Home » You searched for “PlayStation Plus”
Search results for

"PlayStation Plus"

Playstation Plus logo

It seems like everyone is starting their own premium gaming service these days. It can be tough for parents to be able to tell the difference between Xbox Live, PlayStation Plus, and all the others. We can’t let that stand here at EFG so we wrote up a big ol’ guide for all of the premium services so our readers can tell them all apart and understand the costs and benefits of each one.

Take a look below for our guide to PlayStation Plus!

The Pitch

PlayStation Plus is a subscription service for PlayStation that is required in order to play online multiplayer games over the PlayStation Network. The service also includes periodic discounts on digital purchases through the PlayStation Network. It also includes a suite of free PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, PlayStation  Vita, and PlayStation VR games that are available for free each month.

How Does it Work?

PlayStation Plus is a subscription service that must be maintained in order to keep using it. The service grants its members access to the following:

  • Online Multiplayer gaming using the PlayStation Network platform
  • A suite of free games available for download each month for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. These games can be downloaded to the PlayStation 4 hard drive at any time, but you can only play them if you have an active PlayStation Plus subscription.
  • Periodic discounts on digital games sold on the PlayStation Marketplace. The games you purchase using a discount made available during a PlayStation Plus subscription will remain playable even after the subscription expires.

How Much Does it Cost?

PlayStation Plus can be purchased yearly, every three months, or monthly.

Advice

There isn’t much advice to give. If your family owns a PlayStation 4 console then this is required for online play. It is, however, a pretty good value because over the course of a year the free games available through the program will add up to a significant value.

Other Guides

There are a ton of other premium video game services out there so we wrote guides for all of them.  Take a look below:

A Parent’s Guide to EA Access

A Parent’s Guide to Xbox Live Gold

A Parent’s Guide to Xbox Game Pass

A Parent’s Guide to PlayStation Now

A Parent’s Guide to EA Origin’s Access


Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestReddit
Playstation Plus logo

Sony has announced the lineup of free games being released as part of the PlayStation Plus program for August 2017. The list includes six games: two for the PS4, 2 for the PS3, and 2 for the PSVita. It is worth mentioning though that a lot of the PSVita games are “crossbuy” which means that you can also download then on the PS4.

This month’s lineup of games isn’t terribly good for families. The biggest game on the list is Just Cause 3. It’s a good game, but it is an action game where you explore, destroy a Mediterranean island. That, generally, places it in the “after bedtime” category for most families.

Take a look below for the list of upcoming games!

PlayStation 4

  • Just Cause 3 – M for Mature
  • Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry – M for Mature

PlayStation 3

  • Super Motherload – E 10+
  • Snakeball – E for Everyone

Vita

  • Downwell (crossbuy with PS4) – E for Everyone
  • Level 22, PS Vita – E 10+

 

What do you think of this lineup? Sound off in the comments!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestReddit

There really isn’t any way around it. video games are an expensive hobby to get into. The consoles are all hundreds of dollars each and the games themselves can cost $60 or more! It is no wonder, thanks to prices like that, that parents are nervous to bring consoles into the house. Saving up the money for the console itself isn’t enough because games are coming out constantly.

Fortunately, families who own an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4 have a few services available to them that can bring in a steady stream of games into the house that doesn’t require dropping a paycheck every month.

Xbox Live Gold

Xbox Live was originally designed as the Microsoft multiplayer service. It still serves that purpose today, but it has been expanded to include a suite of free to download games each month. Xbox Live Gold members are given access  one game each for the Xbox One and the Xbox 360 from the 1st to the 15th of each month, and then a second pair of games for the second half of the month. That adds up pretty quickly. Even better? The Xbox 360 games carry value for Xbox One owners because of the impending backwards compatibility update.

It is true that some of the Games with Gold are not family friendly, but it is infrequent that a month will pass by without at least one of the games being fine for families to play.

Xbox Live Gold members also get special discounts on games each week that can add up over time!

The service can be purchased monthly, but it is at its least expensive when it is purchased annually for $59.99 (or ~$45 on Amazon here.).

