Sony’s PlayStation Plus subscription service for PS5 the owners underwent a major overhaul earlier this week. The new version brings together Sony’s two previous PlayStation subscriptions, the original Plus service and the now defunct PlayStation Now. The first offered online play and access to a handful of games; the latter offered cloud streaming of select games.
The new single subscription, still called PlayStation Plus, combines online multiplayer, free monthly games and a permanent games library available for download or streaming. This includes games previously available on the old PS Now. Whether you have just received a PS5 where have you been for a long time PS4 owner, here’s what you need to know about the service change.
PS Plus is required to play many online multiplayer games, and subscribers get access to new games every month (usually two) at no additional cost. The now defunct PS Now was the origin of modern console cloud gaming (and Sony even bought the assets of OnLivethe long-dead initiator of PC cloud gaming), although the service has fallen short of its newer competitors.
Game Subscriptions like PS Plus and Microsoft Game Pass offer a large library of games for a monthly fee. They can also be a bit confusing due to frequent changes in features and available games. PlayStation Plus is further split into three tiers, Essential, Extra, and Premium, with different pricing for each.
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Sony overhauled PS Plus to be more competitive with Microsoft’s Game Pass. The revamped subscription service comes in three tiers.
Essential is the base tier for PS Plus at $10 per month or $60 per year. This tier is largely the same as the old PS Plus and includes:
- Two monthly downloadable games
- In-store discounts
- The cloud saves
- Online Multiplayer
Current PS Plus subscribers upgraded to this tier on June 13.
in addition includes Essential tier benefits while adding a catalog of up to 400 PS4 and PS5 games available for download. The catalog includes first-party and third-party games, including Death Stranding, God of the war, Spider Man, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Mortal Kombat 11 and Return. This tier costs $15 per month or $100 per year.
Prime has features from both tiers and adds an additional 340 classic games to stream from PlayStation 1, PS2, PS3 and PSP. Current PS Now subscribers had their subscriptions automatically converted to Premium when the new PS Plus went live. Premium also offers time-limited game trials that allow you to play the game for two hours before deciding to purchase it.
The Premium tier costs $18 per month or $120 per year. Subscribers can stream on their PS4, PS5 or download the PS Plus app for PC play from their computer.
To compete with Xbox Live Gold, Sony created PS Plus in 2010 for the PlayStation 3. The subscription allowed online multiplayer, discounts in the PSN Store, cloud saves, and monthly additional games. Initially, PS Plus free games included PS3 and PSP titles. Eventually, it included Sony’s other devices such as the PS Vita, PS4, and most recently the PS5. Additional games included in the subscription are only available when a PS Plus subscription is active. Stop paying $10 a month or $60 a year and you lose access to those games.
Grandfathered PS Plus subscribers were replaced with PS Plus Essential subscribers on June 13.
Cloud gaming may be hot right now, with major players like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna and Microsoft Xbox cloud gaming beta, but it was Sony that first tried to make cloud gaming mainstream with PS Now in 2014. Previous pioneers like OnLive and Gaikai (both eventually bought by Sony) are now largely forgotten. Over 800 PS2, PS3, PS4 and PS5 games are available to stream or download on PS4, PS5 or PC.
But lag is still a factor, as with other cloud gaming services. The game’s resolution was recently updated from 720p to 1080p for some games, but this is lower than the 4K offered by Stadia. There is also a lack of newer titles in its library. Even major Sony-released titles such as The Last of Us Part 2 aren’t on the service, and there’s no indication they’ll be added. Added games sometimes don’t stay in the library as long, with some being available on PS Now for only three months. On the plus side, many PS4 games on the service can be downloaded rather than streamed, and there’s also a PC client for cloud gaming on computers.
PS Now subscribers are automatically converted to the Premium PS Plus tier on June 13.
What changed on June 13 if I prepaid PS Plus and PS Now subscriptions?
For those who subscribed to both services and prepaid before the big change, Sony converted subscribers to PS Plus Premium, with the expiration date being the later of the two. This means that if you subscribed to PS Now until December 2022, but PS Plus until December 2023, December 2023 will be the new expiration date for your PS Plus Premium subscription.
Can I extend my current subscriptions with a prepaid card?
Sony discontinued the ability to redeem prepaid PS Plus cards in April. The company has yet to say when it will allow redemptions again and how it will adjust prepaid cards to the new PS Plus tiers.
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