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Sony reportedly plotting Xbox Game Pass equivalent for PlayStation

PlayStation said to be plotting Xbox Game Pass rival
(Image credit: Xbox )

Sony is rumoured to be working on a new PlayStation Plus subscription service to rival Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass. That's according to a new Bloomberg (opens in new tab) report, which cites its source as "people familiar with Sony's plans".

Codenamed 'Spartacus', the revamped PS Plus will supposedly be split into three tiers. The entry-level tier will offer PS Plus as it is now (i.e. offer a couple of games to download every month); the mid-range tier will grant users access to a "large catalogue" of PS4 and PS5 games; and the top tier will add PS1, P2, PS3 and PSP titles to the mix, along with demos and game streaming.

PlayStation Now – Sony's current cloud gaming service – is expected to be phased out and replaced by 'Spartacus' as early as 2022. The result will likely resemble Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which bundles together Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Cloud Gaming and an expanding library of games for £10.99 ($10.99) a month.

Sony has yet to confirm the shake-up, let alone announce pricing. But for reference, PS Plus costs £6.99 ($9.99) a month or £49.99 ($59.99) a year, while PlayStation Now is priced at £8.99 ($9.99) a month or £49.99 ($59.99) a year.

Despite the ongoing PS5 stock shortage, Sony's next-gen console has outsold Microsoft's Xbox Series X by around 4.8 million units since launching in November 2020. However, Sony is believed to have fallen behind when it comes to the subscription side of things. And that's something 'Spartacus' will undoubtedly look to remedy. 

So, how will it fare against Microsoft's Netflix-style gaming service? And will Spartacus subscribers get access to major upcoming releases – such as Horizon Forbidden West – from day one? Let's hope Sony makes an official announcement soon.

A number of tech giants are aiming to rival console giants with their own gaming platforms. The Netflix gaming service is due to launch soon, while the Amazon Luna gaming platform is now widely available on Fire TV devices.     

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Tom is a journalist, copywriter and content designer based in the UK. He has written articles for T3, ShortList, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph, Elle Deco, The Sunday Times, Men's Health, Mr Porter, Oracle and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include mobile technology, electric vehicles and video streaming.