A Bloomberg report has revealed that Sony is planning a new subscription service to compete with Microsoft’s extremely popular Game Pass service.
The service, currently going by the codename Spartacus, will allow PlayStation players to subscribe to the service and access a library of modern and classic titles. The Bloomberg report speculates that the service will likely be supported on both the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5, given how successful the former console was and how difficult the latter is for consumers to purchase a year after its launch.
Bloomberg’s source asked to remain anonymous at this time due to not being officially authorized to reveal these plans.
Spartacus is expected to launch in the spring of 2022, and will replace both Sony’s PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now services. PlayStation Plus was used for online multiplayer gaming and brought a select few free titles for subscribers every month, while PlayStation Now gave subscribers access to stream or download a selection of older PlayStation games, albeit in a much smaller quantity of titles than Game Pass offers.
Bloomberg reports a proposed three-tier system for Spartacus: the first would be an extension of current PlayStation Plus features. The second would expand the service to include access to certain PS4 and eventual PS5 titles. The third tier would go further and let players access older PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP titles.
While Sony has outsold Microsoft in terms of consoles sold in recent years, Microsoft has moved far more subscribers to its game streaming service with more than 18 million subscribers.
The third tier including games of past generations is also reflective of a trend among the big three major console developers, as Nintendo’s Switch online expansion pack brought N64 games to Switch (albeit in a shaky version), and Xbox recently revealed it would support more than 70 backwards-compatible classic Xbox titles to celebrate the console’s 20 year anniversary.
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