It’s official, PS Plus goes three-tier to compete with Game Pass

We all knew it was coming, and now it’s finally out. Sony has officially announced its plans for PlayStation Plus, going head-to-head with Xbox Game Pass. Well… not exactly head-to-head. It’s more of a shoulders-to-head battle since Sony won’t go overboard with the freebies.

It is an announcement with little news since basically all of its contents have already been leaked beforehand. PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now are to be fused into one service, carrying on with the PlayStation Plus label. Therefore, as of June, PlayStation Now will go bye-bye and PS Plus is about to expand into three tiers.

Tier 1 – carrying the name PlayStation Plus Essentials – is going to replace the current Plus subscription. Because of that, no changes are being made to its price tag. For $9.99 monthly / $24.99 quarterly / $59.99 yearly, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of the current PS Plus model.

Things start to change when you go for Tier 2, called PlayStation Plus Extra. Technically, Extra combines Plus and Now, giving you access to 400 PS4 and PS5 games. This includes big boys like God of War and Spider-Man (Miles Morales). As expected, that’ll cost you a few pennies more. $14.99 monthly / $39.99 quarterly / $99.99 yearly, to be exact.

And then there’s the motherload of tiers. Tier 3 – PlayStation Plus Premium – provides all of the above and tops that off with up to 340 backward compatibility games. PS3 games can unfortunately only be streamed, but PS2, Original PlayStation, and PSP games can be streamed or downloaded.

On top of that, Premium will also grant you early access to upcoming games, be it for a limited time. People accustomed to EA Play already know how that works, and it gives you a good impression of a game before you decide to buy it.

This brings us to the only downside to Sony’s news. PlayStation Plus won’t go full Game Pass. Where Xbox’s service goes balls to the wall by offering premium first-party games on Day One – free of charge – Sony won’t. That’s no big surprise though since CEO Jim Ryan ain’t a believer of Microsoft’s philosophy.

“This is not a road that we’ve gone down in the past. And it’s not a road that we’re going to go down with this new service.

“We feel if we were to do that with the games that we make at PlayStation Studios, that virtuous cycle will be broken. The level of investment that we need to make in our studios would not be possible, and we think the knock-on effect on the quality of the games that we make would not be something that gamers want.”

Fair enough, I guess. Then again, for $17.99 monthly / $49.99 quarterly / $119.99 yearly, people might expect you to match Game Pass‘ model, which costs members $14.99 a month. Plus, it even comes with EA Play. Just sayin’…