Sony has finally unveiled rival Xbox Game Pass, an “all-new PlayStation Plus” that brings together existing PS Plus and PS Now into a three-tier subscription service that includes up to 700 games and access to retro games at the higher level. . It will open in select markets in June and then roll out globally on a regional basis.
After months of reports, and even more speculation, Sony finally revealed the new service today. It consists of three tiers, PlayStation Plus Essential, PlayStation Plus Extra, and PlayStation Plus Premium. As part of the move, PS Now will be shut down, with members being migrated to the Premium tier, with no price change at launch.
At its top tier, the new PS Plus will offer over 700 games to stream or download (including PC streaming), and the library will be “regularly refreshed”. PS3 games will be available as streaming-only titles, while PS1, PS2, and PSP games will come with download or streaming options. Sony has made it clear that (at least for now) first-party exclusives won’t launch in the service for any tier, unlike Xbox Game Pass.
The service will get started with Death Stranding, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Mortal Kombat 11 and Returnal. Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said GamesIndustry there’s a variety of programming coming up: “Whether it’s indie games, great games, or things that celebrate our heritage…all kinds of games. We’re going to have it all, and I’m hoping for programming that sticks all kinds boxes.”
The new service will roll out regionally, starting with “multiple markets in Asia” in June, followed by North America, Europe and the rest of the world. No specific date has yet been proposed.
New PlayStation Plus: games confirmed so far
You can see all the details and prices for each level below:
While Sony says it’s looking to increase cloud streaming coverage across the globe, regions that don’t have access will instead get a different tier, Deluxe, which removes streaming (and therefore all PS3 games) of the Premium Tier, but comes in at a lower price. Deluxe will apparently not be available outside of these regions.
While the new PS Plus has similarities in approach to Game Pass, there are multiple differences, including how exclusives are handled. Xbox Game Pass has arguably been one of the most important decisions Microsoft has made regarding its gaming business in recent years, offering a rotating selection of games (including first-party titles on launch day) as part of a Cloud Gaming subscription and linker and other benefits at the more expensive Ultimate level. It was a hugely popular move, and Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has previously called a PlayStation response to Game Pass “inevitability”.