Game Services, Wallets, And Funding

Over the weekend I was alerted to the PSN flash sale that was in effect until Monday afternoon (Real Coast Time). Most of the items on sale were for PS3, the PS4 items weren’t really all that sexy, but there were a few nice, deep discounts for some Vita titles like Freedom Wars, which is one that friends had been playing for some time.

I had thought that I had wallet funds in the PS Store, since I had used a store-bought card a while back in order to buy some DLC for Rocksmith, but when I went to the PSN store to verify this, I found an empty balance. I swore that there had been money there, because I know I was purposefully keeping it in case there were more Rocksmith songs I was interested in.

This morning, I went into the transaction history, and found that my PSPlus service renewed, and that it had used the remaining funds in my wallet first, and then took the remainder from my bank account. This kind of annoyed me; I understand the logistics of it, naturally, but in my mind (at least), I put money into the wallet — be it PSN or Steam, or XBL — for the purpose of some immediate purchase, or in the event that I see something down the road that’s new or on sale. To me, the idea is that the wallet is like a holding pen, a place where I can put money away for a rainy day for a very specific purpose.

The PSN renewal is (again, to me) a “maintenance fee”, and I’d rather have it be withdrawn in toto from whatever non-wallet funding source I have set up. Taking money from the wallet almost feels like having your parents take money from your dresser-drawer savings account in order to pay your auto insurance; yes, it’s technically coming from the same place (me), but there’s a psychological difference between a stash and an official funding source.