Ignore the critics, I'm buying the new PS Plus – and so will millions of PS5 gamers

The PS5 and the new PS Plus are made for each other, so investing in the platform makes sense long-term

The PS5 PS Plus God of War game hero Kratos roaring in the snow
(Image credit: Sony)

Since the announcement of the new PS Plus gaming service for PS5 earlier this year, I've been following its development closely.

After all, with Xbox Game Pass tearing up the next-gen console market, knowing what the new, rebooted PS Plus was going to offer was high-up on my interest list as a PlayStation 5 owner.

And then, in a classic how not to promote your new product kind of way, Sony proceeded to dribble out bits and pieces of what the new PS Plus offered in a really messy, confusing, piecemeal way.

There was multiple new PS Plus tiers we were told, and each had multiple benefits, certain pre-existing PS Plus accounts would be upgraded while others wouldn't be, there were game demos with different play lengths, there were questions too about PS Now and its library and how that mapped to the new tiers, there was information about retro games and who got them, there was confusing information about PS Plus subscription cards and if they could be used to buy more time with the new service in advance, old game emulation queries and much more besides, too.

Finally, just one day ago at the time of writing, Sony cleared most things up in one comprehensive blog post. Not everything, but most things.

By this point, though, Sony had come under fire online with scathing opinion pieces from left, right and centre, bemoaning its poor communication and complaining that the new PS Plus didn't look a patch on Xbox Game Pass. Was much of this criticism valid? Absolutely. Did it change my mind about whether or not I was going to buy the new PS Plus? Absolutely not. Here's why.

PlayStation 5 console in white

(Image credit: Future)

PS Plus is a necessary investment, for Sony and PS5 gamers

I wrote recently about how I thought PS5 owners should just buy the new PS Plus regardless of how it stacks up against Microsoft and its Xbox Game Pass as, simply put, Sony is being forced to play in a game now that is fundamentally stacked against them.

As PlayStation boss Jim Ryan has actually come out and said, Sony cannot just give its games away for free (or a fraction of a game's actual retail price) on day one like Microsoft is doing with Xbox Game Pass. Financially speaking, Sony is a much smaller company than Microsoft and cannot suck up the, arguably (as I am not privy to Xbox's financials), huge hit to do so. It also cannot just drop billions to buy a dump truck-load of the world's most popular gaming franchises overnight and make them Xbox exclusives.

When Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5 and many more blockbuster games that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make can just be doled out on day one to Xbox Game Pass members for free it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that Microsoft will have to be subsidising Game Pass massively right now.

But the point is that Sony needed to create its own Game Pass-style service, as that sort of online, digital and cloud-focussed model is where the gaming industry is undoubtedly going (and it had been slow to move on this for sure), but it obviously had to do it in a way that would protect the company and its studios.

Which is why I was always going to invest in the new PS Plus – I want to support Sony and its studios so they can keep making me incredible games, like Horizon Forbidden West, God of War Ragnarok and Marvel's Spider-Man 2, among many others. And if that means I don't get quite as much value from the new PS Plus as Xbox Game Pass then so be it.

Yes, the new PS Plus isn't as good as Xbox Game Pass right now at launch and it certainly isn't as good in pure value. But it has just launched, one, so that is for me entirely expected and, two, as I've said the value comparison is totally unfair.

I'm not mad. Ask me what the best deal in gaming right now is and I'll say Xbox Game Pass without a second's hesitation. Ask me which streaming service is better and I'll say Xbox Game Pass in a blink of an eye, too.

But ask me what the millions of PS5 gamers out there should do regarding the new PS Plus, and I'll say rather than ignore it because Xbox Game Pass offers a better product and value, you should buy a tier that works for you financially and just enjoy what it delivers, all the while knowing you're helping to secure the future of PlayStation and that the new PS Plus service is going to get better and better over time.

Robert Jones

Rob has been writing about computing, gaming, mobile, home entertainment technology, toys (specifically Lego and board games), smart home and more for over 15 years. As the editor of PC Gamer, and former Deputy Editor for T3.com, you can find Rob's work in magazines, bookazines and online, as well as on podcasts and videos, too. Outside of his work Rob is passionate about motorbikes, skiing/snowboarding and team sports, with football and cricket his two favourites.