Sony has been lagging behind a little bit with regards to their offering for a competitor for Xbox Game Pass, but they have today revealed a three-tier subscription that could set you back up to $119.99 a year. This offering is divided into three segments, which all have different benefits, but worry not, we’re here to break it all down for you and make sure that you can make sense of exactly what Sony has announced here.
Playstation Plus Essential benefits & price
The ‘lowest’ tier of Sony’s Playstation Plus is aptly named ‘Playstation Plus Essential’, and looks very similar to the current Playstation Plus subscription model. Here’s everything that you’ll be able to get under this model, which is frankly, a little bit lackluster.
- Two monthly downloadable games
- Discounts on the Playstation Store
- Cloud Storage for saved games
- Access to Online multiplayer
If you’re already a member of Playstation Plus, you will see no difference in benefits to this tier, except for the removal of one game per month, as you currently get three. The pricing remains unchanged worldwide.
Playstation Plus Essential price
Pricing remains unchanged and offers basic online functionality and a handful of benefits that we’ve already come to expect from the Playstation Plus service.
The second tier of PlayStation Plus, named ‘Playstation Plus Extra’ is where things get a little bit spicier, you will get access to a library of titles from the Playstation back-catalog, in addition to all of the benefits from the previous tier, with new games being periodically added to the service. This is the tier that is for all intents and purposes meant to do battle with Microsoft Game Pass, and while the library of titles is impressive, Sony has confirmed that new first-party titles like God of War Ragnarok will not be added to the service at launch.
- All of the benefits of PlayStation Plus Essential
- Gives you access to over 400 PS4 and PS5 titles from Playstation Studios and third-party developers via downloads.
This tier appears to be impressive, but the jury will still be out if Sony has the cajones to actually want to compete. But, Jim Ryan has previously stated that their titles would ‘suffer‘ if they went straight to Playstation Plus.
Sony has not released a list of games coming to Playstation Plus Extra, but we expect to get more details about the service very soon. You will not be able to access PlayStation Plus Extra titles from anywhere aside from your console, with no Cloud Streaming support announced.
While this price is competitive with Xbox Game Pass, Sony’s own reluctance to put their own titles onto the service in fear of devaluing them might come across as a strange move. While this is undeniably a good deal for the customer, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate pricing is currently the same, and you’ll be getting the latest first-party Microsoft titles, in addition to being able to play your games from anywhere using XCloud. Sony’s offering by comparison just looks a little bit weak.
Jim Ryan does note the following regarding the library of games, stating the following.
At launch, we plan to include titles such as Death Stranding, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Mortal Kombat 11, and Returnal. We’re working closely with our imaginative developers from PlayStation Studios and third-party partners to include some of the best gaming experiences available with a library that will be regularly refreshed. More details to come on the games we’ll have on our new PlayStation Plus service.
Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment
Playstation Plus Premium Benefits & price
Playstation Plus Premium is the highest tier of subscription you can get and will be able to give you access to PS1, PS2, PSP, PS3, PS4, and PS5 titles. Sony notes that there will be up to 340 additional games accessible compared to Playstation Plus Extra. Additionally, this is the tier at which you will be able to utilize Cloud Streaming to play games from PS4, PS5, and PC. You can enjoy the following:
- Every benefit from Essential and Extra tiers
- 340 additional games in total
- The ability to stream and download games from PS1, PS2, and PSP
- Cloud streaming access for PS1, PS2, PSP, PS3, and PS4 games
- ‘Time-limited’ game trials
The addition of cloud streaming and a retro library to dig into is nice, but compared to the offering from Microsoft, which allows you to pop your old disc in and play retro titles with native backward compatibility, Sony selling this off as an additional service leaves a little bit of a bad taste in our mouths. In addition to this, there is a distinct lack of native rendering of the PS3 console and is simply restricted to ‘cloud streaming’ options only, meaning that, unlike Xbox Backwards compatibility, you’ll get the full PS3 experience, warts and all.
Playstation Plus Premium price
This is a couple of dollars more, for a whole lot more functionality. While this does indeed add up over time, you’ll have to get yourself a taste of just how well PlayStation Now works, and be reliant on just how good your internet connection is to make use of all of the Cloud services here. It’s a damn shame to see no native rendering for all platforms and is something that Sony should have considered before announcing this entire proposition.
Is this PlayStation Game Pass?
For all intents and purposes, this is indeed Sony’s answer to Game Pass. While it doesn’t have total parity with Microsoft’s offering, you can expect to find games on there to enjoy, and be periodically updated. However, we do not yet have a full list of games, but Sony notes the following.
We’re working closely with our imaginative developers from PlayStation Studios and third-party partners to include some of the best gaming experiences available with a library that will be regularly refreshed.
Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment
There is currently no specific launch date for Playstation Plus Essential, Extra, and Premium. Sony hopes to launch the service in a phased rollout starting in Asia, then extending to Europe, America, and the United Kingdom. The company states that they hope to have the service fully operational across a number of regions by the end of the first half of 2022.