ll surely find something you haven’t gotten around to yet which deserves your time. There’s a well-rounded mix of AAA releases of all genres, from action/adventure games, to sports and RPG titles. This sense of variety will be the driving factor for most, and with so many titles at launch, more than likely warrants the upgrade for most subscribers.

Current value aside, I believe the true potential of this tier remains to be seen. Given new releases are still set to make an appearance on this tier, it would be nice to see certain big budget titles launch here alongside their physical releases. Something like The Last of Us: Part 1 has stirred up a considerable amount of controversy given it stands as a remake of a game that was remastered only a few years ago. While it would make sense for a game within this context to launch here, Xbox Game Pass currently holds the upper hand in terms of relevancy when it comes to subscribing to such a service as a valid alternative to purchasing upcoming titles at launch.

PlayStation Plus Deluxe

Know as PlayStation Plus Premium in other regions, Australian subscribers can take advantage of PlayStation Plus Deluxe for added classics from the original PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and PSP eras. At $21.95 AUD for a single month, $63.95 AUD for 3 months and $154.95 for 12 months, it’s admittedly a small bump above PlayStation Plus Extra; for some, this may be enough.

It’s worth noting the unique changes made to this tier, given the access to various PlayStation 3 titles in other regions via the streaming service, PlayStation Now. Given Australians miss out on the service entirely, the extras here are a little more nuanced and as a result, bound to attract less subscribers who are either not interested in these platforms, or reluctant to shell out the extra bucks for this tier. Don’t get me wrong, there are some fantastic titles from each of the iconic platforms, from the likes of Tomb RaiderSilent Hill 2Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the LionsMarvel vs. Capcom 2, Rayman and the criminally underrated Toy Story 2; of which subscribers will more than likely find pockets of nostalgia to unpack. Thankfully, most of these experiences run well, and I believe they’ve been upscaled as well as they can to run on something like the PlayStation 5 for example.

PlayStation Plus Deluxe subscribers also gain access to limited trials of current games including, Cyberpunk 2077, Horizon Forbidden West, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, and WWE 2K22 to name a few. Given the recent decline of demos on the PlayStation Store, these trials are no doubt the best way to jump on board with games you may have hesitated to purchase at launch. But the fact that the service has decided to include such games as trials rather than full releases on the PlayStation Plus Extra tier, leads me to believe there’s a sense of hesitancy in the early stages of the service. I understand the need to push new releases and drive numbers, but this would undoubtedly supercharge the number of subscribers, even if Sony considered adding such premium titles to the PlayStation Plus Deluxe tier as an exclusive incentive to upgrade.

General Thoughts and Verdict

The new PlayStation Plus is incredibly easy to access and navigate. The PlayStation 5’s PlayStation Plus tab never really had much to offer, instead serving as a reminder for the current games of the month. This time around, the PlayStation Plus tab serves as an entry to a whole new world that awaits both exploration and experimentation. I do find it strange that certain games like Bioshock: Remastered and even the recent Mafia: Definitive Edition are crammed into the ‘Classics’ tab along with original PlayStation games, even if it does highlight the fact that the main catalogue is comprised of games that are more recent.

Overall, the three new PlayStation Plus tiers are solid, even if the Extra and Deluxe tiers need a little more time in the oven to showcase some bigger upcoming releases. That being said, I believe most will either stick with PlayStation Plus Essential for the simple fact that they’re already subscribed, while a considerable amount will upgrade to PlayStation Plus Extra for the impressive amount of games on offer.

PlayStation Plus Deluxe will most likely attract hardcore and nostalgic subscribers for the sake of the classics, while I believe this tier needs to add a little more to justify another upgrade, in the hopes that new and upcoming games will launch here alongside their physical releases.


Matthew Arcari

Matthew Arcari is the games and technology editor at The AU Review. You can find him on Twitter at @sirchunkee, or at the Dagobah System, chilling with Luke and Yoda.