Months after its first launch in international markets, Sony’s new three-tier PlayStation Plus subscription arrived this week in Australia, putting the service in indirect competition with the much-loved Microsoft. Xbox Game Pass and increased value for PS4 and PS5 owners. In case you’re not already familiar with one of Microsoft’s proudest achievements to date, it’s essentially the Netflix of gaming, offering a stacked and curated library of video games that can be downloaded to the console. or streamed via the cloud. With three PS Plus tiers – topped by PlayStation Plus Deluxe – Sony has essentially mirrored the service, opening up console gamers to a very generous range of older games from every PlayStation console in history.
What generosity? If you opt for the PlayStation Plus Deluxe, you’re watching almost 800 games from across the PlayStation library – which includes classic titles from the original PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and the PSP handheld console. Step up to the second tier, the PlayStation Plus Extra, and you still get a huge catalog of up to 400 curated games across PS4 and PS5 plus the PlayStation Studios program and select third-party partners.
Since Xbox launched Game Pass, PlayStation has competed slightly with the PS Now service, which offers a similar spread of older games from previous generations to stream or download. The PS Plus Deluxe obviously absorbs that, acting as something like a hybrid between the previous form of PS Plus and the separate PS Now subscription.
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The standard tier, PlayStation Plus Essential, seems like just the PS Plus most Sony gamers are used to by now – a $79.95 annual subscription that gets you monthly rotating PS4 and PS5 games, online multiplayer access, discounts, cloud storage and more benefits. Note that all current PlayStation Plus members will automatically transfer to PlayStation Plus Essential. Those who want the higher tiers will have to jump on it and upgrade manually.
There’s an important distinction to be made between Xbox Game Pass and the comparable PS Plus Deluxe. The former reinvents Microsoft’s entire sales model, even going so far as to include new titles that are released immediately on the subscription service. This is the main reason Game Pass has been such a big deal since Xbox Series X launched | S, and one of the reasons Xbox finally caught up with Sony.
Meanwhile, it doesn’t look like Sony is moving on any new first-party titles. These new games will still be released as separate purchases whether or not you have the PlayStation Plus Deluxe service, which in Australia can cost you $154.95 per year (or $21.95 per month).
While disappointing, it’s still a great and reasonable price for Sony’s new high-end subscription offering, giving gamers all the benefits of the lower tiers (including online multiplayer access) plus this aforementioned bank of nearly 800 legacy games. It can go well (tekken 2) to mute (Monkey Escape).
Here are the details for the three new PlayStation Plus tiers.
PlayStation Plus Essential
Advantages: Provides the same benefits PlayStation Plus members enjoy today, such as monthly PS4 and PS5 games, online multiplayer access, exclusive discounts, cloud storage and more. There are no changes for existing PlayStation Plus members in this plan and prices remain the same.
Price: $11.95 per month / $33.95 per quarter / $79.95 per year
Additional PlayStation Plus
Advantages: Provides all the benefits of the Essential plan and adds a catalog of up to 400 of the most enjoyable PS4 and PS5 games, including hits from the PlayStation Studios catalog and third-party partners. Extra plan games are downloadable to play.
Price: $18.95 per month / $54.95 per quarter / $134.95 per year
PlayStation Plus Deluxe
Advantages: Provides all the benefits of the Essential and Extra plans and adds additional games, including a catalog of beloved classic games from the original PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable generations. Also includes time-limited game trials so customers can play certain games before purchasing.
Price: $21.95 per month / $63.95 per quarter / $154.95 per year
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