European PlayStation Plus members have it better than those in North America. It’s a known and undisputed fact. It isn’t so much that the discounts that are occasionally doled out are better, but rather that the free games tend to be of a better quality. While they’re getting Sleeping Dogs for free, we’re getting the Mega Man 9 and 10 Combo Pack. It isn’t that the Mega Man games aren’t good, just that there’s a great disparity between the offerings. I’m jealous too, but I also have to admit that the European gamers deserve the better PlayStation Plus offerings after everything they’ve endured.
See, Europe’s traditionally gotten screwed when it comes to video games. It’s much better this generation, but from the NES to PS2 years, Europe was always left behind. It didn’t get games until months after North America and when they did arrive, companies didn’t take the delay into consideration with the price. Sometimes, the games would even more more expensive than they were when originally released in other territories, considering exchange rates. Imagine never getting Chrono Trigger for your SNES, Tales of the Abyss for your PS2 or Katamari Damacy for your PS2. None of those games’ original incarnations made it to Europe.
These delays still happened up to the PS3 generation. Many companies now attempt near simultaneous releases in North America and Europe, or the elusive worldwide simultaneous release, but not all companies are capable of that. Up until about 2010, Europeans still found themselves occasionally having to wait for quality content. There are a surprising number examples were even PS3 games experiences delays.
To start, North American PS3 owners could play The Elder Scolls IV: Oblivion in March 2007, but Europeans had to wait until April. While we had Demon’s Souls in October, 2009, they had to wait until June, 2010. The God of War Collection made the series more affordable for us to jump into on November 17, 2009, but Europeans didn’t have that luxury until March 19, 2010. They had to wait three extra months for the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection too.
One of the longest, recent delays is still ongoing. Persona 4 Arena was released in Japan on July 26, 2012, and came to North America a month later on August 7. It has yet to be released in Europe. Due to its region-lock, European PS3 owners can’t even import it.
Granted, Europe does occasionally get a game North America doesn’t. However, these titles are usually inconsequential. Are we really that upset that we can’t play Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon or SBK-09: Superbike World Championship on our PS3s? I’m not losing sleep over it. Personally, I wish they’d done us that favor with Doctor Who and the Eternity Clock. Meanwhile, they’ll never know the joy of You Don’t Know Jack.
Those of us in other regions should consider Sony’s generosity towards European PlayStation Plus users reparations. These are gamers who have had to deal with delays, sometimes paid higher prices and even have been denied games that those of us in North America and Japan took for granted. So what if they’ve gotten Batman: Arkham City, Mortal Kombat, Lumines Electronic Symphony and soon Mass Effect 3 and Dead or Alive 5 for free? Instead, let’s be happy that those in Europe get so much value for their money with PlayStation Plus, enjoy the free games that we do get and be happy that a service like this even exists.