Neither of the two monthly subscription services available to PlayStation gamers can compete with the library of games available through Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service, but Sony plans to change that as early as next year, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
PlayStation Plus gives subscribers access to online multiplayer gaming as well as two PS4 games that can be downloaded every month, while PlayStation Now allows subscribers to stream and download a limited library of older titles. By comparison, the Xbox Game Pass service gives subscribers access to hundreds of games released on older Xbox consoles, as well as modern games published by Microsoft as soon as they’re released. PS Now has a little more than 3 million subscribers, but Xbox Game Pass has more than 18 million users, so it comes as no surprise that Sony would like to copy Microsoft’s success there.
According to documents reviewed by Bloomberg and unnamed sources familiar with Sony’s plans, the new PlayStation subscription service, code-named Spartacus, will offer subscribers access to a catalog of classic games, as well as more recently released titles for a monthly fee. The documents indicate that the new service will merge the two subscription plans currently offered for Sony’s consoles, with the PlayStation Now branding being phased out in favor of the PlayStation Plus name.
According to Bloomberg, the service could arrive as early as next spring and will be available for both the PS4 and the still hard-to-find PS5. While the details aren’t finalized, the documents indicate Spartacus will have offer three different tiers of access. One will include the same benefits of PlayStation Plus currently offers, a second would include a larger library of PS4 and PS5 games, and a third would include “extended demos, game streaming, and a library of classic PS1, PS2, PS3 and PSP games.”
There’s no shortage of demand for the PS5, but as consumers continue to readily adopt all-you-can-eat (or watch or play) subscription services, it’s a reliable source of monthly revenue the company is currently losing to Microsoft and its Xbox Game Pass. Spartacus sounds like it could be the giant straw Sony needs to start drinking Microsoft’s milkshake.