Sony is quietly working on its own version of Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription platform, and now the PlayStation maker could launch it as soon as next week, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
The service, named Project Spartacus, has been in the works for an indefinite amount of time, and we only know of its existence from a separate December Bloomberg story outlining how Sony intends to combine its PlayStation Plus subscription program with its cloud gaming. PlayStation Now. Platform. The bundle, which will be available in different price tiers, will contain an assortment of games and, at the highest tier, the ability to stream those games to devices other than PlayStation.
Sony’s drive to expand its subscription offerings is evidence of the shift in the gaming industry away from prioritizing game unit sales and toward live service games that monetize software over months and years through microtransactions. Subscriptions and live gaming services are now proving to be fast-growing mainstays of the ever-changing gaming market, and Sony’s main competitor, Microsoft, is leading the charge.
While narrative single-player games and indie titles remain popular, Microsoft has presented a bold vision for how to package and sell these games more effectively as a subscription platform, similar in many ways to Netflix. Additionally, Microsoft is now combining this offering with its cloud gaming platform to allow gamers to access games on mobile devices, laptops, and tablets instead of just through a TV or screen. computer. Sony is now feeling the pressure to compete for fear of falling behind, and it intends to do just that with Spartacus.
One thing that reports have made clear over the past few months is that Sony has no intention of trying to match Xbox Game Pass on first-party versions. Microsoft has expanded its subscription platform to over 25 million subscribers due to both the sheer amount of games available on the service and the fact that brand new $60 and $70 titles being made by the various Microsoft studios release on Game Pass the same day they are created. available at retail. This makes Game Pass, which ranges in price from $10 to $15 per month, an extremely attractive offer if a consumer wants to play, say, the latest Halo game or the Forza Horizon title.
Sony reportedly has no plans to do the same with existing new releases like Horizon Forbidden West, which came out last month, or upcoming ones like God of War Ragnarök, according to Bloomberg, likely out of concern that the release of these games on its subscription platform could hurt retail sales in the long run. This can put it at a serious disadvantage when competing with Game Pass.