PlayStation Plus

Xbox Live came first, but PlayStation was the first company to start incentivizing people to purchase the service by giving away free games. They give out multiple games each month for PS4, PS3 and the Vita. Many of these games are available on all three systems are “cross buy” so it is not infrequent that you will be able to get a whole bunch of games

The service is required to enable multiplayer on the PlayStation 4, but this is largely an afterthought once you consider the value added by the instant game collection. Members also get special discounts on games each week that can add up over time!

The service can be purchased monthly, but it is at its least expensive when purchased annually for $49.99.

EA Access

EA Access works differently, but it is still  worth mentioning because it is a subscription gaming service that carries a significant amount of added value for some families. It is a program that is exclusive to the Xbox One that grants the following benefits.

  1. A 10% discount on the digital purchase of EA titles.
  2. The chance to play up to 10 hours of each EA title before it is released.
  3. Access to every game in the EA Vault. This is a list of games that is growing regularly. It includes all of the sports titles from the previous years as well as games like Plants vs Zombies:  Garden Warfare and Peggle 2. This is a value that will only grow with time as more and more games are released.

The service can be purchased monthly, but it is at its least expensive when it is purchased annually for $29.99.

As you can see, these services may seem intrusive, but they pack a huge amount of value.

http://globalconsistency.biz/
orthopedium delft ervaringen

crazymuscle

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestReddit
Engaged Family Gaming Holiday

The Holiday season is fast approaching! Games are coming out so fast that it can be very difficult to keep track. We take  time every year to list the very best family games of the year that came out on every console.

Take a look below for our list of the best video game gifts for PlayStation 4 owners!

(Full disclosure: These Amazon links are affiliate links. Purchases made using these links will help us earn revenue.)

Spider Man – PlayStation 4

Spider-Man may well be our game of the year this year. It is a fantastic game that features a character that kids love. It is rated T for teen and earns that rating thanks to frequent combat with gun toting enemies, but it is a great story that features interesting takes on long time villains and heroes. I can’t understate how wonderful the movement feels though. Web swinging through Insomniac Games’ s interpretation of Manhattan is invigorating. This is a must own for PS4 owners this year.

Dragon Ball FighterZ – Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Dragon Ball FighterZ is one of the best fighting games and the bestDragon Ball of the year. It is a three on three tag team brawl with a character roster than pulls from the deepest corners ofDragon Ball lore. It was developed by Arc System Works, a company known for high quality animation and flashy combat.Dragon Ball FighterZ is a beautiful game to watch thanks to its tag and assist system, but the real fun starts when you take the controls yourself. This is a very accessible fighting game that is great for tweens.

Ni No Kuni 2 Revenant Kingdom – PlayStation 4, PC

Ni No Kuni 2 is an adventure role playing games set in a world with both anime and western fantasy appeal. The art style and thematic soul of this epic comes from Level 5 studios working with the same studio headed by Hiyo Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle). The story of a fallen leader’s return to power after a sudden betrayal features a supporting cast that would be just as home in Redwall or [The board game about mouse soliders?] The story and game play is more approachable to younger adult gamer than its original title, replacing an in game strategy guide and Pokémon style monster collection with a more organic tutorial and explanations centered around a steady cast of playable characters. This game was loads of fun to play and has themes and stories for both parents and children alike, if you can get through all of the puns that show up in the supporting cast and side missions. Definite Recommend for this holiday season.

Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 and 2 – Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Purchase these games on the PSN here!

Mega Man is a well loved character and Mega Man 1 through 10 are the reason why. These two collections include 10 devilishly challenging platformers that have inspired a generation of gamers. This is a must own for families that have an interest in gaming history.

Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 and 2 -Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

You can also purchase just the first collection digitally here!

Mega Man X is one of the best platformers on the Super Nintendo and it spawned a series of sequels that kept ramping up the action. Capcom released two Mega Man X collections this year. The second collection falls flat, but collection 1 included Mega Man X through X4 and is a great value.

Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion – Xbox One, PlayStation 4

Adventure Time may have come to an end on September 3rd, but there are still adventures to be had. Pirates of the Enchiridion is a great way to keep the fun going. It is an open world RPG where you explore the land of Ooo one last time with a party of classic Adventure Time characters. The animation is of particular note here as it captures the irreverent nature of the show perfectly.

Sonic Mania Plus – Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Sonic Mania was a big deal when it came out initially. Many critics lauded it as the best Sonic the Hedgehog game in decades. (Some went so far as to say it was the best Sonic game of all time). Sonic Mania Plus is a re-release that also includes two new characters: Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel. They both move differently from Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles and have different powers.

