PlayStation customers will be able to subscribe to a single, multi-tiered gaming service beginning in June, which will be branded as PlayStation Plus, according to a statement released today by the gaming giant, which confirms previous reports. In light of the fact that its primary gaming competitors are continuing to beef up their own subscription services, Sony is attempting to sweeten its subscription options.
Sony is combining its popular PlayStation Plus service, which has 48 million customers, with its underwhelming PlayStation Now retro gaming plan, according to the company’s press release.
- PSN+ will become PlayStation Plus Essential, retaining its multiplayer gaming features, as well as the ability to download two free games a month and the ability to store saved games in the cloud. The cost is $10 per month or $60 per year.
- In addition, a new PlayStation Plus Extra tier will provide access to about 400 downloadable PS4 and PS5 titles. The cost is $15 per month or $100 per year.
- A PlayStation Plus Premium subscription gives you access to an extra 340+ titles across several platforms, including the PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 (through streaming), and the PlayStation Portable. Additionally, it enables streaming games from those platforms and the PlayStation 4 to the PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5. The cost is $18 per month or $120 per year.
While some may see this as Sony’s response to Microsoft’s Game Pass idea, Sony is just repackaging what the company has already been doing for a long time.
- PlayStation Now presently provides around 1,000 titles from previous platforms, all of which are available for streaming and some of which are also available for download.
- Sony has not featured any of its new titles in either the Plus or Now services. PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz that the new plans would not now accomplish this goal as well, claiming that doing so would decrease revenue, which in turn would lower game quality. (“It would be impossible to make the kind of investment in our studios that we would need to undertake.”
- On the other hand, Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription service ($10/month; no yearly discount) provides access to hundreds of games from across various Xbox generations, including any new titles released by the company.
In other words, Microsoft’s next blockbuster games will be included in the company’s core subscription package. Sony’s will continue to be a disappointment.
The big picture: While subscription plans for game libraries do not now dominate their respective industries in the same way that movie and music subscription plans do, the largest companies in the industry have clearly identified them as a vital component of their business moving forward.
- Even Nintendo is getting involved, although in its own unique Nintendo style (mostly retro games, add-ons to hot Switch games and the occasional subscriber-only game).