PlayStation’s new PS Plus Season of Play promo is painfully mediocre

If you're a PS5 player looking forward to PlayStation's new PS Plus Season of Play promo event, you shouldn't really waste your time on it.

PS Plus Season of Play: an image of Kratos screaming

PlayStation is finally detailing its plans for this year’s PS Plus Season of Play promo event, which kicks off in a matter of hours. While it’s far from a bad thing that PS Plus players on PS5 will be able to enjoy exclusive offers and unique rewards during the holidays, those same offers and rewards are so lacklustre that the whole thing hardly seems worth the effort at all. If you were hoping for some free games, or at the very least some in-game cosmetics, you’re out of luck.

In rather dramatic contrast to the selection of excellent free PS Plus games available to active PS Plus members throughout December 2023, the newly announced PS Plus Season of Play event – which runs from December 5 until January 5 – is easily the worst PlayStation community event in recent memory.

If you’re looking for a decent discount on a few new PS5 games, the PS Store End Of Year Sale has you covered. PlayStation’s new Season of Play promo event, however, definitely does not have you covered – and that’s a real shame.

As this fresh PlayStation Blog post details, the Season of Play promo event set to start soon will offer both active PS Plus players and PlayStation players more generally the following rewards:

  • New PS5 and PS4 avatars (no PS Plus required)
  • 15% discount on PlayStation Gear (no PS Plus required)
  • Chance to win a PS5 console and 12 months of PS Plus Premium (no PS Plus required)
  • Free online multiplayer weekend for MW3, FC 24, and NBA 2K24 (no PS Plus required)
  • New PlayStation tournaments for FC 24, NBA 2K2, Madden 24, and MLB The Show 23 (PS Plus required)
  • New PlayStation Stars Campaign to earn 50 points (PS Plus required)
  • Sony Pictures Core benefits for PS Plus Premium members
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Looking at all of those rewards, the Sony Pictures Core benefits is easily the most valuable for players during the Season of Play promo event. However, it’s also only available to PS Plus Premium (or PS Plus Deluxe) players. If you have this tier of PS Plus, you’ll be able to watch around 100 movies with your membership thanks to this new offer – and select content from Crunchyroll is joining the service from December 5. If you’re thinking of upgrading your PS Plus membership purely for this, though, then you should probably invest that money into another streaming service like Netflix or Disney Plus. It may cost a little more when paired with a standard PS Plus membership, but the value you’ll get from it will be so much more. 100 movies really isn’t a lot when you look at what these other services offer.

Then, you have the 15% discount on the PlayStation Gear store. Sure, that’s fun for the holidays – whether you’re buying a gift for someone else or yourself – but it’s not really a benefit in any sense of the word. It’s just an encouragement for you to give PlayStation more of your money this festive season. And, the fact that PlayStation is listing a random competition to win a PS5 console as a benefit of the Season of Play promo event is also a little insulting – you’re not guaranteed to get anything from it and half the people interested in the Season of Play promo event will already have a PS5 console, as they’ll be playing their games on it.

PS Plus Season of Play: an image of the PS Gear Store discount code

The free online weekend for MW3, FC 24, and NBA 2K24 isn’t anything too unique, but still something worth checking out if you don’t have these titles yet. Modern Warfare 3 is one of the best FPS games available at the moment and both FC 24 and NBA 2K24 are among the best sports games out there right now. This, though, will only be from December 9 until December 10, so you won’t actually get too long with these games. They’re also all huge on your hard drive, so a huge chunk of this time will actually be spent just downloading the game in the first place.

When it comes to the new selection of PlayStation tournaments starting up from December 12, these are only available to players with the aforementioned games and the only real upside is the chance to win PS Plus Premium. You already need a basic PS Plus membership to even take part, so PlayStation is really only offering you the cost of the upgrade – which really isn’t too much – and that’s only if you win.

Finally, both the PlayStation Stars campaign and the free PS5 and PS4 avatars are largely cosmetic and don’t really offer anyone anything of value.

PS Plus Season of Play: an image of the avatars on offer for PS5 and PS4

The PlayStation Store already offers up more than enough free PS5 and PS4 avatars for you to claim, if that’s something you want to change, and the only place you can see the digital collectibles available through PlayStation Stars is on the PlayStation App. If these collectibles were visible on your PS5 itself, maybe even incorporated into a game like Astro’s Playroom, it would be a slightly different story. But, they’re not. They’re just slightly more visually stimulating trophies, and you don’t even have to do anything to unlock them.

So, while we know this is quite a pessimistic look at everything the new Season of Play promo event is offering over the next month, it really is a lacklustre event that doesn’t really offer players anything of value at all. At least we still have the PS Plus December games to look forward to; it really is the best line-up of free games we’ve seen in a while.