If you've ever doubted that competition is good for the consumer, this one is for you. Sony Interactive Entertainment today announced its upcoming changes to the PlayStation Plus subscription service to better compete with Microsoft's excellent Game Pass service.
The existing PlayStation Plus plan will now be known as PlayStation Plus Essential, and the features will remain as is.
There are three new tiers available, and this is where it gets tricky.
PlayStation Plus Extra adds "up to" 400 PS4 and PS5 games for free download, including titles from PlayStation Studios.
PlayStation Plus Premium incorporates PlayStation Now, which will no longer be available as a standalone service. This adds another 340 games, with PS3 titles via cloud streaming and others via download. For the time being, the Premium plan is only available in countries where PlayStation Now is currently available, though Sony teased additional countries being added at a later date.
Countries which don't get Premium will instead get a slightly cheaper Deluxe plan, which skips the PS3 streaming but offers a catalog of PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and PSP games for download.
In terms of which specific games are available, the announcement mentions:
"At launch, we plan to include titles such as Death Stranding, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Mortal Kombat 11, and Returnal."
But don't expect day one exclusives to appear on the service. Jim Ryan told gamesindustry.biz:
"[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. [...] The level of investment that we need to make in our studios would not be possible, and we think the knock-on effect on the quality of the games that we make would not be something that gamers want."
Pricing details are available at PlayStation Blog.
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