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Report: Sony is finally revving up to take on Xbox Game Pass

Sony apparently wants to expand its PlayStation subscription service. Also it's code-named Spartacus for some reason.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

December 3, 2021

1 Min Read
The logo for PlayStation

Bloomberg News games reporter Jason Schreier has learned that Sony is apparently looking to expand its PlayStation subscription service. 

The expanded service, codenamed "Spartacus," would unite Sony's PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now services, and also be available on last generation's PlayStation 4. The product would keep the PlayStation Plus branding, but would phase out the use of the PlayStation Now brand. 

The current plan is apparently to launch a 3-tier service. The first tier would continue PlayStation Plus' current offerings (online multiplayer access, discounts, etc. etc.), while the second tier would offer access to PlayStation 4 and eventually PlayStation 5 titles.

Intriguingly, the third most expensive tier would be the one that hosts classic PlayStation 1-3 games, along with PlayStation Portable titles. Game demos and access to streaming technology would also be available at this level. 

Currently, Sony's PlayStation Now service lets users stream or download over 300 older game titles, the most notable of which being 2020's The Last of Us: Part II. It's a far more paltry service than Xbox Game Pass, which has thousands of games available to stream and download, many of which are included as part of the service immediately on launch. 

According to Schreier, Sony apparently is not willing to follow in Microsoft's footsteps of putting brand-new first-party titles on their subscription service, which gives its Redmond-based competitor at least one major edge in the subscription battle. 

While Sony gears up to join the subscription wars, it is also grappling with a lawsuit from a former employee who is alleging gender discrimination took place at its American PlayStation offices.

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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