At long last, the worst kept secret in the industry is out from under the covers. Sony Interactive Entertainment has finally revealed how it intends to compete with Microsoft’s Game Pass. Sony’s offering will slip straight into the shoes of PlayStation Plus. But this new integration goes way beyond that tired subscription.
Launching in June 2022, the new and shiny PlayStation Plus subscription will come in three tiers. Each tier opens the doors to more and more of Sony’s backlog promising at the highest tier a library of over 700 games. For the majority of these games, they will be immediately downloadable. But the highest tier will also have the ability to stream games from bygone generations. From the blog,
“Today, we are pleased to share with you official news about changes coming to our subscription services. This June, we’re bringing together PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now in an all-new PlayStation Plus subscription service that provides more choice to customers across three membership tiers globally. Our focus is on providing high-quality, curated content with a diverse portfolio of games.”Jim Ryan on the PlayStation Blog
The blog continues by saying that Sony will continue to work with both in-house and third-party developers, both delivering content to the new service. Of course, we would expect some of PlayStation’s bigger games to be available at launch. These include Kojima Production’s Death Stranding, Sony Santa Monica’s God of War, Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Miles Morales, of course, NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat 11 and Housemarque’s Returnal. These will be available alongside a slew of games from the original PlayStation, PS2, PSP, and PS3 generations.
The three tiers available on the new subscription service are as follows, taken from the PlayStation Blog.
Tier 1: PlayStation Plus Essential
Provides the same benefits that PlayStation Plus members are getting today, such as:
Two monthly downloadable games
Cloud storage for saved games
Online multiplayer access
There are no changes for existing PlayStation Plus members in this tier.
The price for PlayStation Plus Essential remains the same as the current price for PlayStation Plus.
$9.99 monthly / $24.99 quarterly / $59.99 yearly
€8.99 monthly / €24.99 quarterly / €59.99 yearly
£6.99 monthly / £19.99 quarterly / £49.99 yearly
¥850 monthly / ¥2,150 quarterly / ¥5,143 yearly
Tier 2: PlayStation Plus Extra
Provides all the benefits from the Essential tier
Adds a catalog of up to 400* of the most enjoyable PS4 and PS5 games – including blockbuster hits from our PlayStation Studios catalog and third-party partners. Games in the Extra tier are downloadable for play.
$14.99 monthly / $39.99 quarterly / $99.99 yearly
€13.99 monthly / €39.99 quarterly / €99.99 yearly
£10.99 monthly / £31.99 quarterly / £83.99 yearly
¥1,300 monthly / ¥3,600 quarterly / ¥8,600 yearly
Tier 3: 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
A catalog of beloved 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.***
Time-limited game trials will also be offered in this tier, so customers can try select games before they buy.
$17.99 monthly / $49.99 quarterly / $119.99 yearly
€16.99 monthly / €49.99 quarterly / €119.99 yearly
£13.49 monthly / £39.99 quarterly / £99.99 yearly
¥1,550 – monthly / ¥4,300 – quarterly / ¥10,250 yearly
PlayStation Plus Deluxe
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.
This is, quite obviously in direct response to the hugely successful Xbox Games Pass. But is it as strong as the established Microsoft offering? Perhaps not. Ryan has previously suggested that the reimagined PS Plus service is very unlikely to feature brand new exclusive titles. So don’t expect day-one access to the much anticipated God of War: Ragnarok for example. This is for many the core attraction of Games Pass.
But either way, this is surely a step up from the disjointed, current offerings available via PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now. Reboots of loved classics like Spyro and Crash Bandicoot have enjoyed colossal success over recent years, so there is no shortage of love for PlayStation’s catalog. And with Microsoft buying up every developer short of Rockstar, those classics are about all Sony has left.
“Video games are great. I should know, I’ve played some.”
Olly S, July 2020