Sony unveils its Game Pass challenger, PlayStation Plus

After many years of Xbox and PC players gloating at how much value Game Pass provides, PlayStation owners finally have something similar.

That something is the all new PlayStation Plus subscription which combines PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now into a single product.

Much like Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate, the new PlayStation Plus subscription will follow a tiered approach with three tiers at time of writing.

The first is PlayStation Plus Essential and it is the cheapest of the trio. For $9.99 per month you get:

  • Two downloadable games per month.
  • Exclusive discounts.
  • Cloud storage for saved games.
  • Online multiplayer access.

This isn’t a massive departure from the current PlayStation Plus offer, but the other two tiers are.

PlayStation Plus Extra is where we find the meat on the bones of this service. Subscribers in this tier get access to everything in the Essential tier as well as a catalogue of up to 400 of the most enjoyable PS4 and PS5 games. These games can be downloaded but title availability will differ from market to market. PlayStation Plus Extra will cost $14.99 per month.

The final tier is PlayStation Plus Premium although in some markets it will be known as PlayStation Plus Deluxe and carry a lower price.

The reason for this differentiation is due to one of this tier’s offerings – cloud streaming. Unfortunately, cloud streaming isn’t available in all markets and those where it isn’t available will receive PlayStation Plus Deluxe instead.

Aside from being able to stream PlayStation, PS2, PS3, PSP and PS4 games, PlayStation Plus Premium includes all of the benefits from the previous tiers, downloads of original PlayStation, PS2 and PSP games and time-limited game trials.

The PlayStation Plus Premium tier costs $17.99 per month, but PlayStation Plus Deluxe will have a lower price owing to the exclusion of streaming.

These new subscription tiers are set to become available in June although PlayStation is taking a measured approach to the rollout here.

“In the June timeframe, we’ll begin with an initial launch in several markets in Asia, followed by North America, Europe and the rest of the world where PlayStation Plus is offered. We aim to have most PlayStation Network territories live with our new PlayStation Plus game subscription service by the end of the first half of 2022. We also plan to expand our cloud streaming benefit to additional markets, and will provide more details at a later date,” president and chief executive officer at Sony Interactive Entertainment, Jim Ryan said in a blog post.

Exactly what games we can expect is unclear at this stage. While PlayStation highlighted exclusives such as God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Returnal, it also said that it would have more details regarding games in due course.

Whether PlayStation will use its Premium tier to give subscribers access to new games at release is unclear, but really, Microsoft has pushed Sony’s hand in this regard. Should PlayStation Plus not offer day-one access to titles, players may still have to endure the jeers of Game Pass subscribers.


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