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PlayStation Plus is a new subscription service from Sony

Sony Group’s revamped PlayStation subscription service is a significant step toward levelling the playing field with Microsoft’s rival Game Pass, analysts say, however delaying new releases may dampen enthusiasm.

When it launches in June in the United States, Europe, and Japan, Sony said its expanded PlayStation Plus subscription will provide hundreds of titles for a fixed monthly charge, including recent bestsellers like “Spider-Man: Miles Morales.”

According to Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan, the service would not include new releases, but customers will still be able to access big-budget blockbusters like “Returnal” and “God of War.”

“From PlayStation Studios, there will be more, and all of the main publishers will be represented,” Ryan stated.

Sony is largely regarded as the console market leader, having sold 17 million PlayStation 5 (PS5) devices despite chip shortages, but has been under pressure to adapt to the rise of Netflix-style gaming subscription services.

The new Sony service combines PlayStation Plus, which has 48 million subscribers and only delivers a few free games each month, with PlayStation Now, which has 3.2 million users with a library of games to download and watch.

Sony is largely regarded as the console market leader, having sold 17 million PlayStation 5 devices despite chip shortages.
Gett/SOPA Images/LightRocket

There are three price categories, ranging from $9.99 to $17.99 per month or $59.99 to $119.99 per year. PlayStation Plus Essential, the cheapest option, appears to be identical to Sony’s present offering.

PlayStation Plus Extra adds a library of PS4 and PS5 games to the PlayStation Plus service. PlayStation Plus Premium includes access to a larger catalogue of older games, cloud streaming in major areas, and free game trials for a short time.

According to Lewis Ward, IDC’s head of game research, such simplification is “far overdue.”

“Over time, the number of PlayStation members in the highest two categories will tick up, which is unquestionably a core rationale for this adjustment,” Ward added.

Microsoft's Game Pass service

Sony’s newly announced pricing is seen as competitive with Microsoft’s Game Pass service.
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Analysts had expressed concern that, given the expensive cost of generating new games, pressure to package additional material with subscribers could eat into profit at Sony’s prized games division.

Along with the subscription service, Sony will try to maintain new game sales.

“I believe this change will enhance margins since more players will be drawn to higher-cost subscriptions,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, Ampere Analysis’ head of games research.

“If content acquisition expenses rise, Sony will have to balance that with the additional money generated by the PS Plus subscriber base,” he continued.

Sony’s new pricing is thought to be competitive. The $120 annual cost for the premium tier compares to $180 for Game Pass Ultimate. Both companies provide cloud gaming, with Sony users being able to stream titles to their consoles and computers.

Cloud gaming is considered as the industry’s future because it eliminates the need to download or install games on a console or PC. This poses a danger to the console industry, whose operators have traditionally served as gatekeepers.

An annual subscription to the mid-tier PlayStation Plus Extra, which does not include cloud gaming, costs little over $8 per month, against $9.99 for the Game Pass.

About the author

Akanksha Jain

Akanksha Jain love to learn new stuff every day. With a background in computer science and a passion for writing, she loves writing for Startup, Business sections of Editorials99.

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