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Instant Game Collection

Just rolls of the tongue, doesn’t it? I mean, who wouldn’t want one, right?

Well, since June 2012, PlayStation Plus subscribers have had just that. And here at VoxelArcade, we think it’s pretty bloody amazing.

You see, in a world where alternative business models are touted and flouted – most often by rubbing-up gamers the wrong way – Sony have quietly and confidently gone their own way, offering gamers a near ‘free’ and ever-growing library of games. And not just any old tat, mind you – games that would make any self-respecting gamer proud. When you consider that the only other viable options to sidestepping the gamers’ rat-race are fussy postal rentals or fuzzy streaming services, it’s a bloody revelation.

If you’re not one of the initiated, allow me to explain: for a little over ten-pence-a-day, PS+ subscribers are granted with a whole range of additional benefits including the automatic downloading of game and firmware updates, online save-game storage, access to a range of 60-minute full-game trials, early access to beta-trials and game demos and a range of generous discounts on all manner of downloadable content.

Were that not enough in itself, you also get access to the ‘Instant Game Collection’: a set of twelve, rolling titles that are ‘free’ to download and keep for as long as you’re a PS+ suscriber – even if the title is no longer in the current list of twelve. In other words: the longer you remain a PS+ member, the larger your IGC becomes.

Now, there are certain drawbacks to this. Space, for example. On even a modern, 500GB PS3, space soon becomes a premium as you download more and more titles – but with the odd bit of pruning, you can maintain a healthy and abundant supply of locally installed AAA titles. Failing that, you can capitalise on Sony’s forward-thinking, non-proprietary HDD philosophy and upgrade to an even larger one. If you’re after a bleeding-edge catalogue though, you’ll be a little disappointed – but even then, some of the headline titles are less than twelve months old when they appear on IGC. Assassin’s Creed 3, for example – this month’s lead title – only hit stores last October.

Given the relative lack of Vita titles, IGC literally offers you the best the platform has to offer.

Given the relative lack of Vita titles available, IGC literally offers you the very best the platform has to offer. Cool.

If you’re the kind of gamer that doesn’t rush out the moment a game is launched – or you tend to steer away from certain genres, for one reason or another – then this is an absolute no brainer for you. Just get it.  Not only will you be blessed with a quality range of constantly updated titles, you’ll be encouraged to sample things that you may have otherwise overlooked – all the time feeling as though the experience is like one, big Christmas present. It’s also a great way to give traded-in games a second chance. You’ll probably still have the save-game on your machine and can pick-up where you left off – realising just how good the game actually was in the process. Indeed, with no high-pressure release window expectations, I’ve found myself getting more pleasure out of games this way as opposed to feeling ‘forced’ to like a title, just because some journalist game it a meaningless ‘9’ or ’10’ the week before it launched.

In fact, the whole experience is the closest I’ve come to my Atari ST days, when (to my shame), piracy was rampant and swapping floppy-disks in the playground was a daily occurrence. Some of my greatest gaming experiences of that time came out of nowhere, with a sense of fun and surprise being the absolute norm.

Once again, thanks to Sony, I feel like a kid.

And so, dear Voxelites, when you’re weighing-up your next-gen options, along with all the other considerations, make sure that you consider just how much you get for that monthly subscription fee, eh?

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Husband. Parent. Gamer. Go figure.

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One Comment

  1. It is great, especially when ‘that’ game you nearly bought turns up one day.

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