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What online features require PlayStation Plus on PS4?

PlayStation Plus has transformed significantly over its initial release on PS3. In fact, many of Plus' features change between PS3, Vita, and PS4. On PS4, Plus access is required to play online multiplayer games--minus free-to-play games like DC Universe Online, Warframe, and Blacklight Retribution. Those games can still be accessed using a free PlayStation Network account. But what else can you do with a Plus subscription?

Comparing PlayStation Plus on PS3, Vita, and PS4

On PS3, only Plus members could get automatic patch downloads and trophy sync. However, that's now free for everyone on PS4. In fact, most everything else is free on PlayStation Network on PS4--whereas competing services may lock them behind a pay wall. The following features are free for all PlayStation Network users:
  • Accessing entertainment, film, and TV services (Users must subscribe separately to individual services)
  • Share options, including sending gameplay video and screenshots to Facebook, screenshots to Twitter, or livestreaming gameplay via Ustream or Twitch
  • Sharing video to Facebook
  • Playing PS4 games remotely using the PS Vita system (Remote Play)
  • Comparing Trophy data with other users
  • Sending and receiving text messages from other users
  • PlayStation Store access (users must pay to purchase premium content)
  • Live item, activity feeds on Dynamic Menu
  • Party (cross game voice chat)
  • Web browser
  • PlayStation App services (on iOS/Android devices)
So really, Plus is pretty much only necessary if you want to play online multiplayer games and if you want access to the Instant Game Collection. Beyond that, PSN users will be able to use pretty much everything else PS4 has to offer.

Andrew Yoon was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

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