Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass has been a hit for the service and has made a huge contribution to the success of Xbox consoles. In a bid to counter Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, Sony is planning to launch a similar subscription service for PlayStation, codenamed “Spartacus.”
According to Bloomberg, people familiar with Sony’s plans believe it’s going to merge its current subscription services for PlayStation into a single one. The upcoming Xbox Game Pass-like subscription service, currently codenamed ‘Spartacus’ at Sony, will feature a catalog of modern and classic games.
As of now, Sony offers two subscription services for PlayStation users: PlayStation Plus (required for most online multiplayer games) and PlayStation Now (offering a list of games to download and play from). According to the latest news, both of these services will be merged to create one like Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. Moreover, Sony is likely to keep the PlayStation Plus branding for the new service.
PlayStation Plus – codename Spartacus
The upcoming service by Sony, which is being worked upon behind closed doors under the codename Spartacus, is expected to have three tiers. One of these tiers might offer what the current PlayStation Plus offers. Another tier would encompass a list of PS4 and PS5 games. Lastly, the third tier would include “extended demos, game streaming, and a library of classic PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP games.” According to Bloomberg, Sony is likely to make the Spartacus service available on PS4 and PS5 as well.
Sony Spartacus release date
It’s likely the new rebranded PlayStation Plus service Spartacus will arrive sometime in the spring of next year. Moreover, Sony is also “putting resources in cloud gaming,” as reported by Bloomberg. Considering how Sony’s PS Now is lagging behind in the cloud gaming market, this can be owed to the strong competition given by substantial strides made by the likes of Amazon Luna and NVIDIA GeForce Now with its RTX 30 series being incorporated into cloud gaming.
Will Sony have day one releases on the new service?
Meanwhile, the details on Sony’s new project Spartacus are still unclear. For instance, we still don’t know if Sony will bring first-party exclusives on the new subscription service on day one, like Xbox Game Pass. While all these will sound alluring to PlayStation users, nothing is set in stone yet; the details might change once the service is out.
However, Sony has plans to take on Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass with Spartacus regardless of CEO Jim Ryan’s remarks last year. Ryan said last year that Sony wouldn’t “go down the road of putting new release titles into a subscription model. These games cost many millions of dollars, well over $100 million, to develop. We just don’t see that as sustainable.”
While things surely have changed since Ryan’s big statement. For starters, the PS5, despite lacking a good subscription model like its counterpart, has outsold Xbox Series X. On the flip side, Xbox has gathered more than 18 million subscribers for Xbox Game Pass, and that is a lucrative deal right there where Sony also wishes to dip its toes into the business.