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Fox News 04 August, 2021 - 04:58am 21 views

Sony's PS Plus Subscriber Count Just Dropped for the First Time

Daily Mail 04 August, 2021 - 08:20am

Update: Speaking during a webcast, chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki blamed the quarter's decline in PS Plus subscribers and overall monthly active users on the previous year's coronavirus lockdowns and how they increased game time activity (thanks VGC). "Of course, 104m is not a strong number, but are we looking at it as a declining trend? We don’t think so. "

"We are trying to analyse different elements, but there are no conspicuous trends that we can capture. Maybe this month or next month we will have to continue to watch and do an analysis."

"At the risk of repetition, may I say that last year the stay-at-home demand was so significant in hindsight, so compared to that period last year as a trend of course [it’s declined]. [But] compared to fiscal 2019 there is an increase."

Original story: Here's a bit of a weird one: the number of PlayStation Plus subscribers recorded by Sony has actually dropped for the first significant time. Detailed in the company's Q1 report for the 2021 fiscal year, there are now 46.3 million members. That's a loss of 1.3 million subscribers compared to the previous quarter. Across fiscal year 2020, Q1 recorded 45 million memberships, which then increased to 45.9 million in Q2. It then trended upwards once more with 47.4 million in Q3, and finally 47.6 million subscribers in Q4. The first count of fiscal year 2021 now brings it back down to 46.3 million members.

What could the reason for this be? Potentially the PS5, of course. Sony has never sold a PlayStation console quicker, and some of those buyers may have been newcomers that picked up a temporary PS Plus subscription with the system to check out the likes of the PS Plus Collection. Then they let it expire, maybe? We're just spitballing here, but the fact remains that the service has now experienced a drop off of 1.3 million. The offering of free PS Plus titles has been incredibly strong as of late — this month's is a dud, obviously — so there have been more than enough reasons to sign up. It will be interesting to see if Sony regains those members back when the next quarterly report is published.

Have you unsubscribed from PS Plus lately? If so, why? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

[source sony.com]

About Liam Croft

Liam grew up with a PlayStation controller in his hands and a love affair for Metal Gear Solid. Nowadays, he can be found playing the latest and greatest PS5 games as well as supporting Derby County. That last detail is his downfall.

Comments (80)

RE: PS PLUS - "this month's is a dud, obviously"

Why do you make such a sweeping statement? PvZ is a very fun game and the tennis, from what I have played, seems decent.

We can't always have months with the likes of Days Gone etc...

Anyways, with ps5 still being hard to get and some crappy free games in the last few months I wouldn't be suprised if the numbers will continue to decline

@Chimhog I guess they can make that statement based on a poll they did a few days ago? Vast majority of people hated this month

@Chimhog Try and tell that to the majority of people who voted they hate it in our poll. 😂

Or it’s possible that Game Pass is actually impacting PS+ subscriptions.

Many parts of the world are coming out of the lockdown now and people are getting out more, perhaps not renewing their subs now that they can level up in the real world. Tbh there are many potential reasons and I wouldn't read too much into it unless it continues to decline.

@LiamCroft wait, people posted online saying they hate something? Weird. Usually the gaming community is so positive.

I don't care about PS Plus Games, I only buy PS Plus because Sony forces me to buy it for multiplayer and I am pretty sure I am not the only one either. Lately I stopped playing multiplayer games so there is no reason to buy PS Plus.

@ThePizzaMule I just think the statement could have been made in a much more professional manner.

@LiamCroft Whilst that may be true that people are unhappy with this month, I still think it could have been written differently for a piece of journalism.

After all, taking PvZ as an example, you gave the game an 8/10 - that's not a dud game (just reinforces my view that the community is way to entitled these days).

But hey ho, I'm just an oldie that remembers what games in the 80's used to be like. Any 'free' titles I'm grateful for...

I only had ps plus for the save backup and occasional good game. I haven't been interested in any ps plus game for ages, so I'm one in 1.3 million

@naruball ..sarcasm gets you nowhere 🤣🤣🤣 made me smile though

@mwatcher then why MS didn't share it for 6 months in a row? maybe they loss more subs than PS Plus? after all, people prefer to pay $60 (majority pay ~$45) than $180 (without $1 offer for newcomers), even when with counting of which one is good or less!

