Sony officially unveiled its new PlayStation Plus subscription model after months of speculation.
The “all-new PlayStation Plus” combines PS Plus and PS Now, creating a subscription service with three tiers: PlayStation Plus Essential, PlayStation Plus Extra, and PlayStation Plus Premium. This new structure will become available in select markets in June 2022 and then worldwide shortly after.
The current iteration of PS Now will close down at that time, with existing members automatically migrating to the Premium tier for no additional change at the time of launch. This top tier of PlayStation Plus will offer over 700 games, including both new and retro titles, that can be streamed or downloaded. This library will be “regularly refreshed” and will include games from PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3.
“Whether it’s indies, whether it’s big games, or things that celebrate our heritage… all sorts of games. We are going to have all of it, and hopefully, a line-up that ticks all sorts of boxes,” CEO Jim Ryan said.
PlayStation Plus Premium will not launch with first-party exclusives, Sony stated. This has rubbed many Sony fans the wrong way because the competing Xbox Game Pass from Microsoft includes console-exclusive titles. The new three-tier system has also angered and shocked many gamers because the full list of games is only available for people who pay for the highest tier. A lot of disappointed PlayStation fans felt the new system was “worse than Nintendo’s” notoriously poor online offerings.
When is PlayStation Plus coming?
The new PlayStation Plus service is coming first to “several markets in Asia” in June. North America, Europe, and other regions will see the service launch soon after. No specific date has been given just yet for markets outside of Asia.
How much does PlayStation Plus cost?
There are three PlayStation Plus tiers, each of which have different price points. PlayStation Plus Essential will be $9.99 a month ($59.99 annually), PlayStation Plus Extra will be $14.99 a month ($99.99 manually), and PlayStation Plus Premium will be $17.99 a month ($119.99 annually).
PlayStation Plus Essential is basically the same as the existing PlayStation Plus service, even coming at the same price. It includes two downloadable games per month as well as various digital discounts.
PlayStation Plus Extra has all of the Essentnial benefits as well as a catalog of around 400 PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 games that can be downloaded at any time. This includes first-party and third-party games, but no new exclusives will be included just yet.
The highest tier, PlayStation Plus Premium, has 340 extra games that include retro titles from the PS1, PS2, PSP, PS3, and PS4 game libraries. Premium members will also receive time-limited trials of certain games. The fact that players can only play retro games through the Premium tier has left many PlayStation fans disappointed.