So, you have your PlayStation 4. You’re ready to get gaming and start playing online with other people around the world. But before you can do that, you’ll need to sign up for PlayStation Plus, Sony’s premium membership service.
PlayStation Plus is a subscription service that provides users with access to premium features and content on the PlayStation Network. With a PlayStation Plus membership, you get access to exclusive features on your PS4, PS3, and PS Vita systems, including Instant Game Collection™, online multiplayer on the PS4 system, and more.
PlayStation Plus is available as a monthly or yearly subscription. The monthly rate is $9.99 (or £5.99) while the annual rate is $49.99 (or £39.99). If you pay for the subscription annually, you'll save around 40% in comparison to paying monthly.
As a subscriber, you will be able to play selected games for free during your subscription period on a rotating basis. You'll also be able to download two selected PS3 games, two Vita games and two PSP games every month without additional cost. When you download these "Instant Game Collection" titles, they will remain in your library as long as you maintain an active membership.
You can also take advantage of “exclusive” member discounts when purchasing selected games from the PlayStation Store (up to 75% off).
Cloud saves allow you to store game saves on a cloud server rather than on your hard drive(1GB of storage space) . Having your saves stored online means that if something happens to your console or you buy another one, all your saves will be ready and waiting for you when sign into PSN with your account.
It's not mandatory, but it's a smart investment if you're a serious PlayStation fan.