On March 29, 2022, Sony unveiled its long-rumored new subscription service to rival Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. And to be honest, the new PlayStation Plus feels a little underwhelming. Here’s everything we know so far…
What Is the New Service?
Rumors that Sony had a new subscription service up its sleeve have been swirling for months. Although many believed Sony would reveal a brand new, redesigned subscription service for game streaming, what we got is fairly underwhelming. In a nutshell, Sony is merging PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus while keeping the Plus name.
The new service will be available at different times depending on where you are. In the newest post on the PlayStation Blog on May 16, 2022, Sony announced that the new PlayStation Plus tiers will begin in “Asia on May 24, followed by Japan on June 2, North and South America on June 13, and finally, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand on June 23.”
In its post in March on the PlayStation Blog, Sony announced that the all-new PlayStation Plus will have over 700 games available and provide “more value than ever.” Its goal is to focus on “providing high-quality, curated content with a diverse portfolio of games.”
As it stands right now, PlayStation Plus gives gamers access to online multiplayer, monthly games, and some exclusive discounts. PlayStation Now is the service that allows players to download and stream classic PlayStation titles.
What Are the Differences in Each PlayStation Plus Tier?
While keeping the PlayStation Plus name, Sony has introduced three new tiers with various features. Here’s what we know about each membership tier and some of the best games that will be available.
PlayStation Plus Essential
In its most affordable option, Plus Essential gives players access to all the present Plus benefits.
These benefits include access to online multiplayer, two monthly downloadable games, exclusive discounts, as well as cloud storage for your saved games. This tier will be $9.99 per month upon release.
The two monthly games for the Essential tier have not yet been announced for June.
Plus Extra includes everything in the Essential tier, along with up to 400 of the “most enjoyable PS4 and PS5 games.” This includes some PlayStation exclusive titles along with popular third-party offerings. This tier will go for $14.99 per month.
Some of these exciting games available for both Extra and Premium members include:
- Demon’s Souls
- God of War
- Horizon Zero Dawn
- Gravity Rush 2
- Hollow Knight
PlayStation Plus Premium
Plus Premium will, of course, include everything in the tiers below it, along with up to 340 additional titles. This includes PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, and PSP games. Sony also notes that these games will be available to stream on PS5, PS4, and PC.
Players also have access to “time-limited game trials” to try them out before buying them. This tier will retail for $17.99 per month upon release. Some of these game trials will include:
- Horizon Forbidden West
- Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection
- Cyberpunk 2077
- WWE 2K22
A few of the classic PlayStation titles exclusive to Premium members will include:
- Tekken 2
- Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
- Bioshock Remastered
- Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time
- Devil May Cry HD Collection
What Is Changing From the Current PlayStation Plus and Now?
As Sony is merging PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now, those already paying for either service are in an interesting spot.
When the services merge, those who are PlayStation Plus members will be put in the PlayStation Plus Essential tier, which includes everything that current PlayStation Plus members are paying for. Nothing new is in this tier and is retailing for the same price of $9.99 per month.
What will happen to players who only pay for PlayStation Now for $9.99 per month but whose features Sony is moving to the highest tier of Plus Premium? Our suspicions were correct: these members will be moved to the most expensive tier and will have to pay the $17.99 monthly fee at the beginning of their next billing cycle.
The bright side is that these members will get all the perks of the Extra and Essential tiers. If you’re a member who falls in this category, try the Premium tier to see if it’s worth the extra money, and then decide if one of the more affordable tiers is a better deal for you.
Unfortunately, none of the new PlayStation Plus tiers will include brand-new games launching straight into PS Plus, which is one of the perks of Xbox Game Pass.
In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan explains:
“We feel if we were to do that with the games that we make at PlayStation Studios… 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.”
Is the New PlayStation Plus a True Xbox Game Pass Competitor?
It looks like the new PlayStation Plus is simply a way of merging Sony’s two existing services, PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now, into one three-tiered service, with each tier offering different levels of value.
PlayStation owners have always looked at Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass members in awe as they play Xbox exclusive, triple-A titles on day one, such as Halo Infinite. Although some PlayStation exclusive titles will be available to Plus Extra members, playing brand-new titles on day one is not in the cards.
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