March 29, 2022
The video game industry’s transition to a subscription-based business model turned another page March 29 when Sony Interactive Entertainment announced it would combine its PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now services into one platform bowing in June.
Launched in 2010, PlayStation Plus was the first console-based membership service that included a refreshed library of games through PlayStation Plus and streaming service PlayStation Now.
“This June, we’re bringing together Plus and Now in an all-new PlayStation Plus subscription service that provides more choice to customers across three membership tiers [priced from $9.99 monthly] globally,” Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, wrote in a blog post.
The three membership tiers include:
- PlayStation Plus Essential ($9.99 monthly): Provides the same benefits that PlayStation Plus members are getting today, such as two monthly downloadable games, exclusive discounts, cloud storage for saved games, online multiplayer access.
- PlayStation Plus Extra ($14.99): Provides all the benefits from the Essential tier, while adding a catalog of up to 400 of PS4 and PS5 games, including titles from PlayStation Studios catalog and third-party partners. Games in the Extra tier are downloadable for play.
- PlayStation Plus Deluxe ($17.99): Provides all the benefits from Essential and Extra tiers, plus the addition of 340 additional games, including PS3 games available via cloud streaming, a catalog of classic games available in both streaming and download options from the original PlayStation, PS2 and PSP generations; cloud streaming access for original PlayStation, PS2, PSP and PS4 games offered in the Extra and Premium tiers in markets where PlayStation Now is currently available. Customers can stream games using PS4 and PS5 consoles, and PC.
Sony said the tier would also offer time-limited game trials, so customers can try select games before they buy.
“As this is a massive launch effort, we’re rolling out the new PlayStation Plus offering in a phased regional approach,” Ryan wrote. “We’ll begin with an initial launch in several markets in Asia, followed by North America, Europe and the rest of the world where PlayStation Plus is offered. We aim to have most PlayStation Network territories live with our new PlayStation Plus game subscription service by the end of the first half of 2022.”
Sony also plans to expand the cloud streaming benefit to additional markets and will provide more details at a later date.