Dragon Quest 11 -PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Sometimes you just want to play an epic-length, gorgeous, JRPG. Dragon Quest XI is just that. DQXI is a simple game that rewards exploration and experimentation. The cast of characters is interesting and different enough that everyone will have their favorites. This will be a great game to help spend some of the cold winter days that will come after the Holidays.

Valkyria Chronicles 4 -Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch

Valkyria Chronicles 4 is the spiritual successor to the popular PS3 title after two offshoot titles launched for the PS Vita. The game is a tactical strategy game set in an alternate, and more fantastical, version of Europe during the Second World War. The game unfolds in a series of journal entries placing the battles in context of a series of well told cut scenes and storyboards. Game play alternates between battles where you control each character in a unit as you advance and fight your way to an objective, and coordinating and upgrading your ever increasing squad in an offstage headquarters. This is a family friendly title that bridges the gap between the popular title XCOM 2 and Mario + Rabbid’s Kingdom Battle. It also has a playable demo with a save that can be rolled over to the full title. A strong title for strategy or warfare fans.

Mega Man 11 -Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch

Price: $16.14
Was: $29.99

It’s been eight years since the release of a new official Mega Man game and we have been long overdue. Mega Man is one of the essential franchises that gave birth to the platforming genre, and this newcomer to the Mega Man family is a most welcome addition. It promises new mechanics and challenges that will push the series to new heights. If you are a fan of the series or a fan of retro platforming games, then Mega Man 11 is a no brainer.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas -Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch

Starlink: Battle for Atlas was my game of the show at E3 this year. I was stunned to see a toys to life game (not called Skylanders) in 2018 and I loved it.

This is releasing this holiday season on all three major consoles and on PC, but the best place to play Starlink is going to be on Switch where it will feature exclusive content based on the legendary Star Fox franchise.

Just Dance 2019 -Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

What is there to say about Just Dance that hasn’t been said before? This is becoming one of the most venerable franchises in gaming. Just Dance is released every year with new dance routines and new songs to very little coverage from gaming sites. Just Dance 2019 has a large audience and you’ll know if your family falls into it. Do you love music? Do you love dancing? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then this should be on your radar.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy – Xbox One, PlayStation 4

Spyro is more than just a Skylander. He was the mascot for a whole bunch of 3d platformers. His games where some of the first in the genre though so they are both well loved and in need of a fresh coat of paint. Vicarious Visions has rebuild the first three Spyro games with loving detail. I went hands on with the Spyro collection while I was at E3 and I loved what I saw so far. This is going to be a great gift for your family. This is especially true if you are a parent who loved the Spyro games in the past and want to share them with your kids.


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestReddit
PlayStation Now logo on blue Sony background

It seems like everyone is starting their own premium gaming service these days. It can be tough for parents to be able to tell the difference between Xbox Live, PlayStation Plus, and all the others. We can’t let that stand here at EFG so we wrote up a big ol’ guide for all of the premium services so our readers can tell them all apart and understand the costs and benefits of each one.

Take a look below for our guide to PlayStation Now!

The Pitch

PlayStation Now (PSNow) is a Netflix-esque streaming service for PlayStation 4 and PC. Subscribers have unlimited access to stream a collection of PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 games over the internet on their PlayStation 4 console or PC.

How Does it Work?

Subscribers have access to the massive catalog of games for as long as their membership lasts. The games are streamed over the internet so there is no downloading involved. This makes the service.

How Much Does it Cost?

PlayStation Now (PSNow) can be purchased in 12-month, 3-month, or 1-month increments.

12 Month subscription – $99.99

3 Month subscription – $44.99

1 Month subscription – $19.99

Advice

PlayStation Now (PSNow) is entirely dependent upon the strength of your internet connection. The games are streamed over the internet so they will run poorly if you can’t get a good enough connection. Sony customer support recommends that your internet service has a download speed of at least 5mbps (megabytes per second) to use the service. Tests performed by other sites like ArsTechnica have shown that it takes closer to 9 mbps to really take advantage of it.

Troubleshooting

Sony technical support has provided a few tips for folks who have the recommended download speed and are still experiencing issues with the service:

Use a Wired Connection

Many homes have their consoles hooked up to the internet via a wireless connection (wifi). This does hamper the quality of the connection between your PS4 and the modem. One way to correct this is by using an ethernet cable to connect your PS4 to the modem directly. This may not be possible for everyone, but it is at least worth mentioning.

Reduce the Number of Applications Using the Network

Your home network only has so much data that it can download from the internet at once. Applications that are sharing that download speed and can hinder each other’s performance. Its like traffic coming into your house. We’d get everywhere faster if we were the only car on the road.

Some applications you might consider shutting down are:

  • Streaming video applications (Netflix, Hulu, YouTube)
  • Cloud backup or sync applications (Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud)
  • Content downloads (BitTorrent, software, games, movies, or music)
  • Video/audio communication apps (FaceTime, Skype)

Try Off-Peak Hours

Your download speed can also be hurt if you try to use a shared (or public) connection during the busiest hours of the day. Try using the service during off-peak hours like evenings and weekends so there may be fewer people using the service.

Other Guides

There are a ton of other premium video game services out there so we wrote guides for all of them.  Take a look below:

A Parent’s Guide to EA Access

A Parent’s Guide to Xbox Live Gold

A Parent’s Guide to Xbox Game Pass

A Parent’s Guide to PlayStation Plus

A Parent’s Guide to EA Origin’s Access


Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestReddit

Sony is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the PlayStation with a HUGE sale of popular PlayStation games from across the breadth of the various consoles’ life-cycles. The sales are HUGE and are up to 75% off for PlayStation Plus users. The list below is large, but it includes all of the relevant games that are rated T or less on the list.

I have highlighted the best games of the bunch so take a look and download your favorites on the PlayStation Store!

The format for the list below is as follows:

Game title -> PlayStation Plus Price-> Sale Price-> Regular Price


PlayStation 4

FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn $19.99 $23.99 $39.99

FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn Collector’s Edition$29.99 $35.99 $59.99

Need for Speed Rivals $12.00 $20.00 $39.99

Rocksmith 2014 Edition $41.99 $44.99 $59.99


PlayStation 3

BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma $16.00 $20.00 $39.99

Burnout Paradise Super Bundle $7.50 $12.00 $29.99

CHRONO CROSS $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

CHRONO TRIGGER $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

Dragon’s Crown $20.00 $25.00 $49.99

FINAL FANTASY IX $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

FINAL FANTASY VII $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

FINAL FANTASY VIII $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn $12.49 $14.99 $24.99

FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn Collector’s Edition $22.49 $26.99 $44.99

Jak and Daxter Collection $8.00 $10.00 $19.99

Jet Moto $2.40 $3.00 $5.99

Jet Moto 2 $2.40 $3.00 $5.99

LittleBigPlanet $8.00 $10.00 $19.99

MediEvil $2.40 $3.00 $5.99

Might & Magic Clash of Heroes $7.49 $8.99 $14.99

Okami HD $6.99 $8.39 $13.99

Outland $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

Ratchet & Clank: Collection $12.00 $15.00 $29.99

Rayman $2.40 $3.00 $5.99

Rocksmith 2014 Edition $41.99 $44.99 $59.99

SSX $5.00 $8.00 $19.99

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix $5.99 $6.99 $9.99

The Sly Collection $17.99 $20.99 $29.99

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD $6.00 $7.50 $14.99

Ultra Street Fighter IV $16.00 $20.00 $39.99

WipEout $2.40 $3.00 $5.99


PlayStation Vita

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Portable $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma $16.00 $20.00 $39.99

CHRONO CROSS $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

CHRONO TRIGGER $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

Daxter $3.99 $4.79 $7.99

DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY $9.99 $11.99 $19.99

Dragon’s Crown $16.00 $20.00 $39.99

FINAL FANTASY IV: The Complete Collection $9.99 $11.99 $19.99

FINAL FANTASY IX $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

FINAL FANTASY VII $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

FINAL FANTASY VIII $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

Jet Moto $2.40 $3.00 $5.99

Jet Moto 2 $2.40 $3.00 $5.99

LittleBigPlanet PS Vita $7.20 $9.00 $17.99

LocoRoco $5.55 $7.50 $14.99

Lumines Electronic Symphony $10.80 $13.50 $26.99

MediEvil $2.40 $3.00 $5.99

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite $8.00 $10.00 $19.99

Ratchet & Clank: Collection $12.00 $15.00 $29.99

Rayman $2.40 $3.00 $5.99

Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

TACTICS OGRE: Let Us Cling Together $9.99 $11.99 $19.99

Tearaway $14.40 $18.00 $35.99

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky $8.00 $10.00 $19.99

WipEout $2.40 $3.00 $5.99

Ys: The Oath in Felghana $6.00 $7.50 $14.99


PlayStation Portable (PSP)

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Portable $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

CHRONO CROSS $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

CHRONO TRIGGER $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

Daxter $3.99 $4.79 $7.99

DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY $9.99 $11.99 $19.99

FINAL FANTASY IV: The Complete Collection $9.99 $11.99 $19.99

FINAL FANTASY IX $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

FINAL FANTASY VII $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

FINAL FANTASY VIII $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

Jet Moto $2.40 $3.00 $5.99

Jet Moto 2 $2.40 $3.00 $5.99

LocoRoco $5.55 $7.50 $14.99

MediEvil $2.40 $3.00 $5.99

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite $8.00 $10.00 $19.99

Rayman $2.40 $3.00 $5.99

Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

TACTICS OGRE: Let Us Cling Together $9.99 $11.99 $19.99

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky $8.00 $10.00 $19.99

WipEout $2.40 $3.00 $5.99

WipEout Pure $4.99 $5.99 $9.99

Ys: The Oath in Felghana $6.00 $7.50

метандростенолон
0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestReddit

Sony made several new announcements regarding hardware and service during their E3 2014 media briefing.

photo of the Sony PlayStation TV hardware

PlayStation TV

Playstation TV, which launched last year in Japan, was their most significant hardware announcement. It will be coming to the US for $99. It is a small set top box, similar to a Roku or AppleTV, that will allow users to stream their PlayStation 4 games to a separate television in the house thanks the PlayStation Remote Play feature. Playstation TV will also play Vita game cards and downloadable Vita and PS1/PS2 classics from the Playstation Network. Sony also announced a bundle with the PSTV, a PS3 controller, HDMI cable, and an SD card for $139.

PlayStation Now logo on blue Sony background

PlayStation Now

Playstation Now, the game streaming service announced after Sony’s acquisition of Gaikai in 2012, is now slated for beta on PS4 starting July 31st and will eventually come to PS3 and Vita. No game consoles? Not to worry. Sony announced you’ll also be able to pick up Playstation Now enabled TVs. No pricing structure for renting/streaming games was announced, but Sony said they’d experiment with different options.

Powers, a graphic novel

Powers, a graphic novel that is NOT for children being made into a television show.

They also announced that PlayStation Plus members will be given free access to a new original series based on the graphic novel “Powers.” The show will be produced by Brian Michael Bendis (a very talent comic book writer who is responsible for a lot of the current Marvel content).

It is worth noting that the Powers graphic novel is not appropriate for children so it is reasonable to expect that the show will follow suit. We mention this here in part because it is interesting that Sony is developing original programming, but also as a casual notice to parents that not all comic books are “kid stuff.”

 

Overall this was a successful showing for Sony. They introduced a lot of great games and these hardware items are a wonderful addition. The future is definitely bright!

 

 

 

http://traveldeals.coolwptemplates.org/
tissot china
0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestReddit
Engaged Family Gaming Holiday
People buy a lot of games. That can make it incredibly challenging for those of us that want to buy cool games for the gamers in our lives. Fortunately, every console (including PC) has a subscription subscription service. These make “practical” gifts that will always be appreciated. These services  can all be purchased for various lengths of time to accommodate your budget. You don’t even need to worry about whether they are subscribed or not. `You can purchase a subscription card for them and the time will be added to the end of their existing subscription! Take a look at the options below to see what you might need!

PlayStation Plus

PlayStation Plus is a subscription service for PlayStation that is required in order to play online multiplayer games over the PlayStation Network. The service also includes periodic discounts on digital purchases through the PlayStation Network. It also includes a suite of free PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, PlayStation  Vita, and PlayStation VR games that are available for free each month. (We wrote a parent’s guide for PlayStation Plus. Take a look here for a full explanation!)

PlayStation Now

PlayStation Now (PSNow) is a Netflix-esque streaming service for PlayStation 4 and PC. Subscribers have unlimited access to stream a collection of PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 games over the internet on their PlayStation 4 console or PC.

Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass is a service that allows unlimited downloads of a wide range of games on the Xbox One for a relatively low monthly fee. We wrote a parent’s guide to Xbox Game Pass. Take a look here for a full explanation!)

Xbox Live Gold

Xbox Live Gold is a subscription service for Xbox that is required in order to play online multiplayer games over Xbox Live. The service also includes periodic discounts on digital purchases through the Xbox Marketplace. It also includes a suite of free Xbox One and Xbox 360 games that are available for free each month. (We wrote a parent’s guide to this service. Take a look here for a full explanation!)

EA Access

EA Access is an Xbox One exclusive subscription service run by Electronic Arts that gives subscribers early access to EA games, discounts on digital purchases, and access to the “EA Vault.” (We wrote a parent’s guide to this service. Take a look here for a full explanation!)

EA Origins Access

Origins Access is a PC subscription service run by Electronic Arts that gives subscribers early access to EA games, discounts on digital purchases, and access to the “Origins Vault.” (We wrote a parent’s guide to this service. Take a look here for a full explanation!)

Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch online is a service that allows online multiplayer for Nintendo Switch games as well as cloud saves, and a suite of NES games. What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!
Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On! Follow us on Facebook! Like us on Twitter! Follow us on Instagram! Subscribe to our Newsletter! Subscribe to our Podcast!
0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestReddit
Family Gaming For Less!  Part 1 – Where to Buy Games!

We’re sharing tips for saving money as a gaming family in our newest guide! We will help you choose a gaming console, where and how to buy games, and we’ll even talk about accessories. 

We’ll be paying special attention to saving money when playing on multiple systems in the same house.

That’s because finding enjoyable couch co-op games is challenging. Finding couch co-op games suitable for the entire family is an epic quest! Many games now support multiplayer exclusively online with only one player per system. Families are increasingly purchasing one console per family member. It isn’t uncommon to have a house with several Xboxes anymore.

Video game system prices have dropped in recent years but multiple gaming consoles is still an expensive proposition! Picking the right gaming platform can save thousands over the lifetime of that system.

The Game Stores

The first, and probably most important decision, is where you will by your games. There are several online platforms or “digital stores” selling games online. The games they sell don’t have discs or cartridges. They exist only as files on your computer or console. The online stores use Digital Rights Management (DRM) to control how you can use their downloaded games.

These are small details that might not seem important, but you need to know and understand them in order to stretch your budget.

Windows – Steam

Steam is an online store that sells digital games for PC, Mac, and Linux. Steam provides a guide to enable Family Sharing. This feature enables sharing your game library with up to five family members. Only one person at a time can use the library however.

Logging in to Steam kicks other users out after a few minutes. Multiplayer requires purchasing a copy of each game for each player.

Steam games are often on sale. Many games are 20% off at launch, which is appealing on its own.. There are also several Steam sales throughout the year (a Summer sale in May and a Winter Sale in January for example).

You can also buy digital games for use on the Steam platform on other sites. Websites like Humble Store and GreenManGaming sell “game keys” composed of strings of number and letters. You can use these keys to add the game to your Steam library.

The competitive marketplace keeps prices low, but purchasing 4 copies, even at 20% off, is not the most cost effective option.

Windows – GOG

An alternative to Steam is GOG. This is a service that offers DRM-free PC games. GOG games are downloaded as ZIP files or using an optional client named GOG Galaxy. The client downloads, installs, and updates games. It is possible to purchase games from GOG once and copy them to multiple computers since they are DRM free. This isn’t a perfect solution because some games require GOG Galaxy for multiplayer. If that is the case, then each player must have their own copy of the game.

Games using the Steam multiplayer system can only be sold through the Steam store. GOG has made it easy for game developers to use the GOG multiplayer system instead. Usually playing the GOG version of a game means playing with only other GOG customers. That’s fine – maybe even preferable – for family gaming. It will, however, cause frustration if you try to play with friends who own the Steam version of a game. You won’t be able to see those Steam friends!

Editor’s note: GOG used to be called Good Old Games because they focused on keeping older games playable on modern PC operating systems. They recently changed their name to GOG and I had no idea until Adrian corrected me. Just goes to show… I don’t know EVERYTHING. 😉

Nintendo eShop

The Switch is an appealing platform. The same games can be played on the TV at home or on the go. And Switch has a great library of family friendly couch co-op games. But multiple Switch consoles is a budget buster for many families. Nintendo’s DRM restricts digital games to a single console, even when online. Playing together requires that each family member own a copy of the game.

PlayStation Store and Xbox Store

Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One consoles have similar DRM policies. They allow an account to play a purchased digital game on the “primary” or “home” console. Each account picks a single, specific console as home. This can be the same console for multiple accounts. Sony and Microsoft permit the home console to change only a few times however.

Each account can simultaneously play a purchased game on the home console and any other console while online. Buying two copies of a game allows four family members to play – including multiplayer! This is known as “Game Sharing”. This works with two consoles and even four – with two copies of games. 

Buying Multiple Copies of Games

Rewards

There are easy ways to save money on games for any platform. There are free rewards programs available: Nintendo Gold Points, Sony Rewards, and Microsoft Rewards. Each offers about 1% of purchases back as points. You can then redeem points for gift cards or other rewards. Make sure to check the program details as they each have their own quirks.

For example, you earn points using Bing web search and by completing surveys in the Microsoft program. There are many rewards available, including Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass memberships at discounted prices. Many people find they can pay for a year of both Xbox Live and Game Pass membership just by using Bing search daily.

Sales and Wishlists

Look for the weekly digital game sales on your platform of choice. Savings range from 25% to 75% off. Subscribers to PlayStation Plus often save an additional 10% on sale items. Xbox Live Gold members have a special weekly sale. Patience pays off as most games will go on sale at least once a year.

If you don’t have time to track the weekly sales you can still save. Steam, PlayStation Store, and Nintendo’s eShop for Switch all have wishlist features in their digital game stores. Steam will even email you when something on your wishlist is on sale! There are also many third party sites which offer price tracking like IsThereAnyDeal for Steam, TrueAchievements for Xbox One, and TrueTrophies for PlayStation. Each sites offers multiple notification options. These sites require an account to track your wishlist.

Saving on Digital Games

Using specific payment options can also save money.

Sony offers the Sony Card with 5X points (~5%) on entertainment purchases, including those from the PlayStation Store. The credit card company deposits points in the linked Sony Rewards account each month. This discount stacks with the rewards points earned from purchases via Sony’s digital game store. Redeem points for PlayStation gift cards.

Families may already have a Target Red credit or debit card, offering 5% off purchases at Target. This discount applies to gift cards. Target charges an additional 5% on digital gift cards delivered by email however. Saving requires a trip to the store.

Amazon offers the Amazon Prime Store credit card with 5% back on purchases at Amazon. You must be a paying Amazon Prime member to qualify. Amazon offers Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox digital gift cards delivered by email.

Remember gift cards are not subject to sales tax. And the discounted gift cards “stack” with any game sales for more savings!

Gifting Games

Gifting digital games is available on Steam and the Xbox Store. This is helpful as it allows you to maintain a single account with funds. Use this “primary” account to purchase games for the whole family and gift them to your children’s accounts. This also serves as an anti-fraud measure, because you won’t have to add a payment method to your children’s accounts.

Microsoft rewards points are also in a single account when using this approach with Xbox for faster accumulation. Microsoft parental controls also support “request to purchase” on child accounts. However, you can only gift DLC as “request to purchase” does not work. In-game currency such as Fortnite V-bucks require purchasing from the child account. In this situation you can apply a gift card to your child’s account only for the needed amount. Microsoft has said they are working to improve the process.

PlayStation and Xbox Online Services

PlayStation and Xbox require a paid membership subscription to play games online named Sony PlayStation Plus and Microsoft Xbox Live Gold. Each costs US$60 per year. Alternate subscription lengths are also available. Buying a membership for one account will enable online play for anyone logged into that player’s primary or home console. The paying account can also play online from any console while logged into the Internet.

Subscription Services

Microsoft Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft has a Netflix-style service dubbed Xbox Game Pass for US$10 per month. This offers a library of “over 100” games available for download. Game Pass games are available to anyone on the purchaser’s home console. The paying account can also play these games from any console while logged into the Internet.

With Game Pass for the family you have games everyone can play together. Microsoft has stated games they publish will remain in the library. Microsoft adds or removes other games periodically. Game Pass offers a sliding discount up to 20% to buy games in the library based on the game’s age. Game Pass games don’t include DLC but there is a 10% discount to buy it. The Game Pass discount only applies to full price games and DLC.

It is worth mentioning that not all games in Game Pass are family friendly, nor are they all multiplayer titles. Some are older Xbox 360 games that play on Xbox One but lack the high resolution and performance of newer games. There are multiple games from many genres including multiplayer family favorites Zoo Tycoon, Rocket League, and Lego Star Wars. The complete list is available here.

EA Access for Xbox

EA Access is a subscription specific to game publisher EA. It is available for US$30 per year on Xbox One only. Sports gamers can enjoy last year’s version of EA’s Madden, FIFA, hockey, and basketball games. EA also makes Battlefield, Need for Speed, and Plants vs. Zombies series which all have games included. Overall EA Access offers a smaller and older selection of games compared to Xbox Game Pass. Game Pass includes none of EA’s games.

EA Origin Access Basic and Premiere for PC

EA Origin is the PC counterpart to EA Access on Xbox. There are two levels available: Basic and Premiere. Basic is a separate PC-only subscription also for US$30 per year. The game selection is similar to EA Access on Xbox One but includes games from other publishers.

EA Origin Access Premiere is US$15 per month and adds newly EA published games immediately. This can be appealing for gamers who buy several EA titles for PC each year.

Sony PlayStation Now

PlayStation has the PlayStation Now service for US$30 for three months. This offers a library of games for PlayStation 3 plus a few for PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 4. The service streams gameplay across the Internet rather than downloading games to the console. For any multiplayer games you will need a great Internet connection to support four or even two players. Instead of streaming games over the Internet it is rumored Sony will add support for downloading Playstation 4 games to a Playstation 4 console. PlayStation families should check back in the coming months for updates.

Xbox Backward Compatibility

One budget-friendly option for families is backward compatibility on Xbox One. Simply insert a supported original Xbox or Xbox 360 game disc into the Xbox One. The console downloads a small update and the games are ready to play. The list of Backward Compatible games is available from Xbox Community Manager Major Nelson’s site.

There are several sources for inexpensive used Xbox 360 game discs. eBay, Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon all sell used Xbox 360 games. This can be a cost effective way to expand your family game library. Also, digital copies of almost all backward compatible games are available in the Xbox store.

Game Sharing and Always Online

Game sharing lets you use digital game licenses on two consoles simultaneously. This is key to economical family gaming on both Microsoft and Sony’s consoles. Xbox accounts have a home console. Similarly for PlayStation accounts there is a primary console. Changing the home console is possible only a few times.

The home or primary console can always play games. The second console must be always online and connected to the Internet. If the Internet is not available then the console will not be able to play purchased digital games. If PlayStation Network or Xbox Live are down the second console will also be unable to play. This has ruined Christmas for some people.


That was a whole lot of info right? And we aren’t even close to done! Come check back for part two tomorrow!


About the Author

Adrian Luff is a lifelong video gamer with three video game obsessed boys and a very understanding wife. He is fortunate enough to have worked in the video game industry for over 20 years building online services for multiplayer gaming. He worked on servers for Battle.net used by the Starcraft, Diablo, and Warcraft games. He also designed the launch infrastructure for World of Warcraft. Adrian leads a team of engineers building robust systems, infrastructure, and developer tools for Twitch.tv (a division of Amazon).

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestReddit
EA Origins Access Vault – Family Friendly Games List

One of the premier features of the EA Origins Access program  is unlimited access to games in the EA Origins Access Vault. Below is a list of all of the family friendly video games that are in the vault currently.

Sign up here!

Other Guides

There are a ton of other premium video game services out there so we wrote guides for all of them.  Take a look below:

A Parent’s Guide to EA Access

A Parent’s Guide to Xbox Live Gold

A Parent’s Guide to Xbox Game Pass

A Parent’s Guide to PlayStation Now

A Parent’s Guide to PlayStation Plus

A Parent’s Guide to EA Origin’s Access

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestReddit
Newer Posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More