At a glance:
- Sony overhauls games subscription offering to create three tiers: PS Plus Essentials, PS Plus Extra and PS Plus Premium
- Extra includes 400 PS4 and PS5 games, but no simultaneous releases for new first-party launches
- Premium tier features retro library, streaming and limited game trials
- PS Plus Deluxe tier created for markets without streaming, prices for all tiers range from $59.99 to $119.99 per year
PlayStation is uniting PS Now and PS Plus to form a new three-tier subscription service.
The new service, sitting under the PS Plus brand, is set to go live in June and will include a number of new features.
PS Plus Essentials is the same as the PS Plus service today, which includes two monthly downloadable games, online multiplayer access, game discounts and cloud storage. It also costs the same: $9.99/€8.99/£6.99 a month, $24.99/€24.99/£19.99 for three months, or $59.99/€59.99/£49.99 a year.
PS Plus Extra includes all of the above but adds a collection of 400 PS4 and PS5 games that can be downloaded. These games will include the likes of Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, God of War, Returnal, Mortal Kombat 11 and Death Stranding. More titles, including those from third-party developers, will be announced nearer the time. Additional titles will be added on a regular basis. PS Plus Extra will cost: $14.99/€13.99/£10.99 a month, $39.99/€39.99/£31.99 for three months, or $99.99/€99.99/£83.99 a year.
PS Plus Premium includes all of the above, but also adds classic games from the PS1, PS2 and PSP (which can be downloaded or streamed), time-limited game trials and PS3 and PS4 game streaming. This service will cost: $17.99/€16.99/£13.49 a month, $49.99/€49.99/£39.99 for three months, or $119.99/€119.99/£99.99 a year.
For countries where PlayStation streaming doesn't currently exist (such as Latin America, South Korea and Singapore), the third tier is called PS Plus Deluxe, and includes all of the above but without the game streaming elements. Sony says it plans to expand its cloud streaming benefits to additional markets, with more news on that to follow.
PlayStation has decided against putting its first-party games into the service on the day it comes out, in contrast to the Xbox Game Pass equivalent. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan says that doing such a thing would result in less investment into its studios, and could lead to lower quality games.
Sony's combined PS Plus and PS Now install base sits at around 50 million, with 48 million of those subscribed to PS Plus. Sony hopes to convert more of its PS Plus audience to the higher tiers, while lowering the overall price for those who currently subscribe to both services.
"We have combined subscription numbers in excess of 50 million now, and we're happy with that. That's a good number," Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz. "But we really do feel that we can do better in the way that we offer these services to our gamers and subscribers. For example, 75% of those who subscribe to PlayStation Now also subscribe to PlayStation Plus. We think we should be doing better by those people. And that's just one example."
For our full interview with Jim Ryan, click here.
To hear what the analysts think about the new PS Plus, click here.