A new firmware update for the PlayStation 3 ushers in the age of PlayStation Plus, Sony's new premium subscription service. Let's take a look at what your money buys you today!


In order to see what the PlayStation Plus service has to offer, all you need to do is log into the PlayStation Store from your PS3 and choose the PlayStation Plus category, conveniently located at the top of the list. I particularly like the "Elevate your game" ad on the right side. Will it actually elevate anything?

Probably not, but catchy marketing slogan is catchy.

Here's what you'll see when you enter the PlayStation Plus area:

Look at all those golden d-pads! It's a smorgasbord of values!

The first option block allows you to subscribe to PlayStation Plus. It'll run you $49.99 for a year (plus three free months with the current promotion) or $17.99 for three months. The rest of the blocks show off what you'll be getting should you subscribe.


The first two items we've covered already this morning. They're the Plus-exclusive 60 minute trial for inFamous, a game any self-respecting PS3 owner already has. If you've yet to play the game, consider the time it takes to download 6.88GB of data your penance for this transgression.


Next to the trial is the full version of inFamous, which is not a Plus-exclusive. It's the same download size as the demo, only it costs $29.99 and doesn't have the 60-minute time limit.


Then come more deals!

Free For PlayStation Plus Subscribers:

Wipeout HD (Regularly $19.99)
Rally Cross PS1 Classic ($5.99)
Age of Zombies mini ($4.99)
Warhawk Fallen Star Pack ($1.99)
Collision PS3 Premium Theme
Fat Princess Red and Blue Premium Avatars


Discounted for PlayStation Plus Subscribers
Fat Princess Roles Expansion $3.99 (regularly $4.99)

But wait, there's more!

The last two blocks represent special discounts on arcade classics from Midway and PSN titles from Tik Games and Creat Studios.


Midway Discounts:
Gauntlet II $2.50 ($4.99)
Mortal Kombat II $2.50 ($4.99)
Rampage $2.50 ($4.99)
Rampart $2.50 ($4.99)


Tik Games-Creat Studios Discounts:
Cuboid Full Game - $7.99 ($9.99)
Cuboid Booster Pack - Free ($2.99)
Cuboid Bundle Pack - Free ($4.99)
Cuboid Level Editor - Free ($3.99)
Hamster Ball - $7.99 ($9.99)
Interpol: The Trail of Dr. Chaos - $7.99 ($9.99)
Magic Orbz $7.99 - ($9.99)
Magic Orbz Booster Pack - Free ($2.99)
Magic Orbz Jungle Pack - Free ($2.99)
Mahjong Tale: Ancient Wisdom - $7.99 ($9.99)
Mahjong Tale Booster Pack - Free ($4.99)
Smash Cars - $11.99 ($14.99)
Smash Cars Virus Run Addon - Free ($2.99)
Wakeboarding HD - $11.99 ($14.99)

So Is It Worth It?
Let's assume you haven't purchased any of the games offered for free or discounted via PlayStation Plus. Adding up all of the discounts and free items, not counting the premium avatars and theme, comes to $85.85 in savings for the first month alone. Under these perfect conditions, a yearly subscription more than pays for itself. Add the new automatic download feature and the free subscription to Qore, and you've got quite a bargain.


So who's buying?

Thanks to Shawn for the images and help with data collecting!

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