Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan has revealed the new, expanded PlayStation Plus subscription service. This new PlayStation Plus will absorb the PlayStation Now service into it and be available worldwide across three different membership tiers, offering more than 700 games in total. The three tiers are PS Essential, Extra, and Premium.
“Essential” is just the new name for the current, existing PlayStation Plus service. That includes two monthly downloadable games, exclusive discounts, cloud storage for saved games, and online multiplayer access. There will be no changes in how much it costs across regions.
Meanwhile, the PS “Extra” tier will add a catalogue of upward of 400 downloadable PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 games, including both third-party games and “blockbuster” first-party titles. Actual games available will vary by region, but Death Stranding, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Mortal Kombat 11, and Returnal will appear at launch. The available catalogue will be regularly “refreshed” with time. (Interpret that as you will.) This tier will cost $14.99 monthly / $39.99 quarterly / $99.99 yearly in the United States, €13.99 monthly / €39.99 quarterly / €99.99 yearly in Europe, £10.99 monthly / £31.99 quarterly / £83.99 yearly in the United Kingdom, and ¥1,300 monthly / ¥3,600 quarterly / ¥8,600 yearly in Japan.
Finally, the PlayStation Plus “Premium” tier will further add upward of another 340 video games from PlayStation 1, 2, and 3 and PSP. PlayStation 3 games will be made available through cloud streaming, whereas PS1, PS2, and PSP games will be available to stream or download. Players will be able to stream these games on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and notably PC (except in Japan, where PC support will arrive after launch). On top of that, there will also be time-limited games trials for select games so that you can try them out before you buy them.
The Premium tier will cost $17.99 monthly / $49.99 quarterly / $119.99 yearly in the United States, €16.99 monthly / €49.99 quarterly / €119.99 yearly in Europe, £13.49 monthly / £39.99 quarterly / £99.99 yearly in the United Kingdom, and ¥1,550 monthly / ¥4,300 quarterly / ¥10,250 yearly in Japan. However, in regions where cloud streaming is unavailable, the tier “PlayStation Plus Deluxe” will be offered instead for a cheaper price. Deluxe seems to be the same as Premium except that it does not offer streaming (and in turn will not be able to offer PlayStation 3 games).
People who subscribe to the PlayStation Now service at the time expanded Plus service launches will be transitioned to the PlayStation Plus Premium tier at no additional cost. The new, expanded PlayStation Plus service will launch with a “phased regional approach,” starting in assorted Asian markets, then coming to North America, Europe, and the rest of the world. The intention is for the expanded service to appear in most PlayStation Network territories by the end of the first half of 2022, and Sony plans to expand where it makes cloud streaming available as well.
So, this is it. This is the major Sony PlayStation subscription service / pseudo-Xbox Game Pass rival that has been long rumored, and it is bringing a huge, though unspecified, catalogue of retro games with it. Let us know what you think of it, and stay tuned for a firm North American launch in the first half of this year.