Sony reportedly working on PlayStation competitor to Xbox Game Pass

Sony reportedly working on PlayStation competitor to Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass has been a success for Microsoft, giving PC and Xbox players unlimited access to over 100 major games for a single monthly subscription. The service has also served as the groundwork for Microsoft’s attempt at cloud gaming, Xbox Game Streaming, which gives players instant access to titles from Game Pass. Now it seems Sony is finally close to releasing its own Xbox Game Pass competitor.

Bloomberg reports that the service, codenamed ‘Spartacus,’ will offer a catalog of modern and classic games for a single monthly fee. It’s expected to arrive in the spring, and will merge Sony’s two existing subscription plans: PlayStation Plus (required for most online games, and offers a few free games each month) and PlayStation Now (a game streaming service that mostly has PS3-era games). Sony will reportedly keep the PlayStation Plus branding, but PlayStation Now will be phased out.

The new service will reportedly have three tiers. The base option will mirror existing PlayStation Plus benefits, and the second tier will have substantial amount of PlayStation 4 games, with PlayStation 5 games coming at some point in the future. Finally, the top-tier option reportedly adds extended demos, game streaming, and games from the PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP.

Xbox Game Pass also has three plan options, with a $9.99/mo option for PC gaming, another $9.99/mo option for console access, and a $14.99/mo ‘Ultimate’ plan with access to games on both platforms. The Ultimate plan also includes cloud streaming and Electronic Arts’ EA Play subscription.

Subscription services are only as good as what they offer, so it will be interesting to see if Sony can match (or beat) Microsoft with its own library of games. There are countless classics on earlier PlayStation consoles, and many recent PlayStation exclusives have been well received by players and critics (such as Marvel’s Spider-Man and The Last Of Us), but it’s not clear how many of these could be available through a subscription.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's also the host of the Tech Tales podcast, which explores the history of the technology industry. Follow him on Twitter at @corbindavenport.