When Sony’s revamped version of PS Plus launches in June, its priciest tier will cost twice as much as what you’re currently paying. But there’s a way to slash that in half: If you can secure a year of PS Now now, you’ll be able to temporarily lock in the new service at a lower price point. Unfortunately, perhaps because Sony is wise to people’s attempts to do this, securing that year seems harder than ever.
First announced last month, PS Plus 2.0 (note: not the official name, just my cutesy take to make the entire shift more digestible) is Sony’s redesign of its monthly (or yearly) subscriptions. For all intents and purposes, the redesign folds PS Plus, the sub required for online play, and PS Now, the games-on-demand service, into one subscription available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. It’s available in three tiers:
- PS Plus Essential is, fundamentally, the same service as the current PS Plus. That costs $10 a month or $60 a year—the same price point PS Plus is listed at right now.
- PS Plus Extra is the same as PS Plus Essential but adds access to a library of 400 downloadable PS4 and PS5 games, and costs $15 a month or $100 a year, rivaling the monthly price tag of Microsoft’s similar Game Pass service.
- PS Plus Premium, the highest tier, features all the benefits of the lower two tiers but adds a 300-game backlog of streamable and downloadable games from previous generations. (You can brush up on the specifics here.) That’s $18 a month or $120 a year.
- Regions that don’t allow for streaming can subscribe to PS Plus Deluxe, which features similar perks as PS Plus Premium at a supposedly lower cost, but Sony has yet to reveal the specific price points.
If you’re currently subscribed to PS Plus, Sony says your subscription will automatically convert to PS Plus Essential. But those signed up for PS Now, at least stateside, will see their subscriptions convert into PS Plus Premium. A month of PS Now currently costs $10 ($8 less than the Premium rate). A year, meanwhile, will run you $60 ($60 less than the Premium rate). As a result, players are buying up annual PS Now subs in bulk, with some players reportedly stacking subscriptions through the actual sci-fi year of 2031, well beyond when Sony will release the PlayStation 7 and its pricier model, the PlayStation 7 Pro (complete with an hermetic module designed to protect from the worst effects of climate change).
Mind, this workaround is a little bit wonky at the moment. One of my colleagues was able to buy a year through a direct link to the PlayStation Store (hat tip to venerable gaming deals spotter Wario64). Another had trouble getting a purchase to go through. Going directly through the PlayStation site will take you to a page where you’ll only see PS Now available in monthly installments, currently at the $10 price point. Big box retailers, like GameStop and Amazon, show annual subscriptions listed as “currently unavailable,” though you may have better luck with third-party sites.
Sony appears to have forecast this move for some time. As noted by Eurogamer, Sony quietly removed the annual PS Now subscription offer from its website. VGC reported back in January that brick-and-mortar retailers in the United Kingdom stopped selling physical cards for PS Now subscriptions.
Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Update, 4/5/2022 9:55 a.m. ET: The direct PS Store link appears to be dead, at least in the U.S., but you still might be able to find cards for an annual subscription at third-party retailers.