Sony is ratcheting up its competition with Microsoft’s Xbox ecosystem in the form of a competitor to Xbox Game Pass, according to a report from Bloomberg. The report, which cites “people familiar with Sony’s plans and documents viewed by Bloomberg,” alleges that the competitor, code-named Spartacus, will be a tiered subscription plan.
Expected to launch in spring 2022, Spartacus will combine PlayStation’s two current subscription services, PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now, into one service. PlayStation Now has been seen as a failed competitor to Game Pass that lets players stream a limited number of games to their PlayStation consoles. According to the report, PlayStation Now will be phased out entirely, while the PlayStation Plus branding is retained.
Spartacus, much like Xbox Game Pass, will reportedly have multiple subscription tiers. The first would provide the same services PlayStation Plus currently gives users, namely access to online multiplayer in games and a select group of free games each month. The next tier up will give users access to a large library of PS4, and eventually, PS5 games. Spartacus’ final tier includes even more content for users, with access to a streaming library made up of PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP games, as well as extended demos for games.
It’s not clear how much each tier will cost when Sony’s Spartacus actually launches. Regardless of price, Sony has an uphill battle to fight when it comes to claiming any of the game subscription service market share from Microsoft. Xbox Game Pass has been a massive success for the company, driven by game studio acquisitions that have brought the likes of Bethesda under Microsoft’s exclusive umbrella.
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