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Report: PlayStation Planning Xbox Game Pass-Style Subscription Service

The new service will provide access to games both new and very, very old

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An illuminated PlayStation 5 logo.
Photo: Charly Triballeau (Getty Images)

Sony is finalizing a new PlayStation subscription meant to give the platform its own Xbox Game Pass-style service that’s tentatively scheduled to launch next spring, Bloomberg reports.

The current plan is apparently to combine PlayStation’s cloud-based gaming service PlayStation Now with the monthly free game offerings of PlayStation Plus, phasing out the former in favor of the latter’s more prominent branding. According to internal Sony documents seen by Bloomberg, the monthly fee for this new subscription (code-named Spartacus) will provide players with unlimited access to a library of both modern and classic PlayStation games.


Kotaku contacted Sony for comment but didn’t hear back before publication.

Much like Xbox Game Pass, the Spartacus subscription will also come in various flavors depending on how much users are willing to spend. The cheapest tier should look a lot like the current PlayStation Plus service, the second tier will add PlayStation 4 and (eventually) PlayStation 5 games, and a third tier will offer extended demos and game streaming as well as PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and even PlayStation Portable libraries.


Spartacus is also expected to be available on both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, meaning folks who still haven’t been able to secure Sony’s hard-to-find next-gen console won’t be left out in the cold.

Arm-chair analysis about timing aside, this is a no-brainer for Sony. Xbox Game Pass, which first launched in 2017, is the single best thing Microsoft’s video game division has produced in decades, attracting more than 18 million subscribers with its Netflix-style approach to gaming. With a much greater existing install base across console generations and an obvious hunger for this kind of subscription model, Spartacus is sure to be a hit if Sony approaches its PlayStation plan with the same fervor as Microsoft and Xbox.

And honestly, every major company in this industry should be giving us more ways to legally play classic games at a reasonable price.