Sony has confirmed plans to overhaul its PlayStation subscription offerings with a trio of new memberships launched under the PlayStation Plus umbrella.
The announcement is viewed as Sony’s response to Microsoft Xbox Game Pass, an all-you-can-eat buffet that has helped hasten the gaming market’s transition from disc to streaming.
As part of the plans, Sony will retire its existing PlayStation Now service, with PlayStation Plus taking over the mantle in a choice of three tiers. Plus Essential, priced at £6.99/$9.99 a month, effectively mirrors the existing benefits of PlayStation Plus, giving subscribers access to online multiplayer, two monthly downloadable games and cloud saved games.
A new second tier, dubbed PlayStation Plus Extra, includes all the Essential benefits but adds up to 400 downloadable PS4 and PS5 games encompassing titles from Sony’s own studios as well as third parties. Pricing is set at £10.99/$14.99 per month, pitting Plus Extra as a direct competitor to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Lastly, PlayStation Plus Premium is set to become one of the most expensive gaming subscriptions at a cost of £13.49/$17.99 per month. The top tier includes all of the aforementioned, as well as up to 340 PS3 games accessible via cloud streaming, time-limited game trials, and access to a library of classic PlayStation, PS2 and PSP games.
Jim Ryan, CEO at Sony Interactive Entertainment, said PlayStation Plus is designed to provide “high-quality, curated content with a diverse portfolio of games.”
“Building upon more than 25 years of expertise in gaming innovation, this change to our subscription services highlights our continued efforts to evolve our network services business to match our customer’s preferences,” adds Ryan.
Leaning on the popularity of its first-party titles, Sony confirmed that PlayStation Plus in its new form will include the likes of Death Stranding, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Mortal Kombat 11, and Returnal from day one.
Gamers eager to get a taste of Sony’s revamped subscription plans will however have to wait. The new PlayStation Plus service will launch in June for Asian markets, with North America and Europe to follow at a later date.