Rumor mill: Netflix-style games may hit the PlayStation 5 next year. News has leaked that Sony plans to merge PlayStation Plus and PS Now subscriptions into one service. The move could be an attempt to be more competitive with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
In a clear attempt to compete with Xbox Game Pass, Sony plans to launch a similar subscription service next year. According to anonymous PlayStation insiders talking to Bloomberg, the service, codenamed Sparticus, will bunch PlayStation Plus with PS Now.
These two services currently offer different features. Playstation plus is $ 60 per year (or $ 9 per month) and gives subscribers discounts as well as a collection of free games with at least two new games added every month. It also allows you to play an online multiplayer game.
Sony PS now it is a cloud gaming service with the same plans as PlayStation Plus. It first launched in 2014 with game streaming as its only option, and at the time playing from the cloud, even with a very high-speed connection, was hardly worth the cost of the subscription. Since then, Sony has made significant improvements in streaming quality and recently added the ability to download and play games natively.
Within Sparticus, subscribers can pay one subscription fee for all services. Basically, this will give PS4 and PS5 owners:
- Access to an online multiplayer game
- A handpicked selection of free PS4 games
- New free games are offered every month
- Access to hundreds of games from all past PlayStation consoles (read: backward compatibility across generations)
Leaked documents show Sparticus will launch in Spring 2022, while retaining the PlayStation Plus name and discontinuing the PS Now branding. Although prices were not available, the service will have three subscription levels.
The lowest priced subscription will have the same benefits that PlayStation Plus is offering now. The mid-tier adds a vast library of on-demand PS4 games, with PS5 games eventually getting into the mix. The Premium Plan (Sparticus) is all the previous benefits, plus game streaming and game downloads for PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP.
How Sony decides to price the service will determine whether the offer is compelling, comparable to Game Pass. For reference, Game pass ultimate subscriptions are $ 15 per month with no annual option, which is $ 180 per year. If you’re currently on the annual PS + and PS Now plans, you’re paying $ 120. It will be interesting to see if Sony raises its top tier to $ 180 a year.
But don’t worry until Sony officially announces something. Anything can happen from now until next spring.