While it may not be as fancy as the new GamePass Microsoft has been evolving, Sony has finally answered the call to bring in a new PS Plus.
The new PS Plus will launch this June, with a worldwide roll out in stages. The first stage being in Japan, then North America, with other regions to follow. Certain regions that currently don’t have PS Now will also be seeing a restricted variation of the new PS Plus, with a cheaper cost. All regions and releases are expected to be fully available by the end of the year.
What is it though? The new PS Plus confirms rumors that Sony is simply bridging PS Now and PS Plus into one service. The new PS Plus comes in 3 tiers. The good news being that the current subscription model of PS Plus will not change at all, not even a price increase, and all benefits will remain the same. This tier is titled the “Essential” tier and will remain $59.
A step up from that is the “PS Plus Extra” Tier. This tier adds over 400 games from PlayStation Studios and 3rd parties, from both PS4 and PS5 generations. All titles in this tier are downloadable, but can also be streamed. This tier runs $99 a year or $15 a month.
Taking things further, the next tier is titled “PS Plus Premium.” This tier costs $119 yearly or $17 a month, but it includes games from all generations of PlayStation. Basically this is what PS Now was, but a cool new feature is that PSP games are now being included in the subscription.
Another tier will also be added for regions that can’t get PS Now service, this tier is titled PS Plus Deluxe, and currently has no further details. Sony notes this tier will be substantially cheaper while offering similar features.
It’s worth noting that the games within the service rotate normally, and Sony stated they are trying to work with more partners to offer more titles overall. However it’s a bit disappointing when you go to play an old game and it isn’t there anymore.
Along with that, the downside is simply that Sony currently does not plan any day 1 releases on the new service. Sony’s Jim Ryan notes “ In terms of putting our own games into this service, or any of our services, upon their release… as you well know, this is not a road that we’ve gone down in the past,” he continued. “And it’s not a road that we’re going to go down with this new service. We feel if we were to do that with the games that we make at PlayStation Studios, that virtuous cycle will be broken. 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.” Source
Jim Ryan does note that “things change very quickly” so there is hope somewhere down the line that maybe we will see more day 1 releases.
However with this new service costing more than GamePass you would expect some type of benefit over the competition, and I just don’t see one. So far there is no way to purchase “classic games” which means Sony’s backwards compatibility revolves around this service. It’s also worth noting Sony recently purchased Crunchyroll and Funimation which led to some hope that maybe Sony would include a benefit with this service, and that isn’t the case either. Overall Sony is a huge company and if their different branches would work more closely together we could get a better service.
I guess a lot of us were just expecting a little bit more effort than combining the failing PS Now with PS Plus and calling it a day, which is all we got. But we have a few months till June, so hopefully “things change fast.”