PlayStation’s new Game Pass competitor could be the answer to Xbox’s subscription dominance

More than a year after the release of the PlayStation 5, it looks like Sony has no plans on taking a breather. Riding on the steady success of its current two membership plans, the PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now, the multimedia-gaming giant is planning to release a whole new subscription service that is targeted to match gaming rival Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, according to Jason Schreier of Bloomberg.

Code-named Spartacus, the new game pass is expected to launch between March and June 2022 and will cater to wider choices of modern and vintage games to monthly subscribers. It will also merge the PlayStation Plus, which is majorly used for online multiplayer games, and PlayStation Now, which is majorly used to stream or download a catalog of titles.

It is also reported that Sony Interactive Entertainment is planning to keep and attach the PlayStation Plus branding to the platform instead of the PlayStation Now, which will most likely be retired. The new game pass is reportedly going to be available on the PlayStation 5 and also on its predecessor, the PlayStation 4.

Although further details are yet to be released on the new Game Pass rival, in a document reviewed by Bloomberg, the service would offer three tiers. The base tier would offer the current benefits of the PlayStation Plus: access to online multiplayer platforms and free selection of games, while the second one would offer the same service plus free access to a larger list of PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 titles.

The highest tier, which is expectedly the “game-changer” and the most anticipated among the three, would offer all mentioned above plus extended demos and titles from the vintage PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PSP consoles. Pricing and subscription details are also yet to be released.

Although Schreier tweeted later on that people shouldn’t “expect Sony to include its big new games day one like Game Pass does,” such a huge move by SIE could bring them up to par with Microsoft’s massive success on the cloud platform. (READ: Sony Mobile expansion on the move, patents mobile DualShock-like controller)

Released way back in 2017, the Xbox Game Pass, which offers month-long unlimited access to an array of games for 10 to 15 US dollars, has more than 18 million subscribers up to date. That is four times more than the 3.2 million subscribers of PlayStation Now, which was released three years earlier.

Releasing the promising platform may also redeem the supply setback PlayStation 5 experienced last year due to the unforeseen circumstances brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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