PS Now cards are leaving stores – is it to make way for an Xbox Game Pass rival?

PS Now
(Image credit: Sony)
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PlayStation Now gift cards are being pulled from retailers across the UK and will be unavailable by next week.

"Stores have until the close of day January 19 to remove all POS and ESD cards from all customer-facing areas and update their digital bays in line with this week’s upcoming commercial update," reads a message from leadership at GAME.

According to GamesBeat (opens in new tab), retailers in the US and Canada already began taking down PS Now gift cards from their shelves and online stores weeks ago, confirming that this is a global effort and not restricted to one region.

When approached for a comment, a PlayStation spokesperson only said, "Globally, we are moving from PlayStation Now gift cards to focus on our current cash denomination PlayStation gift cards, which can be redeemed for PlayStation Now."

The PlayStation Game Pass rumors

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PlayStation Now is Sony's cloud streaming service, which provides access to a library of PS2, PS3, and PS4 games for you to play on your PS5, PS4, or PC.

However, PS Now is completely separate from PlayStation Plus, which offers free monthly games and online multiplayer, meaning anyone who wants access to both services needs to pay for two subscriptions.

Sony's decision to pull gift cards for PS Now would normally suggest that it plans on retiring it entirely, but there have been rumors that it will instead merge PS Plus and PS Now together (opens in new tab). This new service will then act as Sony's answer to Microsoft's incredibly popular Xbox Game Pass platform.

PS Now has always seemed to be overshadowed by PS Plus so combining the two makes perfect sense. Reports on the new service also claim that it will offer access to PlayStation One and PlayStation Portable games, something PS Now obviously lacks.

Apparently Sony won't include any of its big first-party games on the service when they launch, though, which could risk making the whole thing seem inferior to Game Pass. Microsoft's service has included major new releases like Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5 as soon as they released, allowing Game Pass subscribers to play these games at no extra cost.

Michael is a freelance writer with bylines at the Metro, TechRaptor, and Game Rant. A Computer Games Design and Creative Writing graduate, he's been passionate about video games since the Game Boy Color, particularly Nintendo games, with Xenoblade Chronicles being his favorite game ever. Despite everything, he's still a Sonic the Hedgehog fan.