I see that Microsoft is looking to phase out Microsoft Points by the end of the year.
That’s good for them. MS Points have definitely been one of the things that’s kept me away from Xbox Live; when I’m looking at a product, I don’t want to see that it’s 600 MS Points, then need to convert that back into whatever it is in money. I just want to use money.
MS Points are such a blatant tool to obfuscate pricing and lure people into making financial decisions they wouldn’t otherwise make. In the interest of consumer honesty, I’m glad to see them go.
Sony’s new online service, Playstation Plus, launched yesterday. It’s taken a bit of time to figure out how I feel about that, and I don’t think Sony has done a very good job of communicating the value to their customers.
On the one hand, I’m strictly opposed to services like Xbox Live, which require me to pay for something that I should be receiving for free.
On the other hand, Playstation Plus still allows me to play games online without it, and to buy the same stuff on the Playstation Store, just without the little perks and discounts. It’s not like my games are crippled without PS Plus (as I would consider a game like Borderlands crippled without XBL online play).
Some of the perks are pretty great, too, like automatic patch downloading. On the other other hand, that’s really a feature that should be standard – it’s just software and scheduling on my PS3, not requiring any additional server time or service from Sony. Likewise, the free trial of Infamous is nice, but that should really be coupled with a discount on the game itself.
Free PS1 games and downloads: good. PS1 games I don’t care about, or already own: bad.
Ultimately it’s all compounded by poor communication from Sony, and a poor choice of first-month games. There’s no explanation of Plus on the Playstation Store. Going to Sony’s website, they have a page about Plus, but nothing specific, such as addressing how long I own the content, or what specific freebies I should expect. And Sony’s first-month selection…they come out of the gate with an ancient rally-racing game, a handful of weak discounts on Midway games, and a full-price PS3 game from last year. They really should have prepared their A game for the first month, when they need to prove the value of this service.
Oh well. I bought in, because when you do the math, it’s not hard to justify the value. 15 months currently for $50…$3.35 a month. I think I’ll be able to get three dollars of value out of this service each month.