Xbox Game Pass has ben Microsoft’s ace in the hole since its introduction a few years ago, and not only has it been exponentially growing in importance, it’s become abundantly clear that it’ll be central to Microsoft’s gaming strategy for years to come. Many have wondered if Sony is going to have something similar on PlayStation consoles- and a new report claims that that is indeed going to happen. And very soon.
As per a report by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, Sony is working on a rival subscription service currently codenamed “Spartacus”. Set to launch in Spring 2022 for both PS4 and PS5, the service will allegedly combine the PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now subscription services (with branding for the former being retained), and also add backward compatibility to the mix.
For a monthly fee, the service is said to offer benefits to subscribers across three tiers, though plans have not yet been finalized, according to the report. The first tier will feature all the PlayStation Plus benefits, while the second tier will feature a “large” selection of PS4 games, with PS4 games being added to the mix later. Finally, the third tier will offer game streaming similar to PlayStation Now, extended demos for games, and a library of legacy games from the PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP.
There’s no word yet on whether the games in any of these tiers will be cloud-exclusive or native downloads similar to Xbox Game Pass, or if Sony has any plans for also adding day one releases the way Microsoft does consistently to its own service.
In November 2020, when asked if Sony will have a subscription service to offer players similar to Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan said that they would have something to announce in the future. Earlier this year, it was also reported that Sony was working on an Xbox Game Pass “counterpunch”.
That said, Sony has also previously said that the Game Pass model wouldn’t work for the kind of games it makes and the general strategy it adopts when it comes to game development. Whether their thinking has changed or if they’re planning on offering a different kind of subscription service remains to be seen- but if Spring 2022 is indeed when this service, currently called Spartacus, will launch, then we should be hearing something official about it not long from now.
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