hot  /  reviews  /  video  /  blogs  /  forum

Service

 photo

Game Debate to the Death! Most loyal game company?


SimDebate to the Metacritic Death!
Mar 08
// Tom Fronczak
Last week we debated over which of the Dead Space games was most worthy of a trophy, and it was great reading through your comments that brought up gameplay, visuals, scare factors, and other elements to judge the series on. ...

Plus Points: Sony's PS Plus humiliates the game industry

Jan 29 // Jim Sterling
PlayStation Plus is a subscription-based service that offers free games, major discounts, and exclusive downloads to customers for $49.99 a year. Every week, the service offers new freebies and cheap titles, giving away not just classic PlayStation games, but current-gen titles including big hitters like inFAMOUS and The Walking Dead.  In keeping its commitment to offering free online play, Sony had to work extra hard to ensure PS Plus was worth paying for, and the results can be measured in numbers. The company recently revealed Plus' discounts and giveaways amounted to a cumulative $2,472 in 2012. While it's unlikely a customer downloaded absolutely everything required to get these savings, it would be quite easy to at least make back the $50 entry fee in content.  It sounds almost ridiculous to say it, but Sony has been pioneering the practice of giving stuff away in exchange for consumer loyalty. Yes, it seems like a no-brainer tactic, but the idea seems to have eroded in so many areas of the industry that Sony's remarkable for doing it. You give Sony money, and Sony gives you stuff in return. It doesn't unlock stuff that was gated off, it doesn't provide what the competitor was already providing, it just gives you things. It's almost crazy to see that now, especially on consoles.  And yes, it's true that PS Plus doesn't let you keep the free content once you unsubscribe, but if you weren't getting your money's worth while still tied to it, then frankly, you have nothing worth missing. Even as a "rental" service, it's a killer deal, and the discounts are nothing to sniff at.  Compare this to Microsoft, a company struggling more and more to justify its subscription service with a straight face. The Xbox 360 owner has systematically worked to hold its content to ransom in an increasingly futile bid to make Xbox Live Gold look worth its fee. The biggest feature is, of course, online play -- something available for free on PS3, Wii U, and PC. The company took something that was already a given, and held it back.  It's done this with practically every feature on Xbox Live Gold. Netflix, Amazon Video, and (before retirement) social apps like Twitter and Facebook all require Gold subscriptions to use, despite these items being freely available on almost every electronic device on the market. Hell, my television can access Netflix, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, and a Web browser, and they're all better than the Xbox 360 versions -- they browse faster, they stream more consistently, and their search functions blow the 360's pathetic offerings out of the water.  This is the reality of Xbox Live Gold, a service I believe only continues to thrive due to the habitual nature of consumers, and one that I don't think can sustain itself indefinitely. Xbox Live Gold has never offered the consumers anything. It's never actually exchanged a feature outstanding enough to justify an outstanding payment. All it does is take away. Even demos are held hostage, given a delayed release for Xbox Live Silver users in a fantastic example of just how desperate Microsoft is to create the illusion of worth instead of providing actual value. Xbox Live Gold is all smoke and mirrors -- a delayed feature here, a withheld app there, a carefully constructed facade. So carefully constructed, in fact, it may have been less effort to actually give consumers something.  Oh, and let's not even get started on the ads Xbox Live run on its paid service.  There's a strong sentiment in the games industry that the consumer should be the load-bearer for a publisher's problems. Game budgets running out of control? Charge $60, regardless of quality, and take content out to sell as "downloadable" content later. Piracy is a perceived problem? Shovel in a load of DRM as a placebo, which only really has the effect of controlling those consumers who already paid you fair and square. Used games a potential threat? Lock online play in a cage and make used gamers pay a direct fee, while those who bought it new waste time inputting a code to show their fealty.  Sony's not above some of those practices itself, of course, but at least when it comes to PS Plus, the company truly did its loyalest consumers a solid.  It's disgraceful that Sony's PS Plus philosophy is such an anomaly in the videogame industry, that choosing to reward, rather than punish, the customer is downright unique in contrast to Sony's closest rivals. The idea that a subscription service legitimately exchange content for cash should not be something so extraordinary as to be praised, but that's the situation we're in. PlayStation Plus really shouldn't be considered excellent, it shouldn't be applauded for going above and beyond. It is though, and while that's a damning indictment on the rest of the industry, it certainly makes Sony the good guy -- in relative terms, if nothing else.  I love PlayStation Plus. I fully admit I thought it'd work out terribly, and thrilled to say I was wrong. PS Plus stands as a shining example of how you deliver a compelling, rewarding videogame service, and exposes the competition as nothing more than a glorified seller of snake oil.  Now ... if it can get the PlayStation Vita Plus services kicking as much ass as the PS3 one, I'll be doubly impressed.
PS Plus is great! photo
Sony shows subscription services how it's really done
Sony has made a lot of mistakes over the years, and I've cheerily called the publisher out on many of them. For all its hubris, however, and for all its missteps, the PlayStation brand owner is prone to having some really qui...

