If you've been waiting for a PlayStation Stars US release date, then your wait is officially over. The service, which constitutes a new PlayStation loyalty scheme wherein you can earn points towards various rewards, has somewhat unexpectedly launched in the US today, with other territories on the way soon.
PlayStation Stars was originally announced back in July this year. It's essentially a way to earn points towards what PlayStation calls "unique digital collectibles" (don't worry, they're not NFTs), as well as PSN wallet funds and "select game titles". By signing up to PlayStation Stars, you can take part in "campaigns", which could consist of monthly challenges, objectives specific to certain games, or other requirements for earning points.
Signing up for PlayStation Stars is free, but if you're a PlayStation Plus member, you'll also get points whenever you buy "eligible" content from the PlayStation Store. Your points can be put towards wallet funds, and you can also use them for the aforementioned digital collectibles or to buy games from the Rewards Catalog. Essentially, if you're already a PS Plus member, it makes sense to hop onto the Stars program as well.
Of course, that's if you don't get put on a waitlist first. Per the official PlayStation Stars website, some users are being put on a waitlist to "ensure members have an optimized experience" with the service. If you do happen to be on the waitlist, Sony says you'll be given access to the service around two months after you registered. The process is random according to Sony, so if you are on the waitlist, it's nothing personal.
PlayStation Stars has a rather controversial customer service benefit
When you do manage to get into PlayStation Stars, you'll begin at level 1, where you can earn points for collectibles. Levels 2 and 3 are achieved by buying one and two full PlayStation Store games, respectively, as well as earning one uncommon trophy for level 2 and 32 uncommon trophies for level 3. You'll get access to various extra collectibles for these levels.
Finally, there's level 4, which was the subject of some derision a while back due to the fact it provides "chat priority routing". Since you need to buy four full PlayStation Store games (as well as earn 128 uncommon trophies) for this level, this essentially means Sony is letting you pay to be boosted when it comes to customer service. I can't imagine that's going to go over particularly well.
If PlayStation Stars isn't available in your area yet, you shouldn't have too much longer to wait given that it's launched in the US already. You can sign up for Stars in the PlayStation App (currently, there's no way to do so from your console or from your browser). We'll bring you more about this program as soon as we get it.