Adobe officially announces Creative Suite 6

After several sneak previews and a fully-functional beta version, Adobe has today officially announced the latest reincarnation of its popular Creative Suite software package, version 6, which sports among other things a whole wealth of new features, a massive overhaul to the default user interface and integration with Adobe’s new cloud service.

CS6 Splash
Like previous versions of Creative Suite, several “packages” are available aimed at different creative needs, and the versions available for this release are as follows:

  • Design Standard, which includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat X Pro, Bridge and Media Encoder.
  • Design & Web Premium, which includes all the programs from Design Standard along with Photoshop Extended, Dreamweaver, Flash Professional and Fireworks.
  • Production Premium, which includes Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop Extended, Audition, SpeedGrade, Prelude, Illustrator, Encore, Flash Professional, Media Encoder and Bridge.
  • Master Collection, which includes all the programs from the CS6 range.

This version of Creative Suite has seen a radically different pricing strategy to previous versions in that Adobe has introduced a new “subscription” scheme for CS6, whereby users of the software pay a monthly fee of $49.99 (with a minimum one-year plan). Subscribers then receive the full version of CS6 along with full technical support and 20 GB of online cloud storage with Adobe’s new cloud service. The subscription scheme is also available on a monthly basis for the higher price of $74.99.

The subscription scheme is a great deal for people who want to use all the programs in the Creative Suite collection, as by my rough calculations you can get nearly four and a half years use out of it (when compared to the full retail price of the Master Collection – $2,599) before it becomes cheaper to buy the software outright (by which time, Adobe will have surely released a new version). Subscribers also benefit from the cloud service and increased technical support, however for casual users, it may be cheaper in the long run to purchase the program outright (especially if they are only interested in one program, for example Photoshop).

The Adobe website is accepting pre-orders for all customers (including educational users, small to medium businesses and upgrades from CS5 or CS5.5) and the products will, according to Adobe, be available for download “within the next 30 days”. We’ll keep you posted on anything new.


  • phunkidude

    Did Adobe kill Flash Catalyst?

  • http://www.suckerpunch-studios.com Brad Weaver

    Does this deal (with the $29.99 price for upgrade customers) look as good as it sounds? I have to be missing something, right?

    For $360 per year, I get full access to the entire CS6 collection. Even if I go two years before the next upgrade that’s $720, at least $500 less than the Master Collection upgrade for outright software when we went from CS4 to CS5.

    Plus it looks like out Typekit account can get bundled in, not sure if we pay an upgrade price to have our Enterprise-level account, but that and some Business Catalyst sites to play with as well, wow.

    This is an unbelievable deal, I think…

    • Aficion

      I know what you mean. It does sound too good to be true. Personally, I can think of two scenarios:

      1. Adobe is doing the same thing a lot of car companies do. If they change their service to a monthly fee, they essentially lock you in for the rest of your CS-using days, be it 5 or 60 years. I know a lot of people who are more than happy using CS2 (most of the professional artists and designers I know upgrade far less often than my tech-obsessed friends), and will probably never upgrade, because they don’t need ‘better’ tools. So, I think in the long-run (maybe), Adobe will make a lot more money off of forcing these users to subscribe.

      2. So many people use cracked copies of CS Suite because there’s no way they can afford it. Maybe Adobe thinks they can get some of these people to start paying now that it’s easier to do so. Kind of like people paying for music on iTunes even though it’s easy enough to find it for free.

      These are just a couple of ideas. I really have no idea! Any other ideas?

  • http://blindyeti.com Dr. Peril

    I knew this was coming, but the more details I get the more bothered I am by it. And I should preface the remained of my comment by saying that yes, I see and agree with the benefits of this pricing model for most users- including my own side business. However…

    We can’t just buy the software — instead I have to convence my office to pay a reoccuring fee, per person, until forever? Yeah.. that’s gonna happen…

    Never mind that, to be honest, I don’t want to manage another bloody cloud service. Obviously I could just not use it, but it seems like it’s no small part of the overall reason for this style of “buying” the new CS suite. Feels kind of like being forced into someone else’s workflow, and having to pay for the privilege.

    Between Dropbox (the one I actually use), Box.net, iCloud, my server, the office’s server, Evernote, SimpleNote, SugarSync, and … well you get it … the last thing I need is one more service to track files. Hazel is working overtime as it is keeping files orgranized! I would imagine that Adobe’s cloud service uses some form of version tracking a la Bridge, at least I would hope so. A Bridge server in the office seemed like a good idea once upon a time, until the cloud(s) happened, but if it was a Bridge server that Adobe managed (no setup etc) – that might be fesable.

    Ultimatly I’m not sure this is the best thing for small business, entrepenures or freelancers, and certianly not for G-men like myself. I’d love to have CS6, but if there’s no flat out purchasing program I’ll never get it through accounting. Moreover, as the IT guy, unless the cloud service is significantly better than what we’re using and/or it’s so full of creamy-feature-richness that I can’t live with out it, I don’t think I want to deal with supporting one more frigging filing system for people to lose files in, or forget to back up, or manage settings / shares in, or any of the bs that comes with managing shared resources…

    I’mma go play in Photoshop ;)
    ~ Dr. Peril

    • http://thegraphicmac.com James

      You can still purchase upgrades (or full versions) of boxed copies (or the regular download versions) if you wish.

      The Creative Cloud version is just an option.

      If you own, for example, the Creative Suite Design Premium version, you can upgrade to the “owned/boxed” version of CS6 Design Premium for $375 – so it makes little sense to pay $600 per year for Cloud unless you need all those extra apps and cloud services.

      • Dr. Peril

        Awesome, that wasn’t entirely clear from Adobe’s site. I should be able to get 400$ through accounting :D

  • Aficion

    Is this standard procedure for Adobe to officially announce a release, then say ‘and it’ll be available…. sometime in the next month’? If so, does anyone know how long it usually takes them after the announcement?

  • Philipp

    50$ equals 38€ but not for Adobe, for Adobe 50$ = 59€ – you just have to love it.

    But whatever … does somebody know how Typekit can be used with this? I couldn’t find any conditions. Also, I would appreciate more information about this file-sharing stuff.

  • Rinne

    Yes, it sounds too good to be true.
    It’s just an introductory price for the upgraders. First year only.
    After that I would guess you need to be the regular price.

    • Rinne

      ugh!!
      – Need to PAY the regular price..
      Needs some sleep.. :D

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