Sony PlayStation Plus + game subscription service new and retro games like Xbox Game Pass, three pricing tiers PS1 PS2 PS3 PS4 PS5 PSP games

PlayStation Reportedly Planning Game Pass-like Service with New & Retro Catalogue for Spring

Sony’s answer to Xbox Game Pass is reportedly a subscription service codenamed “Spartacus,” which will offer access to a catalogue of new and retro games on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, per Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier. Sources familiar with the matter say that the monthly subscription fee-based service is expected to arrive in spring and will merge the existing PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now services. It seems the PlayStation Plus branding will remain when Spartacus is revealed, whenever that may be.

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Spartacus is tentatively planned to offer a three-tier model for players. Tier one would give players their existing PlayStation Plus benefits, likely including offerings like access to online multiplayer and the occasional bonus sale. Tier two would provide access to a large number of PlayStation 4 games and, over time, PlayStation 5 games. Tier three would provide access to PS1, PS2, PS3, and even PSP games, plus extended demos and game streaming. Which PlayStation titles would be available is unclear, but if Spartacus is anything like Xbox Game Pass, we would likely see the list of titles grow over time.

Microsoft has continued to flesh out Xbox Game Pass for the last few years, turning it from a standard games service with a few so-so titles into a juggernaut with more than one hundred titles accessible through Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, PC, and even cloud streaming technology. In addition to classic titles, Xbox Game Pass boasts the occasional day-one release, including of all first-party releases, with this month’s highly anticipated Halo Infinite and last month’s Forza Horizon 5 being two titles launching on the service. However, players probably shouldn’t expect PlayStation to follow that Game Pass precedent of offering day-one first-party releases with Spartacus.

Sony is reportedly doubling down on the streaming technology we’ve seen in PlayStation Now for Spartacus. Whether that means we’ll be playing God of War on our phones isn’t clear, but what is certain is PlayStation’s desire to compete with Xbox Game Pass.


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Michael Cripe
Michael joined The Escapist team in 2019 but has been covering games, movies, TV, and music since 2015. When he’s not writing, Michael is probably playing Super Mario Sunshine, Dead Space, The Binding of Isaac, or Doom Eternal. You can follow his news coverage and reviews at The Escapist, but his work has appeared on other sites like OnlySP, Gameranx, and Kansas City’s The Pitch, too. If you’d like to connect and talk about the latest pop-culture news, you can follow Michael on Twitter (@MikeCripe), Instagram (mike_cripe), or LinkedIn if that’s your thing.