Sony Launches Three PlayStation Plus Tiers to Counter Xbox Game Pass

PlayStation Plus
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony's long-rumored (and long-awaited) answer to Xbox Game Pass is finally coming. The Japanese gaming giant announced today that it is combining the two subscription services that it currently offers to PlayStation gamers. As a result, PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now are being transitioned into three tiers of PlayStation Plus.

The first tier is called PlayStation Plus Essential and is a rebrand of the current version of PlayStation Plus. That means subscribers get two free game downloads per month, online multiplier game access, cloud storage for your save games, and discounts on digital items in the PlayStation Store. Pricing remains the same at $9.99 per month.

The next step up is PlayStation Plus Extra, which includes all the perks of the base subscription. However, you also can access a game library that includes roughly 400 PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 games. According to Sony, these include "blockbuster hits from our PlayStation Studios catalog and third-party partners" available for download. The PlayStation Plus Extra tier will cost $14.99 per month.

Things get interesting with the flagship PlayStation Plus Premium subscription, which costs $17.99 per month. As you might expect, this tier includes all the features mentioned above but adds original PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable games to the mix. In addition, games across all current and previous generation console platforms are accessible via cloud streaming using a PS4, PS5 or PC. Sony says that up to 340 additional games are available via the PlayStation Plus Premium tier. Another perk of PlayStation Plus Premium is the option for developers to offer time-limited trials of games. 

It is not all good news if you live in a region that doesn't currently offer PlayStation Now streaming. In those regions, Sony will offer PlayStation Plus Deluxe "at a lower price compared to Premium." In addition, PlayStation Plus Deluxe will provide a "catalog of beloved classic games from the original PlayStation, PS2 and PSP generations to download and play, along with time-limited game trials." 

According to Sony, the three new PlayStation Plus tiers will launch starting in June in Asia. Sony will then expand availability across North America and Europe.

"At launch, we plan to include titles such as Death Stranding, God of War, Marvel's Spider-Man, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Mortal Kombat 11, and Returnal," said Jim Ryan, President, and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. "We're working closely with our imaginative developers from PlayStation Studios and third-party partners to include some of the best gaming experiences available with a library that will be regularly refreshed."

For comparison, Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass [Console] subscription costs $9.99 and provides access to over 100 games, day-one access to Xbox Games Studios releases, and exclusive member discounts (the PC version includes EA Play at the same price). Xbox Game Pass Ultimate costs $14.99 per month and offers the same game library, EA Play, Xbox Live Gold and the ability to stream games using Xbox Cloud Gaming.

Brandon Hill

Brandon Hill is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware. He has written about PC and Mac tech since the late 1990s with bylines at AnandTech, DailyTech, and Hot Hardware. When he is not consuming copious amounts of tech news, he can be found enjoying the NC mountains or the beach with his wife and two sons.

  • hotaru251
    I mean its not "great" (nobody likes streaming games).
    still only works on ps.

    Not really rivaling Gamepass as it offers perks for pc & console & not streaming games. (again nobody wants to stream ps3 games)

    but i guess any improvement for PS users is good for them.