Ok, by now, everyone knows about Sony raising the price of PlayStation Plus for all tiers. I'm not going to sugarcoat this. As a PlayStation fan, this does not please me at all. Especially since they haven't mentioned anything to make the price worthwhile or justified.
Now, for the most part, PlayStation Plus has given us more good than it has bad in my opinion. There will always be some detractors, as there is with any service. To be fair, the service has evolved since it initially was thrust upon us in 2010. In its' current form, the service is broken into the tiers of Essential, Extra, and Premium. Essential gives you the 3 "free" games per month that stay in your account even when they leave the service as long as you're a member. Extra is everything Essential is plus you get access to a sizeable library of ps4 and ps5 games you can download. But unlike Essentials, you can't keep these ones in your account when they leave the service. Premium gives you everything the first two do as well as classics, game trials, and cloud streaming.
But now with that raised price, the questions many gamers are facing fall in line with the idea of "is it worth it"? And to be fair, it's a good question to ask. Any sensible person would question a raised price with nothing to show for it. But until Sony gives us more on this, here are three things that could make the PS Plus price worth it.
1- Hardware backward compatibility for all legacy platforms.
This is something I think everyone would go for. This of course wouldn't be feasible for the PSP or the PS Vita. But it certainly should be for the rest of the older systems as they're disc-based. This is something that many of the PlayStation hopefuls have been clamoring for. In fact, when the PS5 was first announced, this was one of the top things fans were showing their desire for. Being able to play ps4 games that we physically own on the ps5 is great and all. But the real draw would have been in the PS1, PS2, and PS3. I'm not a tech wizard so I'm not going to sit here and act like one. But back in the day, I remember using emulators on my old Compaq windows 95 computer for the PS1 and the Dreamcast. And yes, you were able to put your CD (or GD-ROM in the Dreamcast's case) into your disc drive and the emulator would recognize it and play it. So it's probably not out of the realm of possibility for Sony to release an emulator in a firmware update. The possibility of that becomes even greater when you realize Sony actually hired some developers who worked on emulators. This brings us to the second thing that would make Playstation Plus worth it.
2- Reviving legacy servers
Now, by any chance should the first thing happen, this second one should be a no-brainer. Many older game servers have been put out of commission. Some due to low player counts. Some for low profitability. Even some for legal and licensing matters. But regardless of the reason, you can be assured that most of these old games with shutdown servers have fans who have fond memories of these games. Now, I'm pretty sure people will make the fact that these were free that you'd suddenly have to pay for a bone of contention. And they WILL have a point. But the cat's already out of the bag there. We already got to the point where we pay for the "right" to play online and remasters. So as legit as the complaint may be, it's redundant. But the good thing about it is that this would go a long way to making customers feel safe in their purchase to an extent. Seeing old game servers return would do wonders to giving people faith in buying into Sony's online gaming vision that they're trying to start. And the reason for that is that bringing old servers back is a signal that says they're in it for the long haul. The need for consumer trust can't be understated.
Back in August of 2021, Sony purchased Crunchyroll. Mind you this was on top of the fact that they had purchased Funimation two years prior. The services and their libraries are currently combined under Crunchyroll's banner. This may be a pipedream longshot, but it would bring insane value to Playstation Plus if they were to incorporate Crunchyroll into the service. There has always been a general perception that the average Japanese-orientated game buyer often is also an anime fan. I can't say that's true for everyone. But I can definitely say it's true for myself and most of my immediate relatives or friends. And if they did it now, the timing would be great since they can match the potential fall lineup.
Now these three things are only my take on what would bring PS Plus value, especially with the new price. And one thing these companies like more than anything is retention. And the three things mentioned here can surely help Playstation Plus retain their subs.