Skipping online play on the PS4 and PS5 to save on costs is no longer paramount. PlayStation Plus membership fees are down by almost 90% from September 23 to 26. According to the PS store, gamers would only need to pay $1 during this time to reap the benefits. The promo ends on September 26, 11:59 PM PST. That’s tomorrow, so better hop to it. After September 26, users would have to pay the usual $9.99 monthly to keep the membership.
Subscribing to PlayStation Plus allows PS users access to a heap of nifty premium features. Not only can gamers go online and create multiplayer sessions with both strangers and friends, they can also stream on Twitch and YouTube, share screenshots and other footage on Facebook and Twitter, collect trophies, purchase seasonal deals and digital copies of games from the store, and — best of all — be privy to recurring software and system updates. Most PS4 and PS5 games require PlayStation Plus membership to play, so subbing is pretty much a no-brainer. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare needs an Internet connection to play and multiplayer-heavy games like The Division and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds can’t even boot without an active PlayStation Plus subscription. Access to the PlayStation Network (PSN) is a privilege no player — casual or professional — would want to miss out on.
PlayStation Plus was launched mid-2010 in anticipation of the PlayStation Vita, the spiritual successor to the PlayStation Portable released in 2011. It was first introduced to the PlayStation 3 four years after debut, but couldn’t fully take advantage of the console’s meager Internet features. The PS3 wasn’t originally made for online play and it showed. Sessions between friends suffered frequent lags and streaming wasn’t even possible. The PSN subscription was only really good for purchasing digital titles. The feature worked best on the PS Vita, which was built for PlayStation Plus usage from the start. Though broadcasting still wasn’t an option, online matches were slightly more streamlined.
It wasn’t until the release of the PlayStation 4 that PlayStation Plus membership became absolutely indispensable to gaming. Thanks to the eighth-generation console’s bigger storage space and more powerful CPU, network features were cranked up to maximum and inevitably managed to achieve their full potential. The PS4 already had online capability built in from the first release onward, with every significant asset made to work seamlessly with an Internet connection. And it only got better with every successive update. Battle-royale games, which rely on consistent upload and download streams to function, have proliferated since the PS4 made online multiplayer central to the gaming experience. Developers could finally design games that constantly feature real-life players on the map, operating without as much as a glitch and interacting with global leaderboards in real-time. PlayStation Plus access revolutionized how console games were played completely. Video games have ceased being a purely single-player experience.
The PlayStation 5 continues the grand tradition of keeping PlayStation Plus membership as relevant as ever, with no expected increase in fees or costs. Discounts are still offered monthly and Internet capability remains at its peak. Sessions are immaculate and relatively uninterrupted, and generally bug-free. And Sony is constantly reinventing with every update. With a built-in solid state drive customized for high-speed data streaming, staying online on the PS5 is easier than it’s ever been.
PlayStation Plus typically costs $9.99 monthly to maintain. It’s accessible on the PS4 and PS5, but has reportedly been discontinued on the PS3 and PS Vita.