The Playstation Network boasts the most number of concurrent players at any given day. With an estimated 70 million users to date, and adding more by the day, one might wonder how to maximize the full Playstation experience. What about Playstation Plus?
Enter Playstation Plus
Initially, the Playstation Plus Service was meant to allow Playstation device owners to play with other device owners in the web, but since it was a hard sell for people to pay for gaming connectivity, they added a few perks on top of the monthly or yearly subscription to online play.
Free Games Every Month
Not a lot of people know that upon subscription to Playstation Plus (not the trial ones) that they will get free games out of it. Our advice is that even though you might not own a PS Vita, a PS3 or a Playstation 4 for that matter, if you intend to maintain your PSPlus subscription for a longtime, just grab everything the monthly free games has to offer. You will thank us later.
Take for example for this month’s (October 2017) offerings. It includes one of 2015’s Game of the Year winners and instant classic Metal Gear Solid V. On it’s own, the value of the game already pays up for the Playstation Plus subscription you paid.
Discounts and Perks
Aside from the biggest feature which is free games every month, Playstation Plus also offers a variety of perks like exclusive pre-release game demos and betas. These betas, most of them being shooters, really need a Playstation Plus subscription to work anyway. Aside from these, you can also get occasional free content like themes for your PS4, Vita, PS3, and even your PSP.
R1 vs R-All
There are four major Regions for the Playstation Network, based on the old-school region-locking of video games way back in the 90’s. (For retro-gramers out there, you might remember that games don’t work if these were loaded up in regions they weren’t designed to be loaded up)
For instance, the old NTSC-UC region from Playstation 1 and 2 is now called R1. But since the PSP, games nowadays are no longer region-locked. What it means is that when you buy games from different regions, you no longer need to worry about your console’s compatibility with these games.
Sometimes, you come across physical copies with the R-All region behind it. Sure, the game will work for all regions of console on the PS4, but if it includes pre-order bonuses or DLCs, then most, if not all of the time, the DLC code will only be compatible for the US region (aka R1).
Breaking Down the PSN Regions
In summary, these are the four (technically 5) primary regions for Playstation Network Games:
- R1 (SCEA) – For US, or Continental Americas regions (ie North, Central and South Americas)
- R2 (SCEE) – For Continental European countries, African Territories, Middle Eastern Territories
- R2… Again (SCEJ) – For Japan only (because Japan is a special gaming market)
- R3 (SCE-Asia) – Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau
- R4 (SCEK) – South Korea
Listing down all the regions above, in theory, should have all the games, but in reality, the same games have different “IDs” from these different regions. Some games may have special localization optimizations, and some may just be unavailable in certain regions (Salt and Sanctuary is still not available in R3).
What About PSPlus and Regions?
Since PS Plus has free games every month, do check out every month what the offerings. Here are links of Playstation’s blogs and news for which games are available for free to play.
For general audiences, SCEA or R1 offers the best lineup of PS Plus free-to-play games. Yearly subscriptions for R1 PSPlus is $60 USD (Php 3000.00) per month. Yours truly is subscribed to SCEA and SCE-Asia, and they both offer good lineups, but SCEA’s free games lineup is simply superior over the other regions (unless your preference is more Japanese games).