Rumors are constantly flying around the Web about all sorts of possible developments in the home entertainment market, but some of them turn out to be true simply because they made sense in the first place — and that’s exactly what’s happening during the last few days with Sony’s alleged plans regarding a new subscription service. The rumor in question has been discussed before, but now Jason Schreier is reporting on Bloomberg that the Japanese giant is getting ready to offer such a service in a few months’ time.
Exciting news. But is it really the move that a number of outlets have described as “Sony’s answer to Xbox Game Pass”?
Schreier's report offers enough details to make this scenario quite believable (and probable): Sony is planning to essentially expand the current PlayStation Plus service in order to offer more tiers and, therefore, more options to PlayStation owners. The “Project Spartacus”, as the service is allegedly called, will merge PS Plus and PlayStation Now (Sony’s cloud gaming that has seen moderate but not great success so far) into one service for PS4 and PS5 owners. The first tier will continue to offer what PS Plus does right now: online multiplayer, some free games each month and a few more extras. The second tier will offer those too, but also “a large catalog of PS4 and, eventually, PS5 games”. The third tier will include all of the above, plus the option of game streaming (which PS Now currently offers for PS3/PS4 titles), as well as access to “a library of classic PS1, PS2, PS3 and PSP games”.
Assuming that Schreier's information is accurate, Sony’s plan is a solid, sensible one. In its current form PlayStation Now was unlikely to become a wild commercial success any time soon: it’s already been almost seven years since it’s been introduced and, while Sony has not been aggressively promoting it at any point, it’s fair to say that had…