Sony is announcing new versions of its PlayStation Plus subscriptions today, its long-rumored answer to Xbox Game Pass. PlayStation Plus is now a combination of Sony’s two current subscription services, PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now. Two new PlayStation Plus subscription options will include access to multiplayer gaming alongside a catalog of select PlayStation games to install or stream.
These new tiers will start to become available in June in Asia, followed by North America, Europe, and the rest of the world. As part of the launch, PlayStation Now will no longer be available as a standalone service.
PlayStation Plus Essential is priced at $9.99 monthly and will include the same PlayStation Plus benefits that exist today with online multiplayer access, two monthly downloadable games, discounts, and cloud storage for saved games. This tier of PlayStation Plus will effectively remain the same and at the same price.
PlayStation Plus Extra is a new tier that includes all the Essential benefits and adds up to 400 PS4 or PS5 games. Games in this Extra tier are also downloadable, and it will be priced at $14.99 per month. The third tier is PlayStation Plus Premium, priced at $17.99 per month.
The Premium option includes all the same benefits in Essential and Extra, alongside 340 additional games, including select PS3 titles via cloud streaming. There will be a catalog of classic games available in both streaming and download options, including original PlayStation, PS2, and PSP games. Time-limited game trials will also be offered in this Premium tier, so PlayStation owners can try games before they buy them.
- PlayStation Plus Essential — includes multiplayer access, two monthly downloadable games, discounts, and cloud storage for game saves. Priced at $9.99 per month or $59.99 a year.
- PlayStation Plus Extra — includes everything in Plus Essential and access to a catalog of up to 400 PS4 or PS5 games. Priced at $14.99 per month or $99.99 a year.
- PlayStation Plus Premium — includes all benefits from Essential and Extra, with an extra 340 games that include PS3 titles that can be streamed and some original PlayStation, PS2, and PSP games. Time-limited game trials also available. Priced at $17.99 per month or $119.99 a year.
“The new Extra and Premium tiers represent a major evolution for PlayStation Plus,” says PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan. “With these tiers, our key focus is to ensure that the hundreds of games we offer will include the best quality content that sets us apart.”
At launch, Sony plans to include games like Death Stranding, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Mortal Kombat 11, and Returnal. Sony isn’t making its upcoming exclusive PlayStation games available on launch day through this subscription service though, making it less of an Xbox Game Pass competitor.
In fact, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan suggests Sony’s own games could suffer if they went straight to PlayStation Plus on day one. “[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,” explains Ryan in an interview with Gamesindustry.biz.
“We feel if we were to do that with the games that we make at PlayStation Studios, that virtuous cycle will be broken. The level of investment that we need to make in our studios would not be possible, and we think the knock-on effect on the quality of the games that we make would not be something that gamers want.”
Microsoft has taken an entirely different approach with Xbox Game Pass, committing to Xbox Game Studios launching on day one on the service. It’s made Xbox Game Pass an attractive option to Xbox gamers, alongside an impressive back catalog that allows the latest Xbox Series S / X consoles to natively run original Xbox games alongside titles for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Still, Sony’s combination of PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now offers more choices of how to play classic and new PlayStation games without having to subscribe to a separate streaming service. It might not be a true Game Pass competitor, but it’s certainly an improvement for PlayStation owners.
Update, March 29th 9:30AM ET: Article updated with Sony comment on day one launches.