Since the system launched in early 2012, the PlayStation Vita has been slowly integrating some of the core features of its larger cousin, the PlayStation 3. We have seen the rollout of Facebook, Twitter, Netflix and Skype applications, and the ability to have cross-platform gameplay is expected to be a big part of its future. One feature that has yet to be integrated is PlayStation Plus, which is Sony’s subscription-based premium service. Those who pay a fee get free games and other perks, while the ability to play online remains free. This is a contrast to the mandatory subscription fee for Xbox Live, which is required for online gaming. Thankfully, Sony has just announced that Vita owners will be able to take advantage of this service beginning in November.
In their showing at a lead-up event to the Tokyo Game Show, Sony announced that many of the features of Playstation Plus will become available to Vita owners. This includes discounts on titles in the Playstation Store, free games that are available via exclusive promotions and a host of free downloadable games. Additionally, all members receive 1 GB of online cloud storage, adding an extra layer of protection to your data, as well as the ability to receive automatic updates. For those who like to show off the spoils of their gaming to others, automatic trophy synchronization will be an added bonus as well. November has been the approximate period in which this service will launch on the Vita, although an exact date has yet to be announced.
Playstation Plus is available for a yearly fee of $49.99, or $17.99 if you want to try it out for three months. The value you get from it is really dependant on how much the perks appeal to you. In September, subscribers had the opportunity to download popular titles like Borderlands, inFamous 2 and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World for free. New games are added to this promotion every month, and you can download them free of charge. It is not known if the Vita promotions will be comparable, and the main caveat is that downloaded games will only be playable as long as your Playstation Plus subscription is active.
As an interesting aside, Sony also announced two new colours for the Vita; Cosmic Red and Sapphire Blue. Currently, this is only confirmed for Japan, though we will hopefully see something similar introduced in North America at some point in the future.