We’re quickly approaching year’s end, but 2021 won’t go down without a bang. According to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, Sony is planning an Xbox Game Pass rival that’s expected to launch in spring 2022.
Codenamed Spartacus, the rival service will likely give PlayStation 4 and 5 owners access to both modern and classic games for a monthly fee. Interestingly, it will do this by merging the two existing services, PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now. PS Plus is currently required for the greater majority of online multiplayer titles unless they’re free-to-play, whereas PS Now allows players to stream or download older games.
According to material reviewed by Bloomberg, Sony plans to retain the PlayStation Plus brand, but will phase out PS Now. While details have yet to be finalized, the service is set to be available in three tiers, with the first maintaining the current PS Plus benefits. The second will offer a large catalog of PS4 and, eventually, PS5 games, with the final tier adding extended demos, game streaming, and a library of classic PS1, PS2, PS3 and PSP games.
On paper, Spartacus sounds like it may very well give Xbox Game Pass Ultimate a run for its money. One of the prime advantages of Game Pass is day one access to first-party titles. In fact, that’s one of the major reasons Forza Horizon 5 secured the honor of being the biggest launch in Xbox history with over 10 million players.
Unfortunately, that’s unlikely to be the case with Spartacus as Schreier warns in a Tweet “don’t expect Sony to include its big new games day one like Game Pass does”. Despite that, this could be huge for Gran Turismo 7. While the game itself won’t release until March 4, 2022, Spartacus could have major implications for the game’s lifetime in the future. Once available, it will give subscribers an opportunity to take the new game for a spin for no additional cost with the likely option to purchase any and DLC along the way.
Stay tuned for more information on Sony’s Game Pass competitor as it’s available.