Thursday, July 31, 2014

BS REPORT: Playstation Plus memberships are up 200% which show that...uh....gamers now have to buy a subscription to play online?

Do you ever read a line in an article and have this little internal trigger go off where you recognize that you just spotted some serious PR double-speak?  Today was one of those days for me.  Ladies and gentlemen; I give to you.  Some serious BS coming out of the mouth of Sony...
"PlayStation Plus memberships are up more than 200 per cent since the launch of PlayStation 4, which shows that gamers are looking for memberships that offer a multitude of services, across various devices, for one low price."
What an awesome improvement over last year at this time!  Congratulations to Sony and their ability to provide a subscription the has a multitude of services!  Let's look at the difference between PS+ from July 2013 compared to July 2014!  What marvelous features did they add to the service?  Here is the list of features the come with you Playstation Plus subscription.  I will highlight the new ones that they offered when the Playstation 4 launched.


  • Instant Game Collection Access - Popular titles such as Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, inFamous 2, LittleBigPlanet 2, Saints Row 2, Virtua Fighter 5, are just a few examples of the many PlayStation 3 and PS Vita games, that have been available on demand and to play as long as you are a PlayStation Plus subscriber. See what's available now in the Instant Game Collection by visiting the PlayStation Plus page.
  • PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PS Vita Supported - Your PlayStation Plus membership applies to both PS4, PS3 AND PS Vita. It's like two memberships for the price of one! For more information on PS Plus for PS Vita features, click here.
  • Discounts - Save money on select PlayStation®Store purchases with limited time, rotating discounts from 20-80% off.
  • Full Game Trials - A great way to try before you buy - play a game for up to one hour, then purchase the game to unlock your trophies and continue your progress.
  • Online Multi-player PS4 - Access to online multi-player on the PS4.
  • Online Storage - Access to online Cloud game save storage (Up to 3GB).
  • Exclusive Offers - Access to select avatars, themes, and other items other folks can't get.
  • Select Early Demos - Get early access to select demos before anyone else.
  • Priority Beta Invitations - You'll be the first to receive invitations on select Betas.  
Isn't it funny how your subscriptions increase when you make playing online, a major part of the fun of the console, mandatory?  I am not saying Sony have done anything wrong here, but let's not pretend for even one second that the spike in subscriptions for Playstation Plus isn't largely rooted in the mandatory subscription for online play.

Lets also not pretend that Playstation Plus was always some big popular thing.  As recent as two years ago they would going out of their way, and doing a poor job I may add, of deflecting any questions pertaining to the number of people signed up for the program.  Kotaku spent quiet a wile going around in circles trying to get anything out of them.

At that time they were more than happy to share the following statistic though:
"13 million: The number of hours of play-time that games in Plus' Instant Game Collection (the batch of free games offered to Plus subscribers) in the two months after the IGC was launched in early June" ~Kotaku
If players spent 13 million hours playing games in the instant games collection you can do some pretty simple math to figure out they had less than 5 million subscribers.  That is me being very giving.  Seriously.  Look how the data works out:

**This is all based on the statistic they gave of players collectively having played 13 million hours.  There are also people who owned these games before they were added to the collection.  It does not say whether those numbers are included in the stat, but for this sake I will assume they didn't count them**

Hours played. Potential Subscribers
1 13,000,000
2 6,500,000
3 4,333,333
4 3,250,000
5 2,600,000
6 2,166,667
7 1,857,143
8 1,625,000
9 1,444,444
10 1,300,000
11 1,181,818
12 1,083,333
13 1,000,000

At that time it is very likely that the Playstation Plus program had less than 5 million subscribers.  I would say it is even more likely they had less than 3.5 million subscribers.  That was way back in 2012 though.  Lets jump ahead to May of 2014.  That is when Sony announced that Half of PS4 owners are Playstation Plus subscribers.  Oh yeah, and that was after Sony announced in January of 2014 that Playstation Plus Subscribers has tripled.  Those information released lead me to believe that my chart up above....the number is closer towards the bottom.  Maybe more like 1-1.5 million at the time.

My main point of this article is that you should watch out for heavily cherry-picked data such as what Sony are releasing here.  The counter side of this is that Microsoft charged for their service all along and in 2013 they announced that their number of subscribers was had just topped 46 million.

No matter what way you spin it when it comes to subscription service for online play the Xbox is absolutely destroying the Playstation.  It isn't even a contest.  Which is exactly why Sony have to release vague statements such as the "...up 200%.."  stuff that they did yesterday.  Context is the key for everything.  Even my statement about Xbox crushing Playstation is out of context because Xbox Live is far more establish and it has been charging a fee for almost 10 years.

Companys like Microsoft and Sony are never going to be completely honest with you unless they are winning the numbers game.  If Microsoft tomorrow said they had another 50% increase in console sales this month Sony would come out and say they sold 200,000 consoles.  It is all perception and most people never bother to do the math.

So in this instance where Sony claimed that their numbers jumped because it is such a great service I am going to have to declare...ITS BULLSHIT.



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