Sony could be readying a new subscription service to compete with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The service, codenamed Spartacus, could be launching in Spring 2022 on PlayStation 5 and possibly the PlayStation 4, with three different tiers to choose from.
According to Bloomberg, the base tier would pretty much replace PlayStation Plus, Sony’s oldest subscription service that includes access to online multiplayer a selection of free games every month, similar to Xbox Live Gold. The second tier would add "a large catalog of PlayStation 4 and, eventually, PlayStation 5 games” to the mix. Lastly, the third tier would add "extended demos, game streaming and a library of classic PS1, PS2, PS3 and PSP games.”
Bloomberg believes that Sony could stick with the "PlayStation Plus" brand for its new subscription service, and phase out its existing cloud-gaming service named PlayStation Now. However, Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier mentioned on Twitter that the new service likely won’t include Sony’s new first-party games on day one. "Don't expect Sony to include its big new games day one like Game Pass does, but the expectation is a stronger offering than PlayStation Now,” Schreier wrote.
Microsoft is doing something pretty unique with Xbox Game Pass that few competitors will probably be able to match. The subscription service offers over 100 Xbox games including new Xbox Game Studios titles on day one, but the $14.99 Ultimate tier also includes access to EA Play and Xbox Cloud Gaming on consoles, PCs, and mobile devices. Xbox Game Pass crossed 18 million subscribers back in January, but Sony had 47.2 million PlayStation Plus subscribers as of September 30, 2021.