Sony marketing VP John Koller spelled out the changes in a post on the PlayStation Blog today. By his description, it sounds like the company is primarily formalizing the process of making select games available for PS Plus subscribers, free of charge, for a period of time on the PS4, PS3, and PS Vita consoles.
Under the new system that goes into effect in July, PS Plus subscribers will have access to two free games on each respective console through the existing "Instant Game Collection" network. Koller said that the availability of these games will follow a clearer time window than they did previously, so subscribers will only be able to access them from the first Tuesday of a given month until the first Tuesday of the following month.
Koller's post made no mention of pricing, so I take it that the the service is going to cost the same amount going forward—$49.99 for a full year, $17.99 for three months, and $9.99 for one month.
The good news for PlayStation owners and PS Plus subscribers is that they're guaranteed two new titles on each of the consoles rather than one, which is what they had before. The bad news is that the stricter time window will limit access to Sony's Instant Game Collection in a way that it didn't before.
"In the coming weeks, you'll see that several of the titles that have had a nice, long stint in the Instant Game Collection will be phased out," Koller said in the announcement.
Now, this doesn't mean that PS Plus members can only access these games without buying them during the four week time window that they're available on the Instant Game Collection, mind you. Subscribers can still amass a collection of ICG titles to their hearts content, they'll just have to be a bit more organized and proactive about linking them all to their account. Also, remember that your access to these games only extends as far as your PS Plus membership does. So if you end your membership for any reason, you won't be able to bring any of these games with you.
The changes to Sony's PlayStation Plus service are arriving shortly after Microsoft said that it was adjusting its Xbox Live service in several ways that brought it more in line with Sony's current offerings.