@Chimhog well, yes, I do agree on that. They could have used different wording

Sony needs to give better games for their psplus games of the month collections, psplus from ps3 era is way better than this.

@Chimhog While I do agree that the wording wasn't the best, the whole "freebie" part is a fallacy considering PS+ is a paid service.

I suspect this will worry Sony. Which is a good thing and I expect to see some nice Plus perks in coming months.

There could be loads of reasons why subs have fallen. People coming out of lockdown is a major one.

More long term the fact that people are playing a lot of their online games in the free to play space and many may be feeling they don't need a sub.

I also wonder if the stellar months mean people are subbing for the short term and a particular title then dropping it again? I feel like gamers are becoming more savvy and are using subs and other means more and more to get the most for their money.

Maybe there has been some move to other ways of playing too like PC or dare I say it gamepass.

@Chimhog "But hey ho, I'm just an oldie that remembers what games in the 80's used to be like. Any 'free' titles I'm grateful for..."

Perspectives change I guess. People want outstanding bonus games with their sub each month. I'm just happy I don't have to wait 10 minutes for Return of the Jedi on C64 to load anymore.

I think my PS+ sub is sorted until the end of 2025 or so. I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.

@Pat_trick I see it as free because I always paid for Xbox Gold in the 360 era. There was never any expectation for games to be included and it was paying for an online service.

But even if people think differently to me, £50 a year (with most titles included this year being very 'popular') is nothing to be honest. I am from the era of buying every game outright or renting from Blockbuster if you weren't sure or were strapped for cash.

@RolyTheBeerGeek same. With my backlog and my multiplayer weekend therapy.. I am not going anywhere.

@LiamCroft There wasn't an option for hate. There was an option for "crap selection". I voted for that. I don't hate the games this month but they are not for me. Hate is too strong a term for a few games you don't want to play.

I think it probably just peaked. Was never going to keep going up forever and ever. They’ll probably fluctuate around this number from now on.

@Shepherd_Tallon Totally mate. It was basically Birthday or Christmas for a new game and you just rinsed the hell out of it in between.

You are right, MS and Sony have unwittingly created a generation of entitlement and it is so sad to see. These youngsters don't know how lucky they have it! hahaha.

p.s RoJ I had on the ST - quality memories!

Certainly with TV and movie subs there's more people that are just signing up for them for a short amount of time and then dropping them when they've watched what they want.

I don't know if that translates completely over to PS+ though as if you aren't subscriber then you miss the included games each month, but perhaps for people that use it for the online element then they might play a game for a while and then not bother re-subbing if they aren't playing it.

I've got a few years of plus built up and I'd imagine that there's a few people like me out there that have. I doubt that makes up the majority of subscribers though but be an interesting poll.

I'm almost 38, and for a few years now I've been getting back to just playing a few games a year, playing them to bits, and honestly it's the most fun I've had playing games since the 2000s.

@Shepherd_Tallon Sounds exactly like me mate. haha. I guess it is the fact that when you start working you can go out and get all these nice things (whilst you have no responsibility etc).

These days I do try to be a bit more selective with what I purchase - kids, mortgage et all means my gaming time has to be on point.

yeah, mine lapsed, they turned back on auto renew when I registered my ps5, tried to blame me, refunded immediately, this month's PS plus is atrocious, glad it lapsed

they cancelled Vita? they also started farting around with the PS3 store though I doubt many if any people used ps for PS3

To be expected with the scrap they hand out about 60% of the time,ps plus numbers would be much less if it wasn't required for online play

Ps plus has been crap lately.so sony needs to have a better psplus lineup.word up son

Negative sentiment is always going to affect things like this via social media. Im not saying there won't be people who won't like these games. But how did Sony not anticipate the effect of sentiment towards their latest PS Plus offering. Honestly I largely pay for ps plus to play online. But clearly a lot people expect games as well.

"I think this months games were terrible and I don't really understand why people are defending it."

Because that's your opinion and not everyone shares it. Shocking, I know.

"I guess a lot of people like to be a contrarian."

"I don't understand why people think a consumer complaining about a service they're paying for is "entitled"."

