PlayStation Plus Gains New Tiers With 740 Games And PC Streaming To Rival Xbox Game Pass
Sony today announced it is retooling its PlayStation Plus subscription service with a couple of new tiers, a host of games, and additional benefits, not the least of which is the ability to stream PlayStation titles to PC. It's an expansive overhaul and it positions PlayStation Plus to better compete with Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass service.
As part of the overhaul, Sony is disbanding its PlayStation Now service and essentially rolling it into the expanded PlayStation Plus tiers, which will begin to roll out this summer.
Starting at the bottom, PlayStation Plus Essential is the same service as PlayStation Plus exists currently. The benefits remain unchanged and include two monthly downloadable games, exclusive discounts, cloud storage for saved games, and online multiplayer access.
Pricing remains the same as well—$9.99 per month in the US, or users can pay a discounted $24.99 quarterly or $59.99 for a full year.
Next up is PlayStation Plus Extra, and this is where things get interesting. it comes with the same benefits as the Essential tier, and adds a catalog of up to 400 PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 games. All of the games are available to download and play so long as you remain a member.
Pricing options for the Extra tier include $14.99 per month, $39.99 per quarter, or $99.99 per year.
Finally, the PlayStation Plus Premium tier includes everything from both the Essential and Extra tiers, and adds up to 340 additional games. That brings the tally to 740 games, and includes a collection of PlayStation 3 titles that can be streamed to PS4, PS5, and PC, as well as a catalog of retro PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PSP games that can be streamed to the same platforms or downloaded.
Pricing on the top tier runs $17.99 per month, $49.99 per quarter, or $119.99 for the full year.
"The new Extra and Premium tiers represent a major evolution for PlayStation Plus. With these tiers, our key focus is to ensure that the hundreds of games we offer will include the best quality content that sets us apart," Sony states in a blog post.
Interestingly, Sony for the time being is opting not to release new first-party titles to its subscription service, whereas that is something Microsoft embraces with Xbox Game Pass.
"We feel like we are in a good virtuous cycle with the studios, where the investment delivers success, which enables yet more investment, which delivers yet more success. We like that cycle and we think our gamers like that cycle," PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan told GamesIndustryBiz.
Ryan went on to say that breaking the "virtuous cycle" would lessen the investment Sony could make in its own studios and ultimately result in lower quality games. Microsoft apparently doesn't share that same concern, choosing instead to open up its new games to a wider audience through Xbox Game Pass.
However, the decision isn't necessarily set in stone, and Ryan left open the possibility that Sony's publishing model as it relates to the expanded PlayStation Plus tiers could change at any time.