Sony is rolling its PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now online gaming and cloud streaming services into one, with three tiers available at three different prices. The more you spend, the more you get. Let’s take a look at what each tier has to offer.
PlayStation Plus Essential: No Change
Prior to the March 2022 announcement, Sony’s PlayStation Plus was a single tier that provided access to Sony’s online gaming services as well as two monthly downloadable games, discounts on store items, and cloud storage for backing up and transferring your cloud games. The price for this service was $9.99 per month or $59.99 yearly.
The Essential tier of Sony’s revised PlayStation Plus service provides the same benefits as the old PlayStation Plus service at the same price. If you just want to play games online with your friends—and maybe grab whichever two free games Sony has available for the month—Essential is the tier for you.
PlayStation Plus Extra: A Library of Games to Download
The Extra tier is where things start to get interesting. For $14.99 per month (or $99.99 yearly) you get everything in the Essential tier plus access to a library of up to 400 games to download and play. You can access these games for as long as you’re a subscriber. Exact game availability may differ between regions.
These games include older titles from PlayStation Studios (but not new day one releases) and games from third-party studios. Some example titles provided by Sony include God of War, Returnal, Death Stranding, and Mortal Kombat 11. Like rival services, Sony plans to change the lineup on an ongoing basis.
PlayStation Plus Premium: Demos and Streaming Too
Finally, Sony offers PlayStation Plus Premium at the $17.99 per month or $119.99 yearly price point. You get everything in the previous two tiers plus access to around 340 additional games for PS3, the original PlayStation, PS2, and PSP. PS3 will be delivered via cloud streaming, while the games from older generations are available using a mixture of cloud streaming and local downloads.
Game streaming will work on PS4, PS5, and PC but only in markets where PlayStation Now was previously available. For markets where game streaming is unavailable, Sony will offer a tier known as PlayStation Plus Deluxe at a lower price focusing on older downloadable titles instead.
The Premium tier also provides access to “time-limited game trials” for select games in this tier. Expect to be able to try some of the newest and biggest releases before you buy for a set period (10 hours, for example) before being required to buy the game to continue playing.
Launching in June 2022
Sony will be making these changes to PlayStation Plus starting in June 2022 with a phased global rollout. The changes will start with select markets in Asia followed by North America, Europe, and the rest of the world. Cloud streaming will be expanded to more markets as part of this rollout.
It feels like Microsoft’s Game Pass service has forced Sony’s hand to offer something more, but it remains to be seen whether the service will be a hit. If you have a PS5 and are thinking of subscribing to the Extra or Premium tiers, make sure you have enough storage available by adding a high-quality SSD to your console.
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