originals\ Feb 12, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Sony's commitment to indies is saving PS Plus for PS4 owners

PlayStation hearts indie devs

The PlayStation 4 released in November. Since then PS4 owners who are also PS Plus members have received Resogun, Contrast, Don't Starve, and most recently Outlast. Notice a similarity there?

All of the free games offered to PS4 users have been indie titles. And while you can make the argument that these aren't the blockbusters we're used to being offered on the PlayStation 3, let's quickly take a comparative look at the PS4's rival competitor. The number of free games given to Xbox One owners through Microsoft's relatively new Games with Gold program? Zero.

Though Microsoft has shown increased interest in indie games through its ID@Xbox initiative, Sony's jump start has helped the company establish a steady stream of games that can be offered to PS4 owners for free through PS Plus. To Microsoft's credit, Xbox One will soon be a part of Games with Gold, but the company's hesitance towards indie developers have led to some dead space. There just aren't enough blockbuster games releasing at a quick enough pace to keep up.

The point is, without Sony's "gamble" on indies -- which is looking more and more brilliant each day -- the PS4 would not nearly have as many games available for free through PS Plus. It would be in the same position as Microsoft is with Xbox One and Games with Gold.

Indies have allowed Sony to expand its offerings and provide new and unique gaming experiences to its players. That's a good thing, by the way. Without the PS4, many of these indie titles would be indie-exclusive and since I'm primarily a console gamer, I'd never have given them a second thought. But now that they're on the PS4 -- for free nonetheless -- I can experience them. They may technically be "older" releases, but they are new to me.

Eventually the PS4 may get a PS Plus lineup that looks like the PlayStation 3's January and February free game offerings, but for now it's the indies keeping us afloat.

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