The Morning After: PlayStation’s answer to Xbox Game Pass breaks cover

·Bureau Chief, UK
·5 min read
Aaron Souppouris/Engadget

After a fair degree of speculation, Sony has officially announced the next evolution of PlayStation Plus, its subscription service. And, finally, it could offer enough to match Microsoft’s compelling Game Pass. It’s still called PlayStation Plus but will fuse it with PlayStation Now, the company’s middling game streaming service, at least at the highest tiers.

PlayStation Plus Premium ($18 per month) is where the PS Now aspect really comes into play, with access to an extra 340 or so games, including PS3 titles you can stream via the cloud. A bunch of PS1, PS2 and PSP games will be available to stream or download, too, but the streaming feature will be only in markets where PS Now is currently available. That includes the likes of the US, UK, Japan and a large chunk of Europe.

Then there’s PlayStation Plus Extra (for $15 per month), which will fold in the existing PS Plus service, soon to be renamed PlayStation Plus Essential (still $10 per month) but add a library of “up to” 400 PS4 and PS5 games. These will encompass PlayStation’s in-house titles as well as third party games.

At the outset, Sony plans to offer games including Death Stranding, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Mortal Kombat 11 and Returnal. However, it’s unlikely that first-party PlayStation games (usually exclusive at launch) will appear on the service immediately. Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz in an interview: "We feel if we were to do that with the games that we make at PlayStation Studios, that virtuous cycle will be broken." In PlayStation’s favor, at least in the US, the annual price is $60 less than Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members’ annual cost.

The new-look PS Plus will start rolling out in June.

— Mat Smith

 

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