Will The PS4 Diminish PS Plus’ Value?

With the next-gen PlayStation on the horizon, what will become of PlayStation's premium service?

Since its inception in 2010, PlayStation Plus has quickly become a premium paradise for PS3 and Vita gamers. The service offers whole game downloads for no additional cost, cloud saves, automatic updates and trophy syncing for the systems, plus more. For good reason, the service has been praised by gamers and journalists globally. Yet, a possible danger to PS Plus’ value looms on the horizon – The PlayStation 4.

With the PlayStation 4′s announcement this week, Sony revealed a lot of information pertaining to the new PlayStation network that they intend to implement. We heard a lot of promising things but were also left with a handful of nagging questions. One that I beg to ask today, will the PlayStation 4 diminish the value of Sony’s PlayStation Plus service?

Let’s first look at the offerings of PS Plus:

  • Automatic Updates
  • Online Game Saves
  • Full Game Trials
  • Demo and Beta Early Access
  • Discounts
  • Instant Game Collection

For the price you pay, the service is a great value. I myself have been a pretty satisfied subscriber since the day it launched. With that said, let’s look at brief look at the currently announced offerings of the PlayStation 4:

  • Background updates and downloads
  • Free game trials for every PS4 title
  • Cloud Gaming

While I have only listed four of the several features that were announced for that PlayStation 4, these are pertinent to the value of PS Plus. We do not have full details on how each of these features will be implemented, but one thing is for sure, Sony has said they are committed to “free exploration” of the PlayStation Network even with Gaikai integration.

With these services free for all PS4 owners, what happens to the value of PS+ for these individuals? As SCEA’s Morgan Haro explained, the fact remains, PlayStation Plus is here to stay – even into the next generation.

There’s no official word that background updates and downloads will be automatic, but with the supposed ease of doing these things on the PS4, will it really matter if they’re automatic or not? Free game trials is an automatic mark down for the service as PS+ users currently only get select one hour trials of games. The PS4 initiative is that all games will be available as a free full game trial. With Gaikai and cloud gaming, one can only assume that online saves will be included with that as well. What’s left over for PS+ members is a stripped down service. For sure we’ll get the games still, discounts here and there, and that’s value within itself; But many subscribers have joined the service for the aforementioned benefits and not so much the freebies that come along with it.

PlayStation 3 and Vita owners will not likely suffer much consequence when the PS4 is launched but the question remains, how will SCE make the PlayStation Plus service attractive to PS4 owners? Will they offer something new? As the PS4′s launch is targeted for Holiday 2013, we have several months to have these questions answered. My hope is that the answer will be satisfactory for those who have paid for this service and all that it offers.

Are you a PlayStation Plus subscriber? Do you plan on getting a PS4? What would make the service appealing to you on the next-gen system? What questions do you want answered? Sound off and discuss in the comments below!