Reaction: PS Stars is late but appreciated but has a lot of room for improvement

Reaction: PS Stars is late but appreciated but has a lot of room for improvement

Reaction: PS Stars is late but appreciated but has a lot of room to grow 1
Image: Push Square

The console changes. While the PS5 – despite all the inventory problems caused by the pandemicremains one of the fastest selling formats of all time, the so-called “network effect” that defined previous generations is eroding. With crossplay is growing in popularity in many of the biggest franchises, including FIFA and Call of duty, there is less reason to own the same brand as your friends. Furthermore, stronger competition from both Microsoft and Nintendo means that there are more viable alternatives to the PlayStation than there may have been before.

None of this is to belittle Sony’s efforts, of course, it’s just the reality – the manufacturer needs to adapt and work a little harder to retain the loyalty of its customers. That’s where PS Stars it’s coming, of course: a long-overdue free-to-join retention scheme that attempts to “gamify” the entire ecosystem. Having launched last week in North America and a few days ago in Europe, it’s extremely early days for the service, but it’s a welcome addition nonetheless.

Many will, of course, point to the established schemes of both Microsoft and Nintendo and use them to illustrate the flaws here. But it’s important to underline the point above: we’re not even a month into the program, and we’d like to think that Sony has a plan to improve its overall offering now that it’s dipped into the water. Still, to deal with the big smelly elephant looking over our shoulder: no, this loyalty scheme it is not as strong as what the competition offers. That doesn’t make it worthless though.

Currently limited to PS Appwith native PS5 support promised soon, the main feature here is the fact that PS Plus members can earn points with every purchase. We tested it and it doesn’t matter how much you spend he – whether it’s games, subscriptions, DLC or microtransactions – you’ll earn ten points for every dollar spent. (Or the equivalent in your currency, of course.) You’ll actually be surprised how quickly it adds up if you’re big PS Store user; somehow we’ve already racked up over 300 points without even trying. Terrible!

Of course, the upside here is that these points can be traded for PS Store credit. It’s a shame that you can only “buy” wallet top-up denominations; we feel the Nintendo format, where you can use your coins whenever you want to save a few pennies, is superior. But regardless, until this month you got it nothing back to your PS Store purchases and you’re now getting roughly four percent back. Look, maybe not quite a bit what you wanted, but as big spenders on PlayStation we certainly won’t be downloading anything, which was the case just a few weeks ago. You are working.

There are other ways to earn points, and we imagine they will multiply as the service matures. For example, if you buy one of the current selections from the PS Store, you can get a 50 point bonus with cash back as described above. Obviously, this will become Sony’s way of encouraging purchases, but then again, if you were planning to buy, say, Inscription anyway – so why not take the bonus on top? As we mentioned before, the points add up quickly.

Reaction: PS Stars is late but appreciated but has a lot of room to grow 2
Image: Push Square

Maybe the difference is here Digital Collectibles. These are actually surprisingly well rendered dioramas that include famous PlayStation products and even characters. The selection, until now, is largely based on Ape Escape – which is an interesting launch choice, but we’re sure Aloy, Kratos and more will follow. They are actually surprisingly well sculpted; we love the T-Rex tech demo from the PS1, which holds its own Sly Cooper’s staff for some reason. It’s a neat little Easter egg for longtime PlayStation fans.

In fact, this whole system reminds us of what Trophies were assumed be. The veterans among you may remember the halcyon days of the PS3, when Sony promoted it PS Home and promised that you will be able to display your trophies in your personal apartment. This obviously never came to fruition, it was an idea for heaven’s sake (although we’re sure internally the manufacturer experimented with it), but you actually get a small window on the PS app and the platform The owner promised to integrate it into PS5 profiles in the future. So that’s pretty cool, right?

However, we feel that the campaigns themselves could be a little more inventive. So far it’s mostly just been about picking up games, though Hit Play/1994 one works a bit like a quiz. We can’t help but think how much power and bandwidth people are using to download 75GB games to unlock the virtual Chord Machinebut we’re guessing all of this is a net positive for Sony’s monthly active user stats, and as we hinted at, it’ll be a big driver of the initiative’s existence to begin with.

Reaction: PS Stars is late but appreciated but has a lot of room for growth 3

Clearly, as we mentioned before, there is room for improvement here. Better challenges and more meaningful rewards are a must. But as we’ve stated several times before, we’re finally getting refunds for our PS Store purchases. Do we want it to be more? Absolutely – but we’ll take it something done nothing. Digital collectors, as pointless as they are, are just a sweet little icing on the cake from where we’re sitting. So then, PS Stars: it’s not really a star still, right? More like one of the supporting cast from a canceled Netflix show. But look, it’s a welcome addition and still has plenty of time to grow.

If you want to get started, you can contact our PS Stars guide for much more information, including how to complete many campaigns. Of course, we would also like to hear your thoughts on the loyalty program and how you think it should be improved. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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