PlayStation's answer to Xbox Game Pass revealed

The PlayStation Plus logo
(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

After months of rumors and speculation, Sony has finally revealed the gaming service it's built to rival Xbox's Game Pass. It's a combined version of PlayStation Plus and PS Now that will give you access to hundreds of current and classic games on top of new additions each month.

We've been hearing about Project Spartacus since last year, this was the codename for Sony's new-look PlayStation Plus and one made specifically to rejuvenate the 12-year-old subscription service. Sony has now officially revealed what it's been working on and while it's still called PlayStation Plus, it's adding a lot more to the subscription we've come to know over the years. It finally looks like a real Xbox Game Pass contender for PS5 and PS4 owners.

From this coming June, PlayStation Plus will be split into three subscription tiers – PlayStation Plus Essential, PlayStation Plus Extra, and PlayStation Plus Premium – with the basic version giving you access to what we expect from the current PlayStation Plus subscription with additional games and extras coming in with each tier.

The major (and welcome) addition to the service is the ability to stream a library of classic PlayStation games. Apparently, hundreds of old games will be playable through Sony's cloud gaming tech – though it's not yet published a list of what we can expect.

PlayStation Plus Essential


  • Provides the same benefits that PlayStation Plus members are getting today, such as:
    • Two monthly downloadable games
    • Exclusive discounts
    • Cloud storage for saved games
    • Online multiplayer access
  • There are no changes for existing PlayStation Plus members in this tier.


  • United States
    • $9.99 monthly / $24.99 quarterly / $59.99 yearly
  • Europe
    • €8.99 monthly / €24.99 quarterly / €59.99 yearly
  • United Kingdom
    • £6.99 monthly / £19.99 quarterly / £49.99 yearly 
  • Japan
    • ¥850 monthly / ¥2,150 quarterly / ¥5,143 yearly

PlayStation Plus Extra


  • Provides all the benefits from the Essential tier
  • Adds a catalog of up to 400 of the most enjoyable PS4 and PS5 games – including blockbuster hits from our PlayStation Studios catalog and third-party partners. Games in the Extra tier are downloadable for play.


  • United States
    • $14.99 monthly / $39.99 quarterly / $99.99 yearly
  • Europe
    • €13.99 monthly / €39.99 quarterly / €99.99 yearly
  • United Kingdom
    • £10.99 monthly / £31.99 quarterly / £83.99 yearly 
  • Japan
    • ¥1,300 monthly / ¥3,600 quarterly / ¥8,600 yearly

PlayStation Plus Premium


  • Provides all the benefits from Essential and Extra tiers
  • Adds up to 340 additional games, including:
    • PS3 games available via cloud streaming
    • A catalog of beloved classic games available in both streaming and download options from the original PlayStation, PS2 and PSP generations 
  • Offers cloud streaming access for original PlayStation, PS2, PSP and PS4 games offered in the Extra and Premium tiers in markets where PlayStation Now is currently available. Customers can stream games using PS4 and PS5 consoles, and PC. 
  • Time-limited game trials will also be offered in this tier, so customers can try select games before they buy.


  • United States
    • $17.99 monthly / $49.99 quarterly / $119.99 yearly
  • Europe
    • €16.99 monthly / €49.99 quarterly / €119.99 yearly
  • United Kingdom
    • £13.49 monthly / £39.99 quarterly / £99.99 yearly 
  • Japan
    • ¥1,550 – monthly / ¥4,300 – quarterly / ¥10,250 yearly

For territories where cloud streaming isn't yet available, the subscriptions will be offered at a lower price.

With this change to the tiered service, you'll no longer be able to subscribe to PS Now separately, instead, you'll automatically become a PlayStation Plus Premium subscriber at the same rate you were paying before.

In a blog post detailing the updated PlayStation Plus service, Sony Interactive Entertainment President Jim Ryan explained that the changes are going to be rolled out in phases. "In the June timeframe, we’ll begin with an initial launch in several markets in Asia, followed by North America, Europe, and the rest of the world where PlayStation Plus is offered. We aim to have most PlayStation Network territories live with our new PlayStation Plus game subscription service by the end of the first half of 2022."

It's worth noting that the PS Now lets you stream games not just to the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, but also to your PC. Making this subscription a tantalizing option for PC gamers who have never had access to Sony's back catalog.

It's interesting to see how Sony has separated out the tiers. The Essential tier gets you a couple of free games a month and access to PlayStation's online services, the Extra tier is for people interested in just playing the more modern PS4 and PS5 releases, and the Premium tier is for people interested in accessing the PlayStation back catalog.

Does PlayStation Plus now rival Xbox Game Pass?

It's clear that this new version of PlayStation Plus provides a lot more value for money than the old service. If you opt for the Extra or Premium services you are getting access to hundreds of extra games for a low monthly fee, many of which can't be played on the PS4 or PS5 in any other way, due the consoles' lack of native backwards compatibility.

However, what about new releases? One of the biggest reasons to sign up to Xbox Game Pass is that Microsoft is committed to adding first-party games to its service on release day. Well, in an interview with GamesIndustry, Ryan pours water on hopes Sony will do the same, saying "[I]t's not a road that we're going to go down with this new service. We feel if we were to do that [the] level of investment that we need to make in our studios would not be possible, and we think the knock-on effect on the quality of the games that we make would not be something that gamers want."

Ryan concedes that Sony may change its position in the future, saying "I don't want to cast anything in stone at this stage. All I'm talking to today is the approach we're taking in the short term. The way our publishing model works right now, it doesn't make any sense. But things can change very quickly in this industry, as we all know."

  • How many of the best PS5 games will appear on the new PlayStation Plus
Julian Benson
Contributor, TechRadar Gaming

Julian's been writing about video games for more than a decade. In that time, he's always been drawn to the strange intersections between gaming and the real world, like when he interviewed a NASA scientist who had become a Space Pope in EVE Online,  or when he traveled to Ukraine to interview game developers involved in the 2014 revolution, or that time he tore his trousers while playing Just Dance with a developer.