Beyond access to online services, many PlayStation owners rely on PlayStation Plus to get a handful of free games every month across the PlayStation family of products. However, after February 2019, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita owners will no longer receive free titles from the monthly subscription service. PlayStation 4 owners will still receive free games every month, but the older Sony consoles will be left behind.
The announcement came alongside the March PlayStation Plus lineup, which includes FromSoftware’s hit game Bloodborne, among other titles. In the blog post, Sony detailed some of the changes coming to the PlayStation Plus model. While PlayStation 3 and Vita games will no longer be offered as part of the monthly rotation, claimed titles will still be available to members that downloaded them previously.
Starting in March 2019, the focus will shift to PS4 exclusively, but it's unclear if Sony will stick to the typical 2 games per month model or if the offerings will expand. Xbox's Games with Gold program, for example, oftentimes splits the month in half by offering some games in the first part of the month and more in the latter portion.
This change will affect the large number of PlayStation Plus subscribers that use the service to access free titles, though it is unknown what percentage of subscribers download the PlayStation 3 or Vita titles compared to the PlayStation 4 titles. Until March 2019, however, Sony will still offer PlayStation 3 and Vita titles free to subscribers, and many of those titles will feature crossplay with PS4.
This isn’t the only big announcement Sony has made recently. In a recent press release, the company announced that it would start focusing on bringing more “attractive and powerful first party titles” to PlayStation. With the success of first party games like Uncharted and The Last of Us, this change should be a welcome one. However, the removal of PlayStation 3 and Vita titles from the PlayStation Plus rotation is perhaps less exciting to some.