All about the new PlayStation Plus services; prices, games and more

new playstation plus services featured

PlayStation Interactive Entertainment has revealed their new plans for the PlayStation Plus services, which will now merge with PlayStation Now, creating their new gaming streaming services containing titles ranging from the first PlayStation, PS2, PSP, PS3, PS4, and PS5.

The new service is Sony’s alternative to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, which includes many of their games available for playing on consoles or PCs. Now, Sony console players also have an alternative with a wider range of games and benefits available for them.

The service is expected to be released in June. There are currently three different services announced: The PlayStation Plus Essential, Extra, and Premium, which we’ll discuss here below: 

New PlayStation Plus services options

PlayStation Plus Essential

  • Benefits
    • 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
    • There are no changes for existing PlayStation Plus members in this tier.
  • Price* for PlayStation Plus Essential remains the same as the current price for PlayStation Plus.
    • United States
      • $9.99 monthly / $24.99 quarterly / $59.99 yearly
    • Europe
      • €8.99 monthly / €24.99 quarterly / €59.99 yearly
    • United Kingdom
      • £6.99 monthly / £19.99 quarterly / £49.99 yearly 
    • Japan
      • ¥850 monthly / ¥2,150 quarterly / ¥5,143 yearly

PlayStation Plus Extra

  • Benefits
    • Provides all the benefits from the Essential tier
    • Adds a catalog of up to 400* of the most enjoyable PS4 and PS5 games – including blockbuster hits from our PlayStation Studios catalog and third-party partners. Games in the Extra tier are downloadable for play.
  • Price*:
    • United States
      • $14.99 monthly / $39.99 quarterly / $99.99 yearly
    • Europe
      • €13.99 monthly / €39.99 quarterly / €99.99 yearly
    • United Kingdom
      • £10.99 monthly / £31.99 quarterly / £83.99 yearly 
    • Japan
      • ¥1,300 monthly / ¥3,600 quarterly / ¥8,600 yearly

PlayStation Plus Premium** 

  • Benefits:
    • Provides all the benefits from Essential and Extra tiers
    • Adds up to 340* additional games, including:
      • PS3 games available via cloud streaming
      • A catalog of beloved classic games available in both streaming and download options from the original PlayStation, PS2 and PSP generations 
    • Offers 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.*** 
    • Time-limited game trials will also be offered in this tier, so customers can try select games before they buy.
  • Price*:
    • United States
      • $17.99 monthly / $49.99 quarterly / $119.99 yearly
    • Europe
      • €16.99 monthly / €49.99 quarterly / €119.99 yearly
    • United Kingdom
      • £13.49 monthly / £39.99 quarterly / £99.99 yearly 
    • Japan
      • ¥1,550 – monthly / ¥4,300 – quarterly / ¥10,250 yearly

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Alongside these options, there’s also the Deluxe service, destined for markets without cloud streaming. It will include benefits from Essential and Extra, alongside games from PS1, PS2, and PSP. Its prices may vary according to the region.

Some of the games initially included are Death Stranding, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Mortal Kombat 11, and Returnal, alongside possibly other exclusive titles. PlayStation Now users will be automatically migrated to the Premium service without any extra charges.

Strategies and possible changes

During an interview for GamesIndustry, Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan announced that contrary to public expectation, new games won’t be available from Day 1 on the platform.

new playstation plus services jim
Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

In his own words, “[In terms of] putting our own games into this service, or any of our services, upon their release… as you well know, this is not a road that we’ve gone down in the past. And it’s not a road that we’re going to go down with this new service. We feel if we were to do that with the games that we make at PlayStation Studios, that virtuous cycle will be broken.”.

But this does not mean that this will be the definitive way for the new PlayStation Plus services. Ryan declared that he doesn’t “want to cast anything in stone at this stage. All I’m talking about today is the approach we’re taking in the short term. The way our publishing model works right now, it doesn’t make any sense. But things can change very quickly in this industry, as we all know.”.

That means that this is simply an initial sketch of the definitive version of the services. Many of these aspects could change, even if it may take a while. But based on the recent feedback, they may be necessary very soon.

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Reception and criticism of the services

The announcement was not well received by fans, who are more dissatisfied with the prices. While Xbox Game Pass, which reached over 25 million subscribers during January, is priced at U$ 14.99 in its complete edition, the PS Plus equivalent is priced at U$ 17.99.

Not having Day 1 access to newer games is also a letdown, as it’s one of Xbox Game Pass’ biggest advantages. With a higher price and with a bigger focus on older games, many are simply turning away from the service.

new playstation plus services gamepass
Credit: Microsoft

Another huge problem is that it only offers streaming services for PS3 games. Games up to the Extra tier are downloadable, alongside some of the extra 340 games included in the Premium services, but it still leaves a lot out of the question.

The price is actually the combination of both Now and Plus current prices, which does make sense, but is still higher than its biggest competition. There’s still some time left until June and the official release, so we still may see some changes.

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