We’re well into the era of streaming wars as far as video games are concerned – it’s just that the wars don’t look much like people expected them to. When Google launched Stadia a couple of years ago, many industry analysts expected it to be Google rather than Sony or Microsoft leading the way when it comes to streaming video games, but Stadia is lingering in a near-death state while the owners of PlayStation and Xbox continue to break new ground. Sony will break new ground again in summer of 2022 by killing off PlayStation Now and introducing a new tier system for PlayStation Plus in its place.
The idea behind PlayStation Now was similar to the idea behind a modern online casino site – it was a place where hundreds of video games could be grouped together with a single point of entry for players to pick and choose from at will. Over time it expanded, becoming less like a single casino site and more like a casino comparison website where games made by different providers can be racked up against each other, assessed, reviewed and then played by whoever wants to play them. There was a big difference between PlayStation Now and your average casino sister site, though – PlayStation Now didn’t provide all the necessary functionality. You could stream games on PlayStation Now, but you couldn’t access multiplayer functions in those games. If we’re still talking Online Cricket Betting ID sites, it would be like allowing players access to bingo rooms but forcing them to play on their own. Any casino sistersite.com that offered that service would fail, and so the only surprise here is that it took Sony so long to decide PlayStation Now had outstayed its welcome.
Despite the lack of access to multiplayer games, PlayStation Now still has hundreds of thousands of subscribers. If you’re one of them and you weren’t aware of the impending closure of the platform, you’re probably worrying and wondering what’s going to happen to the massive library of games that you’ve been accustomed to streaming or downloading whenever you want to. The good news is that you have nothing to worry about. All of the functionality of PlayStation Now will be folded into a new, revamped version of PlayStation Plus, and your price isn’t going to increase because of it. In fact, the opposite is going to happen. When the changeover happens, you’ll start to receive a lot more for your money – and we’re not just talking about the ability to play games with your friends in multiplayer mode.
As has been confirmed by various sources, including the Metro, all existing PlayStation Now subscribers will automatically become “PlayStation Plus Extra” members. For their existing payment – which is set at £10.99 per month in case you’re not a member but might be interested in becoming one – players will receive access to a library of more than four hundred PS4 and PS5 games to download and play as they please plus a smaller collection of streamable PS3 games and early access to games released from PlayStation Studios. It’s an offer worth getting excited about if you already have a PlayStation Now subscription, but the eagle-eyed among you might have noticed that the product is called “PlayStation Plus Extra,” which implies the existence of a PlayStation Plus subscription that isn’t “extra.” You’d be right to suspect that such a thing exists.
From the as-yet-unspecified date in summer onwards, three PlayStation Plus tiers will be available to players. The cheapest one is PlayStation Plus Essential, which is the existing version of PlayStation Plus in everything but name. There’s no back catalogue of games to play with, but subscribers willing to pay £6.99 per month can play any of their compatible games online against other players and also receive cloud space for saved games plus two games released for download free of charge every month. PS Plus subscribers in all categories also get discounts on PlayStation games that remain full price to everybody else. It might not sound like an especially substantial offer compared to the PS Plus Extra package we mentioned, but it’s what existing PS Plus subscribers are accustomed to receiving. That’s why so many PS Plus subscribers also had PS Now accounts, which has always been an expensive and cumbersome way of getting the best of both worlds.
Just as there’s a category below PS Plus Extra, there’s also a category above it. That’s called PlayStation Plus Extra Premium and is only marginally more expensive at £13.49 per month. In return for the extra £2.50, players get everything on offer in the previous two categories plus a further 340 games to pick from in the library. The most exciting development here is that the games will include PS2, PS1, and PSP titles. While there are a handful of PS2 games available on PlayStation Now, PS1 and PSP games have never been included in the digital mix before. This is a new frontier for Sony and finally sees them using their full back catalogue to their advantage for the first time. They might have been partially forced into this move by Microsoft’s treatment of the classic Xbox gaming catalogue, but it’s a welcome development and an occasion where we probably shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
At around the same time, these new tiers are introduced, some of the best AAA games in the PlayStation range will be added to the subscription service in the hope of persuading new players to sign up. A full list hasn’t yet been announced, but we know that both “Marvel’s Spider-Man” and its partial sequel “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales” will be available from the start, as will “God of War,” “Death Stranding,” Returnal,” and “Mortal Kombat 11.” In the case of “Mortal Kombat 11,” it will be a return to the platform after very briefly becoming available on PlayStation Now at the beginning of the year. While June has been quoted as the commencement month, we know that the rollout will begin in Asia and then reach North America before finally making it to Europe. We’ll keep checking back for more information about specifics, and when we have anything to report, we’ll be sure to let you know.