Sony is restructuring PlayStation Plus in a bid to compete with Xbox Game Pass

Sony is seemingly responding to the popularity of Xbox Game Pass, and is planning a new subscription tier to take on their console rival.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Sony is planning to launch a new service, codenamed Spartacus, which will merge PlayStation Plus with PlayStation Now – a service that allows users to stream or download older PlayStation titles. The new service is expected to keep the PlayStation Plus branding, but retire PlayStation Now.

The details on the new service have yet to be finalised, but according to Bloomberg Sony is currently planning three tiers. The first, presumably cheapest tier, will be the PlayStation Plus service has it currently exists. The second will offer a large catalogue of PlayStation 4 games, with PlayStation 5 games being added to the service later down the line. The third however will also include extended demos, game streaming and a library of PlayStation 1, 2, 3 and PSP games.

If confirmed, these new subscription tiers could go some way to compete with Xbox Game Pass – the enormously popular subscription service from Microsoft. While PlayStation consoles traditionally outsell the Xbox, Microsoft clearly has the edge with subscription services.

Xbox Game Pass currently sits at over 18 million subscribers – attracted by Microsoft releasing its biggest titles on the service, from the day of launch. Just this month has seen the likes of Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite joining the service, while hugely anticipated titles like The Elder Scrolls 6 are expected to launch on Game Pass. Though you’ll have a bit of a wait for that one.

It seems unlikely that Sony would be willing to release its blockbuster games on the day of launch on a subscription service, as Microsoft does. However, its back catalogue is strong enough to make these new tiers an attractive proposition – particularly given the PlayStation 5’s lack of backwards-compatibility.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is a freelancer writer and was MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer from November 2019 until May 2022. He joined the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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