Because it depends how much you pay for something. If you pay $60 per month, you have a reason to expect some great and recent games. If you pay $60, or less (with the several deals available all the time) per year, that's less $5 per month or less. If you think you deserve the best for $5 every single month, then yes you're entitled, in my opinion.

"I think if Sony aren't going to provide better games, a way of competing with game pass would be to offer better exclusive discounts to PS Plus subscribers."

Who says they need to compete with game pass? Does Steam need to compete with Epic Store?

@Uromastryx even during the ps3 era when ps+ peaked, the number of ps+ subscribers was tiny compared to now. Most buy it for online multiplayer. The vocal minority that posts online makes it sound like ps+ games matter a lot to the average gamer, which couldn't be further from the case.

I think the drop is because there was a load of bad Playstation news around that time. Stuff like the PS3/PS Vita store shutdown announcement, MLB The Show 21 pricing ($70 vs. day 1 Game Pass), Japan Studio's closure, no big Sony event in June, etc.

@Chimhog Ah fair point. When you get that spare money and you have little to no responsibility at that point in your life, what else are you going to do other than spend it on games every month? That's more or less exactly what I did.

It’s almost like there was a pandemic and people who would have not otherwise signed up for plus did and you know they didn’t renew because there popular or attractive or something.

It's probably the games. What major multiplayer game do we have that people haven't either played to death, I.e. R6 Siege or Destiny 2 or are fed up with like Warzone.

We have the same games we've had for years and years and while we get a few new ones but they rarely catch on. Splitgate is the most exciting thing going ATM but it's f2p. Maybe things will bounce back with BF 2042.

@Grumblevolcano To be fair, I'd be shocked if even one million of the 40 million subscribers knew anything about all of that, let alone cared.

It's a clear signal most PlayStation gamers don't care much for multiplayer games. I would skip the month if possible to freeze my sub.

Sewn a lot of people threaten to leave plus after a bad month of games... maybe everyone finally held true to their promise!

@naruball "Because it depends how much you pay for something."

No it doesn't! I guess people can't ever complain about Netflix since that's only 8.99 or anything else that seems low to you, I say you as $5 for gamers in poorer countries is not nothing.

"Who says they need to compete with game pass? Does Steam need to compete with Epic Store?"

Not at the moment but Epic needs to compete with Steam and they are constantly making deals with anyone they can get to try and chip into Steam's numbers.

I don't understand people that ride or die for a multi-billion/trillion dollar corporation and will play defense or offence against the little guy which in this case is the customer.

@Shepherd_Tallon In response to your first comment: it is exhausting to be quite honest. Gampass is a amazing value for money service but for me it's: 'Instant overwhelming backlog'.

I do like to play all the best games as and when they come out and it's an expensive hobby (even more expensive with next gen), but time is a just as important factor and I haven't got time to have several games on the go. None of them will get finished.

It's a new generation and it seems a large number of players have moved over to Xbox or if they are lucky to have both then chose Game Pass (the massively better value option) over plus.

@mwatcher Hahahaha no.

To those saying because of gamepass 🤡

PlayStation plus isn't in competition with gamepass, that's playstation now.......

PlayStation plus is just for the free monthly games and cloud saves

@Juanalf Yes it does! There you go. Argument.

"Not at the moment but Epic needs to compete with Steam and they are constantly making deals with anyone they can get to try and chip into Steam's numbers."

You're missing my point. Just because another service offers insane value, it doesn't mean all other companies should try to compete and offer something similar, because a) they may not have equally deep pockets and/or b) they may not need to. Steam is way ahead of competition and so is Sony. If they offer more/better games, they may lose significant profits from the rest of purchases that gamers would be willing to make. There is only so much time that one has to play video games.

"I don't understand people that ride or die for a multi-billion/trillion dollar corporation and will play defense or offence against the little guy which in this case is the customer."

@get2sammyb the most likely reason is b/c we're coming off a "stay at home" sugar high...

So compared to the same quarter last year (when non-gamers were asked to stay at home & entertain themselves locked in)...this quarter had a down tick

PlayStation Plus comes in waves, when something big like a third party multiplayer game or a Sony exclusive comes out. There is a bump in number from engament.

To those saying Gamepass may be the reason. No. Perhaps a small amount, as in those hardcore gamers with both consoles may only want one subscription and go for Gamepass over PS Plus or PS Now…but they are relatively minor numbers.

