Sony’s new and improved PlayStation Plus program has already launched in some parts of the world, and players are seemingly running into all sorts of issues. But the one players are freaking out about the most right now is a potential wrinkle in how the pricing for upgrading works which could leave some of them on the hook for hundreds of dollars.
Update: 5/25/22 4:54 p.m. ET: Sony never responded to Kotaku’s request for comment, but it did announce on Twitter that the recent PS Plus upgrade pricing fiasco was an “error.”
Original story follows.
The big PS Plus overhaul, currently already live in Asia, effectively combines it with PlayStation Now and breaks up additional benefits across three tiers. Essentials is the same as the current subscription, Extra includes a Game Pass-like library of games on demand and Premium gives subscribers access to cloud streaming and classic games. The new tiers are $100 and $120 annually, and will require existing PS Plus subscribers to upgrade to access them. Makes sense.
But what some players are finding is that if they had previously purchased a discounted version of PS Plus, they now need to pay the difference to fully upgrade to the new, more expensive tiers. Here’s how one post that’s been getting a lot of attention on the PlayStation Plus subreddit explains it. “For example, If you purchased 1 year plus for 25%off, which is $45,” it reads. “To update to extra plan, you need to pay 100 - 45 = 55$, not 100-60=40$”
Another issue is that players apparently can’t just upgrade for a month or a year, they have to upgrade for the entire duration of their current membership. So if you, I don’t know, decided to purchase an extra 10 years of PS Plus when it was significantly discounted, you’d now have to pay to upgrade the entire decade at the full price.
That might sound like a weird outlier, but it’s not uncommon for some of PlayStation’s biggest fans to stack years and years of subscriptions when there’s a particularly big discount on them. That’s what happened earlier this year when PS Now was selling at half-off and a bunch of players rushed to capitalize on the deal, especially since the subscriptions would automatically roll over into PS Plus Premium subscriptions once the programs were combined.
“How many years are you all stacking,” asked industry insider Wario64 who first publicized the sale back in April. Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad seemingly filled up through 2031. So did others. Sony eventually blocked subscription stacking a few weeks later. Now it appears the PS5 maker plans to recoup whatever small savings players might have gotten away with. In the case of a 10-year stack, subscribers could end up having to pay another $600 to fully upgrade.
Potential scenarios like this are already stirring a mini-backlash in comments on Reddit, social media, and the PlayStation Blog. “PlayStation is the most profitable it has ever been and rakes in billions upon billions of dollars,” tweeted YouTuber MBG. “To expect a bit of goodwill and a little less greed from time to time is okay.”
At the same time, it’s possible the current anecdotes coming from players in places like Hong Kong are simply pricing errors that will soon get corrected. The upgrade process might also be different from region to region. Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment to clarify.
One thing that is certain is that much of the PS Plus overhaul rollout has been needlessly confusing. Back in April Sony released a dizzying chart showing PS Plus and Now voucher conversion rates for subscribers going from the current service to the upgraded one. And earlier this month a PlayStation Blog post outlined a sample of the games coming to the new version of the service filled with caveats and asterisks.
Hopefully one of those big asterisks doesn’t turn out to be a hidden fee for stacked memberships. The revamped PS Plus program goes live in the U.S. on June 13.