 photo

E3: CinemaNow coming to PlayStation 3


Jun 06
// Maxwell Roahrig
As originally posted on Flixist Sony, just moments ago, announced that CinemaNow, a movie streaming service along the lines of Netflix, will be coming to the PlayStation 3 very soon. How soon? Well, PlayStation CEO Jack Trett...

 photo

Street Fighter fan-art inspires weird feelings


Jan 26
// Jonathan Holmes
I've always had mixed emotions about the "take some popular superheroes and make them sexy ladies" school of character design. It's simultaneously a cheap gimmick, and a inarguably effective technique to take characters that ...
 photo

Get your 'Rolls in bed' Mega Man art on a mug or a puzzle


Jan 20
// Jonathan Holmes
I'm constantly defending Japanese art and videogames to my friends. For instance, you know that scene in My Neighbor Totoro (1:56) where Mei and Satsuki are taking a bath with their Dad? Every time I watch that movie with som...
 photo

Best Buy responds to critics of PS3 firmware install fee


Oct 07
// Conrad Zimmerman
There's been a fair bit of raging on the internet about Best Buy charging customers to perform a firmware update on PlayStation 3 systems. IndustryGamers reached out to the company for a response, to which Best Buy repli...
 photo

Japanese cell provider hints at 3G handheld connection


Jul 08
// Ben Perlee
In discussion with The Wall Street Journal, Japanese cell phone provider, NTT DoCoMo, is in discussion with unnamed game console developers to embed 3G service in handheld consoles. Considering devices such as Amazon's Kindle...
 photo

WoW having some issues, characters gone missing


Jul 12
// Matthew Razak
In the past 24 hours it seems that World of Warcraft has been having a few hiccups. Hiccups as in players can't log in to play and now that some of them can their characters aren't there anymore. The WoW forums are full of co...
 photo

EA rocks customer service, gives customer a free game


Dec 02
// Dale North
Destructiod community blogger Tino decided to follow up on his request for a replacement Rock Band guitar as his broke after 3 hours of use. He wondered where his replacement guitar was after a week out, as it was supposedly ...
 photo

Nintendo: exception to the rule? Replaces beer-drenched DS


Nov 19
// Dale North
I know it may seem a bit fanboyish to spread the word about positive Nintendo customer service experiences, and I realize that there are both positive and negative experiences from all console makers out there, but when I con...
 photo

Xbox 360 price cut ... if you live in BFE


Jul 07
// William Haley
It seems the Playstation 3 is not the only console getting an unofficial price cut forcefully thrust upon it like mutated genitalia in a Wes Craven remake; as seen in this week's Shop Rite special offers, the Xbox 360 Premiu...
 photo

AWOMO: Branson's new baby


Feb 27
// Analog Pidgin
If Gametap is the whore of video game content delivery, then Richard Branson's unfortunately named AWOMO (A World of My Own) is the new kid on the block. This poor, dumpy kid will inevitably get beat up, even though it...
 photo

GameStop's Aeris strikes again, calls me to take a survey


Feb 23
// Nick Chester
Not even one week ago, GameStop decided it would be a good idea to call all of their customers who had reserved Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and ask for it back. While that pissed off a fair number of people, I had rece...
 photo

Nintendo: exception to the rule?


Feb 15
// Dale North
As sad as it is, these days poor customer service is almost expected from the makers of our beloved game consoles, although I think that last generation's horror stories were much worse than this time around. Regardless, ...

  Around the web (login to improve these)




Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -