Europe PS+ vs. USA PS+
This topic has been a source of debate since the introduction of the Instant Game Collection for PS+ in June. Since European regions and US regions are getting different games for free from the program, it's been quite a source of contention. Here on CAG the debates have been relatively reasonable, but on places like the PlayStation Blog the debating and whining and complaining has hit cringe-worthy levels. If you haven't checked it out for yourself, just go ahead and browse through the comments of this recent PS Blog post. The general consensus here in the US is that the Europe PS+ program is blowing ours out of the water.
Since I'm a huge proponent of PS+ (I have a US account) and a huge opponent of baseless whining, I went back and did a little research to see how the US PS+ and EU PS+ offering stack up against each other.
Keep in mind this only contains info about the free games being made available on the program, and doesn't take into account any region-specific discounts that have been made available. I'll try to present the facts as best as I can, then will include my personal opinion in an editorial at the end.
Games given away from PS+ since June 1, 2012:
(12 games were given out to both regions and 13 games were only made available for free in one of the regions)
Games given away in both regions:
Virtua Fighter 5
Little Big Planet 2
Warhammer 40000: Space Marine
Just Cause 2
Saints Row 2
Lara Croft: Guardian of Light
Double Dragon Neon
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Games given away ONLY in USA:
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
Hard Corps: Uprising
Zombie Apocalypse: NDA
Gotham City Imposters
Pac Man Championship Edition DX
The Walking Dead: Episodes 1 & 2
Starhawk (Single Player)
King of Fighters XIII
Payday: The Heist
Games given away ONLY in Europe:
Chime Super Deluxe
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Dead Space 2
Rock of Ages
Red Dead Redemption
Resident Evil 5
So as you can see, both regions have received 25 games at this point. Of the 13 unique games in each region, USA received 2.5 retail games (.5 is for Starhawk Single Player only) and 10 PSN games. Europe received far more retail games, getting 7 of those and 6 PSN games.
The USA received 1 game that had been released within the last 3 months (The Walking Dead) and Europe received 4 (Hell Yeah!, Mancharium, Retro/Grade, and Rock of Ages).
Before I assembled the list, I felt that Europe was offering more games that I was interested in. After assembling the list, I feel that way even more.
The important thing to remember is that everybody's opinion of a certain game is different, and everyone is going to value each game differently. That being said, I'd say the European PS+ program has taken a far more mainstream approach in their selection of games than the US has, and that is probably why the majority of people feel like the European selection is far better.
The US has clearly focused on providing more PSN games whereas Europe has focused more on full retail titles. Unlike the majority of posters on the PS Blog, I personally prefer getting PSN games to full retail games through PS+ because most of Europe's full retail games can be easily acquired for $5-$10 at this point. The problem is that a lot of the PSN games the US program has made available are quite old, and I've picked them up before during previous sales. That being said, I was happy to get games like NFL Blitz, Walking Dead, Choplifter HD, and Gotham City Imposters. However, I feel like the Europe PS+ program has done a better job in this area, too, making games like Hell Yeah!, Retro/Grade, and Mancharium free on Day 1. The US hasn't had a *unique* day 1 freebie since the Instant Game Collection started in June.
The US PS+ program also seems to be targeting niche genres more than Europe. NFL Blitz is only going to appeal to sports games fans, and King of Fighters XIII is a fighting game that is only going to appeal to a very limited audience. Even games like Payday and Gotham City Imposters are only going to appeal to those who enjoy playing multiplayer shooters. Europe's games like Darksiders, Oddworld, Deus Ex, Dead Space 2, Red Dead Redemption, Bulletstorm, and even Resident Evil 5 are all more focused on single player action in either a 1st or 3rd person action-adventure genre.
I'm glad I put this list together for myself, because it helps me understand where all the complainers are coming from. I'm not saying I condone the type of whining going on at places like the PS Blog, I'm one who believes in honest but polite criticism. PS+ is still an amazing value no matter which region your subscribed to, and I still feel like most of the whining about the US version of the program is childish and uncalled for.
But now I better understand that Europe's focus on more mainstream games seems to be garnering it far more praise from PS+ members than the US's focus on niche and PSN titles.
Any other PS+ subscribers here? What do you guys think?
(Also, sorry for making this post so long. I'm a firm believer in "brevity is...wit")
EDIT: Please note that I forgot to mention at least 2 PSOne Classics and 1 Mini that US PS+ received. I have no clue if these were also made available on the European PS+ Program. - Thanks Josh1Billion
Also, I guess I glossed over this, but I obviously didn't mention anything about the the 12 games that both regions received. This blog post was about comparing the 2 regions, and the 12 games that both regions received canceled each other out and therefore didn't require further mention.