PS Plus PlayStation Plus 1
Image: Damien McFerran / Push Square

Update #3: News of PS Plus upgrades in Asia potentially eroding any historical discounts resonated around the world, and has forced Sony to release a statement, in which it claims this was a technical error that has now been resolved:

We'd argue the only error here is that the company got caught, but at least its response has been swift.

Update #2: After effectively admitting that it intended to wipe out historical discounts for those looking to upgrade their PS Plus memberships, it’s beginning to look like Sony has backtracked. The company, perhaps sensing a colossal backlash, has made some adjustments to its upgrade calculation tool, ignoring any previous deals that may have been taken advantage of.

A couple of images from one user in Thailand show the change:

Let’s hope that the company has seen sense and this is the last we hear of this, because this entire sorry story was sickening to say the least. Those of you with stacked subscriptions will still have to pay your full-term upfront if you want to upgrade.

Update #1: A Sony support email from a Hong Kong employee, spotted by ResetEra, appears to confirm that the platform holder will erode discounts on previously purchased subscriptions when users look to upgrade their PS Plus memberships. While some had argued that this may be a mistake and that the organisation would never stoop this low, the translated correspondence suggests differently.

The message, as Google Translated, explains: “If you need to upgrade to the second or third tier of the membership, you need to make up for the difference in the previous discounted price first to return to the normal price. For example: a one-year PS Plus membership was HK$308 and the discounted price was HK$187.60, so the difference is HK$120.40 divided by the number of remaining months.”

So, those with stacked subscriptions will not only have to pay the full term of their membership upfront to upgrade, but will also have any discounts previously earned eradicated. Flabbergasting! We contacted Sony yesterday to try and get clarification of whether this policy will apply in the West but have yet to receive comment.

We sincerely hope the company is scrambling to rectify this before next month’s rollout.

Original Story: Sony has roughly two weeks to avoid a sh*tstorm of epic proportions in the west, assuming news coming out of Asia will be consistent here. The new PS Plus launched in countries like Hong Kong and Taiwan overnight, but local gamers are absolutely irate at the way the platform holder is handling upgrades. Effectively, it’s wiping out any discounts that memberships may have been purchased with, and is also demanding an upfront fee to upgrade stacked subscriptions.

All of this is resulting in some users being quoted $100s in order to upgrade from the bog-standard PS Plus Essential to PS Plus Extra or PS Plus Deluxe (the alternative version of PS Plus Premium available in countries without cloud streaming functionality). It’s worth noting that instances like this will be limited as the frankly frightening figures only apply to people who’ve stacked subscriptions several years into the future, but the backlash will be enormous if this also occurs in the United States and Europe. Those who stack subscriptions are, after all, likely to be the most dedicated, loyal, and vocal customers.

To further expand upon what Asian players are angry about, those who have active PS Plus Essential memberships into, say, 2026 are being quoted the price of four full years in order to upgrade to PS Plus Extra or PS Plus Deluxe. There’s no way to upgrade for, say, one year and then return to PS Plus Essential once that term expires. Sony will charge you the difference to upgrade, but some of the upfront fees being shared are enormous.

To make matters worse, unfathomably, the Japanese giant is wiping out historical discounts on subscriptions purchased through the PS Store. So, if, for example, you bought your membership while it was on sale and then choose to upgrade, it’ll bump up the price difference to erode the savings you originally earned. This basically means that it’s retroactively eliminating any deals it may have offered on subscriptions in the past – unthinkable, really.

There’s enough evidence online to confirm this is all happening, right now, in Asia – but, of course, it’s possible things may be handled differently in the west. We’ll contact Sony and try and get confirmation of how it’s tackling this issue in North America and Europe, and will update when or if we hear back. If this is the route the company has planned to take, though, it’s perhaps a good thing it’s adopted a staggered launch, because it has a few weeks to course correct before it has a colossal uproar on its hands.