On March 29th, Sony announced it would be launching a new version of its PlayStation Plus subscription service this June to compete with Xbox Game Pass. The new service will be a combination of two current subscription packages: PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now. This program will include access to multiplayer games as well as a catalog of more than 700 downloadable and playable video games.
The service will be broken up into three tiers which will hit the market in Asia this June followed by the rest of the world after that. Unfortunately, this does mean that PlayStation Now will no longer be available as a standalone service.
PlayStation Plus Essential will be the cheapest package offered at $9.99 a month. This will include multiplayer access, discounts, cloud storage, and two downloadable games each month. PlayStation Plus Extra is expected to cost $12.99 each month. This comes with all the features of the PlayStation Essential plus access to more than 400 PS4 and PS5 games. The most expensive plan is PlayStation Plus Premium, which will cost $15.99 monthly. This gets you all the features that come with the essential and extra packages, as well as access to 340 games from older consoles including the PS1, the PS2, the PS3, and more.
“This June, we’re bringing together PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now in an all-new PlayStation Plus subscription service that provides more choice to customers across three membership tiers globally,” the company said in a blog post. “Our focus is on providing high-quality, curated content with a diverse portfolio of games.”
The Profit‘s Take:
I don’t know if we are going to end up talking about this the same way we talk about Game Pass. Game Pass is really shaking up the video game industry. PlayStation just seems confused here. Their basic plan doesn’t give you access to a gaming library. It doesn’t feel like an all-you-can-eat Game Pass-style service. It feels halfway between what they had before and Game Pass. Why is online multiplayer a service I’m paying for as a console owner? This is not 2001. It makes no sense as something to pay for. In my own experience, PlayStation’s offerings have always been incredibly confusing. I’ve never understood what I get for using their services. You could argue the same thing for Nintendo too. I hate having to pay for online features that would come included with literally any PC game. The marketing for the PlayStation offering just seems very stupid. Game Pass has become dead simple: here are all the games you can get for $10 a month. PlayStation has not done that here. It feels like their plan is half-baked, a knee-jerk reaction to Microsoft, and just not well thought out. Game Pass has succeeded because they understand product-market fit. Google Stadia and PlayStation Plus do not understand this. PlayStation’s approach doesn’t make sense to me. And, if I don’t understand it, a more causal gamer will DEFINITELY be confused by it.