It’s likely for exactly the reason they said - people aren’t locked at home anymore, so are less likely to want to renew.

There are going to be a lot of stories this year about companies having 'incredible growth' or 'surprising declines'.

I'm not going to read too much into any of them, because we've been through a very abnormal time period, and comparisons to the immediate past aren't worth a lot.

Loads of casuals would have got subs during lockdowns. Those that think it's because of Game Pass or "bad" plus lineup are just looking for a story.

@AdamNovice well said.

Single player gamer really and if I want a game I'll buy it. No reason to subscribe.

@LiamCroft I have to see one where everyone is positive.

@Juanalf You cant pay €5 a month but you can pay for a console? Im sorry am i missing something here? If you buy it at a discount you can get €40/45 i never understood why someone would buy it every month thats just stupid. And Netflix is €14 nowadays or you would ha e to go for a SD account.

@wiiware I dont understand do i get different games i got quite a few good one the last few months.

So yeah. I will rather pay for quality. 180$ per year got me Outriders, MLB The Show 21, Ascent, Psychonauts 2, Flight Sim, Medium, Halo Infinite, Age of Empires IV and Forza Horizon 5 on day 1.

Meanwhile I can pay PS Now for privilege to play Marvel's Avengers half a year after release and when Sony decides to put their old exclusives for three months there...

@LiamCroft I voted I was somewhat looking forward to it and it worked out like I thought. PvZ is a good game and I’m quite enjoying Hunters Arena. So much of the crying I’ve seen directed towards HA is way off the mark.

By contrast, if you don’t need to play games when new and don’t keep up with the latest releases, then spending half as much on PS Now, for twice the number of downloadable games, becomes the better value (I’m completely ignoring streaming PS3 games in that equation, because it requires a good internet connection which some may not have).

Still a subscriber, have been since almost the first moment I bought a PS4 back in early 2017.

Interesting figures, time will tell if this downward trend continues.

No need to panic just yet!

@Godot25 But why do people keep complaining then you pay next to nothing less then a game. I get quite a few nice titles the games i want are the games i just buy anyway.

I can still go to store and buy a Blu-ray movies. Or rather i can choose streaming service that is providing me with best bang for my buck. Same applies for gaming.

I didn't want to sub to both PS Plus and Game pass, so I went with GP (muilt player & a large choice of content)

This just seems to be all the more reason Sony should just combine PS Plus and PS Now.

Yeah mine ran out in July and I jumped ship to Xbox and Game Pass this generation. My PS4 is in storage. Couldn't bear the long file updates and the fan and the controller.

Is there anyone surprised by that? Surely, nobody thought the highs of 2020 in this industry were permanent.... And hopefully none of them budgeted and planned their produced pricing and rollouts based on that assumption.

I stopped paying for mine and use game pass.

Gimme some PSVR 2 news. Thought you guys would have had an article on it by now?

It's time for PS+ and PSNow to be merged into one service.

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Jennifer Aniston on vaccines: 'A lot of opinions don't feel based in anything except fear'

CNN 03 August, 2021 - 07:56pm

In a new interview with In Style, the actress admitted she's been strict about keeping vaccinated company in her circle, noting in the process that there's a "large group of people" who "just don't listen to the facts."

"It's a real shame. I've just lost a few people in my weekly routine who have refused or did not disclose [whether or not they had been vaccinated], and it was unfortunate," she said. "I feel it's your moral and professional obligation to inform, since we're not all podded up and being tested every single day."

Aniston did not clarify whether she was referring to friends, acquaintances or those who work with or for her.

"It's tricky because everyone is entitled to their own opinion — but a lot of opinions don't feel based in anything except fear or propaganda," Aniston added. (Click here for vaccine facts.)

Aniston, who currently stars in Apple TV+'s "The Morning Show," added that she watches a lot of news -- and CNN (thanks, Jen!) -- but admits to feeling some "news fatigue" during the pandemic "because we were hoping one day we would wake up and hear something hopeful, and all we got was more insanity."

The last year wasn't all insanity for Aniston.

The long-awaited "Friends" reunion on HBO Max was well received by fans and resulted in four Emmy nominations, including for outstanding variety special. Next up, the star will be seen in the second season of "The Morning Show," which returns September 17.

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