In the world of console gaming, the battle between Microsoft and PlayStation has raged hard for a long, long time. However, there seems only to be one winner at the moment, with the PlayStation 4 not only nearly outselling the Xbox One by a ratio of 2:1 but, at almost 60 million consoles shifted, is possibly on its way to becoming the biggest-selling console of all time. This means that those who love everything PlayStation have an exciting 2018 ahead of them as Sony builds on their success of already boasting the top two spots in the world of gaming consoles, with the original PlayStation and the fabled PS2 well ahead of any Microsoft Xbox console.
Of course, Sony haven’t always got everything right with the PlayStation (with this example of a presentation issue perhaps one of the funnier failures that they have overseen). In addition, it should be mentioned that some gamers are now looking at retro consoles, like the soon-to-be-released Atari console (the first in over 20 years), for their dose of console fun. However, there is no doubting the sheer might of the PS4 in 2017, and one of the many reasons behind this boom has been PlayStation Plus.
A Charge but a Benefit
On the PS3 and the PS Vita, playing online games was a free experience but the PS4 has seen a change in model to something similar to Xbox Live Gold. However, while the Xbox model had won some plaudits, it was largely seen as only being worth buying if you wanted to play online games and largely being a bit of an empty shell otherwise (Microsoft in turn eventually followed the PlayStation Plus model of free monthly games). In contrast to this, PlayStation Plus has delivered not only online multiplayer gaming but has also shown by its recent releases that it has started to feed out decent quality free games to those who choose to subscribe to it.
Indeed, the recent release in November saw not only a varied range of games, but also a hugely nostalgia-inducing retro game in the form of a Worms game. Worms Battlegrounds not only includes some of the classic elements of the Worms franchise, such as the Holy Hand Grenade, but the inclusion of the game and the chance to play through either single or multi-player options allows gamers the chance to move away from the world of the most popular current games. This proves that those who use PlayStation Plus don’t just need to be committed gamers, but anyone who enjoys casual gaming.
Bringing Some Horror in a New Reality
While the bonus of Worms has of course gone down well (despite the fact that the game itself isn’t viewed brilliantly on Metacritic, where it scores only 62), the real bonus for those who received the November games was the chance to try out the release of the virtual reality-requiring Until Dawn: Rush of Blood game.
The release of this game has seen the horror genre receive even more accolades, building on recent successes that have included a range of online casino brands like Betway Casino that celebrate Halloween and other horror-related themes, and a range of exciting horror games being released for gamers that include the bringing to life of H.P. Lovecraft’s most famous story, the Call of Cathulu. This game has been developed by Cyanide Studio, whilst the release of Days Gone from Bend Studio is set to bring gamers some fun (if you can call it that!) in a post-zombie apocalypse.
The world of horror games is clearly in the ascendency, but it is unclear if this will transfer to the world of smartphones, one of the biggest areas of growth in the world of gaming as a whole, and one that the PlayStation market needs to be able to stay up with. One of the ways that PlayStation are doing this is through the embracing of virtual reality technology, something that Until Dawn: Rush of Blood highlights.
Bringing the Virtual World to Life
Having sold over a million units, it is arguable that the PS VR innovation has seen a degree of success, but the truth of the matter is that the sales have highlighted rather a sluggish start to its shelf-life, compared to the world of augmented reality (which shot to fame with Pokémon Go, having enjoyed over 100 million downloads on the Google Play store alone by the end of August 2017).
These stats are clearly hugely contrasting and hint that people are not yet flocking to virtual reality gaming. It is, therefore, no surprise that PlayStation might start to use PlayStation Plus as a way to help promote this form of gaming, encouraging virtual reality to emerge from taking its first baby steps to become a fully-fledged member of the gaming world.
What More to Come?
The innovative side to PlayStation doesn’t just stop at PlayStation Plus. The PlayStation team has been intelligent and forward-thinking in other areas too, including the investment in eSports, a trend recently echoed by Jennifer Lopez, who has been part of a group who have invested $15 million in this area. With the sport increasing in popularity with each passing month, and with eSports being screened on the BBC, the PlayStation Plus store is just one avenue for PlayStation to help boost its standing in the world of gaming.
It seems clear that the PlayStation team is not just taking your money for online gaming for pure profit, but are actually trying to give a decent return to their customers when it comes to PlayStation Plus.