Game pass

Sony beefs up PlayStation Plus to tackle Xbox Game Pass

Sony is refreshing its PlayStation Plus service in an attempt to threaten Xbox Game Pass dominance. The new PlayStation Plus will integrate PlayStation Now – which will no longer operate as a standalone service – and offers three subscription tiers.

  • PlayStation Plus Essential offers the same service as the current PlayStation Plus. This means: two downloadable games per month; exclusive discounts; cloud storage for saved games; online multiplayer access. It costs $9.99/£6.99 per month, $24.99/£19.99 per term, and $59.99/£49.99 per year.
  • Additional PlayStation Plus offers the same as the Essential tier, plus up to 400 PS4 and PS5 games to download. It costs $14.99/£10.99 per month, $39.99/£31.99 per term, and $99.99/£83.99 per year.
  • PlayStation Plus Premium gives you the same benefits as the two tiers above, plus another 340 games including PS3 titles for cloud streaming and PS1, PS2 and PSP games available to download or stream. It also offers what used to be called PlayStation Now – i.e. cloud streaming access for original PlayStation, PS2, PSP and PS4 games offered in the Extra and Premium tiers where PlayStation Now is available. And time-limited game trials of new titles so you can try before you buy. It costs $17.99/£13.49 per month, $49.99/£39.99 per term and $119.99/£99.99 per year.

In markets where cloud streaming is not available, Sony will offer an option called PlayStation Plus Deluxe. It’s cheaper than the Premium tier and includes a catalog of downloadable games on PS1, PS2, and PSP, as well as time-limited game trials. It also includes Essential and Extra tier benefits.

The new tiers will launch in June in Asia, followed by North America, Europe, and the rest of the world. Once launched, PlayStation Now will no longer be available as a separate option. PlayStation Now subscribers will be transitioned to PlayStation Plus Premium with no increase in their bill “at launch” (suggesting there could be increases down the line if Sony raises prices).

At launch, Sony intends to include games like Death Stranding, God of the war, Marvel’s Spiderman, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Mortal Kombat 11and Return in its Extra and Premium levels. However, it stopped short of offering its upcoming PlayStation-exclusive games on launch days – something Microsoft is offering with Xbox Game Pass, to great acclaim.

These changes were leaked beforehand, so they come as no big surprise. Still, they provide more ways for PlayStation owners to get games, which has to be a good thing.

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