Sony has officially confirmed its rumoured ‘Spartacus’ overhaul to its PlayStation Plus subscription service by introducing a new three-tier service that will offer the existing service and combine it with PlayStation Now and other benefits in the coming months.
The first tier, PlayStation Plus Essential, is intentionally identical to the current PlayStation Plus subscription service that Sony has provided over the years and will cost $9.99 USD per month. Moving up to the second tier, PlayStation Plus Extra provides the same benefits as PlayStation Plus Essential and provides subscribers with a downloadable/streaming catalogue of up to 400 PS4 and PS5 titles from PlayStation Studios and third-party publishers. It will cost $14.99 USD per month.
Finally, the most expensive tier at $17.99 USD per month is PlayStation Plus Premium, which offers the same benefits as the previous tiers. It also offers an additional 340 PS4 and PS5 titles to the service’s catalogue, PS3 cloud game streaming, a catalogue of PS1, PS2 and PSP games (downloadable and streaming) and time-limited game trials. Other than PS3 games, the service will allow subscribers to download and stream games from multiple PlayStation generations on PS4 and PS5. All the changes to the new three-tier system will apply starting in June.
PlayStation says it plans to launch the Extra and Premium tiers with a lineup of PlayStation Studios titles including Death Stranding, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Returnal. PlayStation Now will transition to the service and will no longer be offered as a standalone service when the PlayStation Plus overhaul launches. Existing PlayStation Now users will be automatically moved to the Premium tier at no additional cost, while current PlayStation Plus users will remain in the Essential tier.
For markets with cloud streaming, PlayStation is looking to offer select markets a PlayStation Plus Deluxe tier. The tier is just PlayStation Plus Premium minus the streaming benefits and will be offered at a lower monthly price point than the premium tier. Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO, Jim Ryan says they are aiming “to have most PlayStation Network territories live with our new PlayStation Plus game subscription service by the end of the first half of 2022.”
The new service, in certain ways, is comparable to Xbox Game Pass minus PlayStation Studios games launching day and date on the new upcoming PlayStation Plus service. The non-move for day one launch for games like God of War Ragnarök on PlayStation’s part is one that Ryan is still defending.
“[In terms of] putting our own games into this service, or any of our services, upon their release… as you well know, this is not a road that we’ve gone down in the past. And it’s not a road that we’re going to go down with this new service. We feel if we were to do that with the games that we make at PlayStation studios, that virtuous cycle will be broken,” Jim Ryan said in an interview with gameindustry.biz.