In an effort to compete with Xbox Game Pass, Sony is bringing together PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now in a three-tier PlayStation Plus subscription service. Whether or not this service will be enough to compete with Xbox Game Pass remains to be seen, but it is certainly a step in the right direction!
As mentioned, the new service has three tiers. The middle tier offers access to over 400 PlayStation 4 and 5 games for download. And the top tier offers the additional ability to play PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP games. All for $120 a year.
The current PlayStation Plus, now called PlayStation Plus Essential (who is coming up with these names?), will be the lowest level. This tiers maintains the two free monthly games and other extras current subscribers have for the same $10 price.
The new service, as expected, will replace the PS Now name with PlayStation Plus Extra (I can’t with these names). This is the tier to compete with Xbox Game Pass. You receive all of the Essential tier features and “up to 400” PS4 and PS5 games available to download now. At $15 per month, it will match Microsoft’s Game Pass Ultimate monthly price.
Lastly, there’s PlayStation Plus Premium (sigh). This includes all of the previous levels as well as a back catalog of “up to 340” PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP games that you can stream from the cloud. It’ll also allow you to stream your games to PC and try games before you buy them.
Here is the breakdown via a new PlayStation Blog post:
PlayStation Plus Essential
- Two monthly downloadable games
- Exclusive discounts
- Cloud storage for saved games
- Online multiplayer access
Price for PlayStation Plus Essential remains the same as the current price for PlayStation Plus.
- United States—$9.99 monthly / $24.99 quarterly / $59.99 yearly
- Europe—€8.99 monthly / €24.99 quarterly / €59.99 yearly
- United Kingdom—£6.99 monthly / £19.99 quarterly / £49.99 yearly
- Japan—¥850 monthly / ¥2,150 quarterly / ¥5,143 yearly
PlayStation Plus Extra (to Compete with Xbox Game Pass)
- Provides all the benefits from the Essential tier
- Adds a catalog of up to 400 PS4 and PS5 games.
- Games in the Extra tier are downloadable for play.
- United States—$14.99 monthly / $39.99 quarterly / $99.99 yearly
- Europe—€13.99 monthly / €39.99 quarterly / €99.99 yearly
- United Kingdom—£10.99 monthly / £31.99 quarterly / £83.99 yearly
- Japan—¥1,300 monthly / ¥3,600 quarterly / ¥8,600 yearly
PlayStation Plus Premium
- Provides all the benefits from Essential and Extra tiers
- Adds up to 340 additional games, including PS3 games available via cloud streaming and a catalog of classic games available in both streaming and download options from the original PlayStation, PS2, and PSP generations
- Offers cloud streaming access for original PlayStation, PS2, PSP, and PS4 games offered in the Extra and Premium tiers in markets where PlayStation Now is currently available. Customers can stream games using PS4 and PS5 consoles, and PC.
- This tier offers time-limited game trials so customers can try select games before they buy.
- United States—$17.99 monthly / $49.99 quarterly / $119.99 yearly
- Europe—€16.99 monthly / €49.99 quarterly / €119.99 yearly
- United Kingdom—£13.49 monthly / £39.99 quarterly / £99.99 yearly
- Japan—¥1,550 – monthly / ¥4,300 – quarterly / ¥10,250 yearly
PlayStation Plus Deluxe (Select Markets) For markets without cloud streaming, PlayStation Plus Deluxe will be offered at a lower price compared to Premium, and includes a catalog of beloved classic games from the original PlayStation, PS2, and PSP generations to download and play, along with time-limited game trials. Benefits from Essential and Extra tiers are also included. Local pricing will vary by market.
The new service will be available on PS4 and PS5 in the first half of 2022. After the initial launch in Asia, it will continue its journey through the United States and Europe before expanding to other parts of the world.
Will Sony finally be able to Compete with Xbox Game Pass?
Essentially the new PS Plus combines the best aspects of PS Plus and PS Now. This is the answer to Game Pass, Microsoft’s smash hit games-on-demand subscription for Xbox and PC. Bloomberg first reported on the service in December when it was codenamed “Spartacus.”
Unlike Game Pass, first-party exclusive games won’t be available on day one of the service. From a profit standpoint, it makes sense because first-party PlayStation games fly off shelves, so there’s no reason to compete with themselves by offering those same games for “free.”
But Microsoft understands it’s not just about up-front sales. The goal of Game Pass is to keep people in the Xbox universe, and offering their best titles for a simple subscription fee certainly does that as Microsoft recently said Game Pass has more than 25 million subscribers.
It’ll be interesting to see how this new relaunch plays out.
What do you think of Sony’s new offering? What tier are you going to sign up for? How well do you think it will compete with Game Pass?
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