PlayStation has revealed its new subscription service that's set to act as a rival to Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass and it's a new PS Plus.
Announced on the PlayStation Blog today (via GamesIndustry.biz), Sony said that the system, which combines PS Now and PS Plus within a three-tier offering, will include 400 PS4 and PS5 games, as well as titles from the PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP. The three tiers - dubbed PS Plus Essentials, PS Plus Extra, and PS Plus Premium - will be available from $59.99 per year for PS Plus Essentials to $119.99 per year for PS Plus Premium, with monthly and three-month subscriptions also available.
The new PS Plus will launch in June, but will be a "phased" launch. On the PlayStation Blog, Sony confirmed that:
"In the June timeframe, we’ll begin with an initial launch in several markets in Asia, followed by North America, Europe and the rest of the world where PlayStation Plus is offered. We aim to have most PlayStation Network territories live with our new PlayStation Plus game subscription service by the end of the first half of 2022."
The service had been rumoured for a long time as a direct response to the ongoing success of Game Pass, but a Bloomberg report from last week stated that Sony was looking to move ahead with the service, which was previously known under the codename Spartacus. Included within that report was the suggestion that Sony's biggest games wouldn't necessarily come to the service at launch, meaning subscribers would have to wait for the likes of God of War Ragnarok or Final Fantasy 16, in contrast to Game Pass' day one approach.
Whether Sony's approach works as well as Xbox Game Pass, which recently surpassed 25 million subscribers worldwide, remains to be seen. Microsoft's offering does have an almost five-year headstart on the new PS Plus, but Sony's PS Now and PS Plus subscriptions might give it a crucial leg-up in the race.