Anyone getting a PlayStation 4 needs to know one crucial thing

You finally got a PlayStation 4. You’re ready to dive into all the action.

But where should you start?

OK, yes, definitely play “Horizon Zero Dawn.” But also, at some point on that first day, there’s one other crucial thing you should do: Pay for an annual subscription to PlayStation Plus.

What’s PlayStation Plus?

PlayStation Plus, a paid loyalty program, is a crucial addition to your PlayStation 4. Why?

  • It enables you to play games online with other people!
  • It gives you monthly discounts on games and movies!
  • But, most important, it gives you free games every month. Free! For the duration of your subscription!

What types of games? Really great games! Like “Rocket League”:

And “Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes”:

And “Spelunky”:

For an annual fee ($US60 a year, or $US10 a month if you prefer a shorter commitment), you get what Sony calls an “Instant Game Collection.”

This month, that means two pretty-great games on the PlayStation 4:

If you want an idea for how many games this means over time, check out the running list on Wikipedia — it’s an impressive library.

And that game library grows every month. As long as you continue paying for PlayStation Plus, you retain access to every game you’ve ever added to your library. You don’t even have to download the game; you simply select “Add to Library” so you have access to the game whenever you do want to download and play it. Pretty incredible!

So let’s do some quick maths:

  • “Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series” normally costs $US19.99 for the Season Pass.
  • “Until Dawn” normally costs $US19.99.

The value you get from just this month is more than half the cost of an entire year of PlayStation Plus.

If you download and play three to four games through PlayStation Plus, the service pays for itself. Anything beyond that is pure bonus value.

One more thing: If you own a PlayStation Vita or a PlayStation 3, you’ll also get free games on those platforms. Some of the games are even “cross-buy,” meaning you’ll get access to them across multiple PlayStation devices (“Spelunky” is this way — once you own it on one PlayStation console, you own it all PlayStation consoles).

So remember: Before dropping hundreds of dollars on $US60 games with your new PlayStation 4, snag a $US60 annual subscription to PlayStation Plus. It’s a smart investment.

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