Microsoft’s GamePass is an incredible service. Easily the best value in gaming no matter what side of the platform spectrum you fall on. For just $15 you can play a multitude of games on a multitude of platforms with the ability to access XBOX’s first party on launch day. Last generation, Sony had the comfort of dealing with a Microsoft Game Studios that was in a state of flux with no real sense of direction. TIMES HAVE CHANGED. This is no more.
No longer is the idea of buying physical games as appealing or even as necessary as it once was. The convenience of being able to play your favorite games on any device simply by subscribing to a gaming service is an offer that’s hard to refuse. Simply just being able to subscribe to any service that you favor nowadays is where we are.
Microsoft has seen tremendous upside to their ecosystem with GamePass and deservedly so. They now boast a subscriber count of 25 million and it looks to grow even further as time goes.
WHAT DO YOU GET WITH THE NEW PLAYSTATION PLUS TIERS?
PlayStation Plus Essential
- Provides the same benefits that PlayStation Plus members are getting today, such as:
- Two monthly downloadable games
- Exclusive discounts
- Cloud storage for saved games
- Online multiplayer access
- There are no changes for existing PlayStation Plus members in this tier.
Price* for PlayStation Plus Essential remains the same as the current price for PlayStation Plus.
- United States
- $9.99 monthly / $24.99 quarterly / $59.99 yearly
- €8.99 monthly / €24.99 quarterly / €59.99 yearly
- United Kingdom
- £6.99 monthly / £19.99 quarterly / £49.99 yearly
- ¥850 monthly / ¥2,150 quarterly / ¥5,143 yearly
PlayStation Plus Extra
- Provides all the benefits from the Essential tier
- Adds a catalog of up to 400* of the most enjoyable PS4 and PS5 games – including blockbuster hits from our PlayStation Studios catalog and third-party partners. Games in the Extra tier are downloadable for play.
- United States
- $14.99 monthly / $39.99 quarterly / $99.99 yearly
- €13.99 monthly / €39.99 quarterly / €99.99 yearly
- United Kingdom
- £10.99 monthly / £31.99 quarterly / £83.99 yearly
- ¥1,300 monthly / ¥3,600 quarterly / ¥8,600 yearly
PlayStation Plus Premium**
- Provides all the benefits from Essential and Extra tiers
- Adds up to 340* additional games, including:
- PS3 games available via cloud streaming
- A catalog of beloved classic games available in both streaming and download options from the original PlayStation, PS2 and PSP generations
- Offers cloud streaming access for original PlayStation, PS2, PSP and PS4 games offered in the Extra and Premium tiers in markets** where PlayStation Now is currently available. Customers can stream games using PS4 and PS5 consoles, and PC.***
- Time-limited game trials will also be offered in this tier, so customers can try select games before they buy.
- United States
- $17.99 monthly / $49.99 quarterly / $119.99 yearly
- €16.99 monthly / €49.99 quarterly / €119.99 yearly
- United Kingdom
- £13.49 monthly / £39.99 quarterly / £99.99 yearly
- ¥1,550 – monthly / ¥4,300 – quarterly / ¥10,250 yearly
- PlayStation Plus Deluxe (Select Markets) For markets without cloud streaming, PlayStation Plus Deluxe will be offered at a lower price compared to Premium, and includes a catalog of beloved classic games from the original PlayStation, PS2 and PSP generations to download and play, along with time-limited game trials. Benefits from Essential and Extra tiers are also included. Local pricing will vary by market.
Sony’s subscription service in terms of PS Plus and PS Now has been kind of a clusterfuck and messy and while it does offer some good things in terms of both services, having to subscribe to two services on the same ecosystem makes no sense. Sony making this official rebrand which combines the two services is a good thing but, there are things that we have to be honest about
PLAYSTATION PLUS IS NOT TRYING TO BE LIKE GAMEPASS
Sony was very clear from the beginning that it was never trying to do what Microsoft has done with Gamepass. As much as we hear the rumblings from the Twitterverse and the gaming media of what they expected “Spartacus” to be or hoped it would be, It was never going to be that. Even as of recently in a GamesIndustry.biz interview Jim Ryan was quoted saying as much “[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. 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.”
What Jim Ryan and Sony seem to be banking on is more live service focused. This is why their purchase of Bungie earlier this year was so big for them. The plan for Sony is to have 10 live service games fully functional by 2026. Both companies have very different strategies and that’s ok. Variety is good.
WHAT GAMES ARE WE GETTING WITH THE NEW PLAYSTATION PLUS?
We already know that as of right now, AAA first party titles are out. The big question is, “What games are we getting if we subscribe to the Extra and Premium tiers?” Fair question. The answer? We don’t know fully. It would seem that within the PS Plus Extra and Premium Tiers that it’s all about the Playstation catalog past and present. This may sound like a good deal but as it stands now, it looks like a paywall for backwards compatibility and popular legacy titles i.e Returnal, Spider Man: Miles Morales, GoW, etc. The Premium tier also offers timed game trials and game streaming capability as well.
Sony has been very vague about what you’re getting in terms of new games within these new tiers. No talk of 3rd party and indie games. At this point those games would have to be the draw to subscribing to PS Plus Extra or Premium since day and date is not an option. Hopefully Sony will clarify this as we get closer to June when the new service is officially released and everyone changes over.
SONY HAS A LOT OF QUESTIONS TO ANSWER WITH PLAYSTATION PLUS
Sony’s new Playstation Plus rebrand isn’t a bad thing. It has positives. First, we finally get one unified service. PS Now and PS Plus are combined. Second, PS NOW finally gets the notice that it never really got due to Sony’s inability to promote one of it’s best innovations. After all, PS NOW was here long before GamePass and yet Microsoft is doing what Sony should have been and now Sony gets no credit for what it started first, so, that is good for PS NOW. Third, we get access to the incredible Sony catalog of games. Those are the positives as I see them right now but there more negatives and more questions that need answers.
The PS3’s catalog is Sony’s biggest problem in terms of why it refuses to create a viable emulation for it so that way PS PLUS subscribers can play them natively without being forced to stream them. If the independent modding community can sort this out with limited resources then I fail to see why a company worth 200 billion can’t figure this out and the excuses are no longer making sense.
Sony owns Crunchyroll which now owns Funimation, that could be an enticing offer to bundle into the at the very least the Premium tier. Why not throw it out there? I’m just saying. Sony has a lot at it’s disposal that it could use to really separate it from being compared to GamePass but Sony seems to be moving at a snail’s pace. Mind you, I’m aware these things take time but they’ve had two years since the PS5 has been out to kind of figure out their direction and as a team blue PS fan, I’m confused as ever by Sony. I’m still hopeful that Sony will put in the work to futureproof itself and whether they like it or not they’re going to have to change but they should do it willingly.