The new PS Plus is live, or at least it is in the US; for UK gamers the PS4 and PS5 game subscription service launches next week.
New PlayStation Plus takes Sony's multiple existing game subscription services and rolls them into just one, albeit one with different tiers. The Essential tier is $10/£6.99 a month; Extra is $15/£10.99 a month and Premium is $18/£13.49 a month.
By comparison, Xbox Game Pass is $9.99/£7.99 a month or $14.99/£10.99 a month for Game Pass Ultimate, which adds Xbox Live Gold, EA Play and Xbox Cloud Gaming.
So, is the new PS Plus worth it?
I'd say that PS Plus Essential isn't worth it, because it's essentially the same PS Plus as before – so you only get four games a month, and for me at least most of them haven't been particularly appealing.
But the two higher tiers, PS Plus Extra and PS Plus Premium, are much more appealing. Here's why.
Two out of three PS Plus tiers are good value for money
Before going into what PS Plus is, let's clarify what it isn't. Unlike Game Pass, it isn't a more affordable way to get day one access to the latest triple-A blockbusters. Sony intends to keep them separate (and expensive), so for example when the 400th remaster of The Last of Us Part 1 drops it won't drop on PS Plus.
It also isn't a great way to play PS5 exclusives, or at least it isn't so far. The launch line-up only has three: the remade Demon's Souls, plus Returnal and Destruction AllStars.
What PS Plus is is a good way to play older games, and that's both its strength and its weakness: there are lots of games here, but chances are you've probably played the best ones. RDR2, The Last of Us Remastered, God of War... chances are you have some of the big names already in the 20-game PS Plus collection from late 2020. But if you go for the most expensive tier you also get access to classics from multiple PlayStation generations such as Ape Escape, the Devil May Cry HD Collection and Infamous. One of my all-time favourites, the gloriously daft and surprisingly modern-feeling F.E.A.R., is in there too.
Last but not least there are game demos, which are only available in the most expensive subscription. You get to play six games, but only for two hours each.
So is the new PS Plus worth it in my opinion?
So is the new PlayStation Plus worth it? For me it's a firm no: I've played the PlayStation games I want to play already, and many of the best third party titles are already in my library or if they're cross-platform I've played them on Game Pass. So when my annual subscription expires next month I'm not going to renew it. But if you don't have a long history of PlayStation ownership and don't have an Xbox, then there's a lot of gaming fun here for a reasonable fee.
So, while for me it is a no, I can definitely see the service being far more worth it for other gamers. It really comes down to your history with PlayStation and how many of the games PS Plus offers you that you want in your games library.