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DriveClub U-turn soothes PS Plus outrage

Jonathan Lester
Evolution Studios, Playstation Plus, PS4, PS4 games, Racing Games, Sony

As far as DriveClub is concerned, every silver lining has had a cloud over this last fortnight. The release date was confirmed... eleven months after its original launch window at a ridiculous time of year. The PS Plus free edition is definitely happening... but you can't get your Platinum trophy in what's effectively an admittedly generous demo. And the discounted PlayStation Plus upgrade offer was neat way of saving a few quid on the digital version... yet Sony confirmed that access to your $50 purchase would immediately cease if your subscription lapsed.

"Straws" and "camels" spring to mind. It was no surprise that this last surprise caused a massive fan outcry on Twitter and the PlayStation Blog, but thankfully Sony has seen fit to pull a screeching U-turn on that front.

So, perhaps slightly late to the party, let's recap.

Evolution Studios confirms that the full version of DriveClub will feature 55 tracks set throughout five countries, 50 cars and 50 tour events. All pleasingly big numbers, though the 50 car figure does bring the widespread criticism of Forza 5's 200-strong roster into a little perspective. Personally, so long as each vehicle feels unique and exciting to drive, I'm not one to get hung up on the figures. Sony has also explained how the Fame and Club systems work in a pair of new videos.

Meanwhile the free PS Plus version features 11 tracks and 10 cars, and can be upgraded to the full version for £42.99 - which is likely to be more expensive than competitive pre-order deals, mind.

Sony originally planned to rescind access to the full version for customers who let their PS Plus subscriptions lapse despite the hefty price tag, and were quickly cut down to size by justified and sizeable backlash. In a new update today, Sony has decided to relax this restriction, which is as it should be. Good. Don't try that again.

Controversy remains over the disparity between DriveClub's free PS Plus edition and promises made last July, which Brendan describes as a potential "slap in the face" for subscribers. It's a fiercely debated issue, especially since Sony said the following last year:

"Yes, the PS Plus version will be the exact same as the full version, except that it may be missing a few assets such as cars or tracks, that will be found in the full version. However the online multiplayer, the asynchronous challenges and the single player campaign will all be present in the PS Plus version. The PS Plus version gives us to the biggest open community, day one. This game is all about socialising."

Sony's definition of "few" seems to be very different to ours -- and apparently there'll also be DLC and a season pass, which will require further scrutiny -- but regardless, let us know what you make of it.

Add a comment4 comments
Harryisme  May. 9, 2014 at 16:42

yet Sony confirmed that access to your $50 purchase would immediately cease if your subscription lapsed.

And that is why I'm still outraged, for a measly $10 saving and they thought they could force you to pay the $60 annual subsciption to keep your content...that's complete and utter ****. Even if they've done a U-turn on the matter it goes to show exactly what I've been telling the rabid Sony Fanboys (and Xboy Fanboys) who like to think Sony are angelic beings who are all about the gamers and MS is the devil who wants all your money, and vice versa.

They are both just as bad. If Sony didn't have Microsoft breathing down their neck, they'd screw every single one of us over with a price hike, Microtransactions in every game, an expensive console, A DRM system similar to MS's failed attemptand a forced PS+ subscription if you want to play online, oh and no free monthly games. On the Flip side Microsoft would be exactly the same. Last gen Sony told you to get a second job to buy the PS3, this Gen MS told you needed to connect to the net every day to have access to you content, and forced a Kinect onto us.

This is why competition is so vital, the consumer has a stronger voice when the supplier knows we ave a viable alternative if our rights are ignored...Let's face it boycotting the game won't work, the annual Billion selling CoD has proved just because you moan and threaten to boycott if they don't innovate there are still enough people who will still buy it year in year out.

The Fanboys need to remember the reason they have so many positive things to say about their chosen console is largely because the console makers don't want you to go to their competitor.

Breadster  May. 9, 2014 at 17:04

£43 to upgrade? What a joke, I guess I'll just play the free version and if it's really good, I may buy the full version from a shop when it's cheaper. Knowing Sony, the digital version won't get any cheaper for quite some time.

£43 is essentially full price in my eyes, so why should I be expected to pay that much when I already have a decent portion of the game?

Lemming  May. 9, 2014 at 17:07

I think Sony have become a victim of their own success with PS+

When it first launched it didn't exactly blow the mind. It's only after a while and a huge back catalog that it's become so valuable. For me they were doomed to backlash on the PS4 as they could never offer the same service from the start. For what it's worth I've enjoyed the PS+ games so far and like the Indie spin on things but a lot of customers seemed to expect AAAA straight from the start.

Driveclub is a real wrong footed move, if they wanted to launch it like this they should have done a free to play version and microtransaction upgrades not stuck it on PS+

It's funny that there hasn't been a huge backlash over the lack of "games with gold" on Xbox One. I guess by keeping expectations low MS managed to dodge that bullet.

Sony overpromised and I can see them having to throw out Knack of Killzone in the next few months to try and keep their subscribers happy but it might be a case of too little too late for some people. It's a pity as PS+ is by fast the best subscription service and I think once the game streaming comes along it could be a real game changer on PS4

Breadster  May. 10, 2014 at 16:03

I'm perfectly happy with PS+. I don't know how people can expect full retail games on there when the console has only just come out. I'm quite happy with all the indie games I've been getting and although I would like some bigger games, I don't expect it yet.

The only problem I have is with this driveclub deal. £43 when you already have a 5th of the tracks and cars is just pointless. I mean I appreciate that what you do get is decent, but if you like it you're going to want the whole thing, and then there's not much of a "deal" with the PS+ offer.

I suppose the problem isn't really the PS+ offer, it's the prices of the games on PSN.

Last edited by Breadster, May. 10, 2014 at 16:06

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