Penny Pinching with Consoles 101:

Lesson 1: Console online memberships

I wanted to start off this series with an intro to the most basic way to save money on console games, free games and discounts through memberships.  Both the Playstation 4 and Xbox One offer yearly memberships (in both monthly and yearly flavors) that will allow you to play your games online.

Now if you’re new to consoles, you’re probably wondering why you would need to pay extra money just to play your games online.  Well… besides the addition of new features, most of your money here goes towards to the hardware and services that allow your online games to work… online.  Both Microsoft and Sony have realized that the idea of paying for memberships supporting hardware and services you can’t see isn’t very appealing. So they both decided to add some extra value.  Here’s how things work.

Xbox One/360 – Games with Gold

  • Microsoft’s online membership is Xbox Live Gold, they have a variant called Xbox Live Silver, but it doesn’t really get you anything
  •  If you subscribe to Xbox Live Gold (59.99/year or 9.99/month) you’ll get 4 free games per month.
    • The free games are distributed as:
      • 2 Xbox One games
      • 2 Xbox 360 games
    • As the Xbox One supports certain Xbox 360 games through backwards compatibility, Xbox One owners can play all 4 free games each month

 

Playstation 3/4/Vita – Playstation Plus

  • Sony’s online membership is Playstation Plus.  It’s a bit different in that you only need it to play games online on Playstation 4.  Playstation 3 and Vita owners can play games online without Playstation Plus
  • If you subscribe to Playstation Plus (49.99/year or 9.99/month) you’ll get 6 free games per month
    • The free games are distributed as:
      • 2 Playstation 4 games
      • 2 Playstation 3 games
      • 2 Playstation Vita games
    • As the three current Playstation consoles don’t share games.  Your 2 Playstation games are locked to the console that they are listed for.
      • That being said, there’s a small loophole to the above statement. Sony has a “cross-buy” feature that they allow developers to use. This feature works as follows:
        • If Developer X makes a game Y for both Playstation 4 and Playstation 3, the title would normally be listed as two separate games.
        • With “cross-buy”, Developer X can give you both versions of game Y for the price of buying just one version
      • So… If a Playstation 3 game supports cross-buy with the Playstation 4 version, your Playstation Plus copy of that game will give you the Playstation 4 version as well.

 

In addition to all of the free game benefits mentioned above, both Xbox Live Gold and Playstation Plus offer exclusive discounts for subscribers. These discounts vary by day/week/month but it’s a great way to buy new games at a discount when you’re tired of playing what you got for free.

So… That’s a lot of information!  Which is why this is lesson one of many, but I hope you enjoyed the read and possibly learned something! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below!

  • Burdmayn out *flapping noises*

 

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