PlayStation’s Game Pass-style service reportedly unveiled next week

A new report from Bloomberg says Sony will unveil its Game Pass-like subscription service for PlayStation consoles, codenamed Spartacus, next week. The service, which was first rumored to surface in late 2021, would combine Sony’s two current subscription services – PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus – with multiple tiers providing access to different selections of contemporary and classic PlayStation games.

PlayStation Now is already available on PC and works pretty well, and while it might feel a little less essential than it did a few years ago thanks to Sony’s recent adoption of our platform of choice, its vast selection of PS2 games mean it remains an especially valuable tool for gamers who want to get to grips with retro classics on their current PCs.

The other side of this equation, i.e. new game releases, seems oddly deficient, however. Spartacus apparently won’t give access to Sony’s biggest releases, such as the upcoming God of War: Ragnarok, on launch day. This is very different from Microsoft’s Game Pass services, which make a point of offering access to major game releases, like Starfield, Redfall and The Outer Worlds 2, to name a few, as soon as ‘they are available. That, to me, is the main reason Game Pass is such a big hit: the back catalog is impressive, but launch-day access to the biggest new games is the killer feature.

Interestingly, while Game Pass has been a big winner for Microsoft and Sony is looking to split a piece of the pie, industry analyst Piers Harding-Rolls said at this year’s GDC that he doesn’t didn’t believe the industry was on the verge of a “Netflix-style takeover of games” by any of them, or anyone else. Data firm Ampere Analysis claims that subscriptions make up just 4% of the total games market and predicts that figure will grow to 8.4% by 2027 – a huge sum, yes, but still a relatively small share of the game. ‘together. They could of course underestimate the trend, but even if they’re half that, it’s still a significant minority of the overall market.

While PlayStation’s new subscription service is set to be officially unveiled next week, there’s currently no sign of when it will go live. We will let you know when we find out.

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