By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Close
PlayStation Reportedly to Launch Xbox Game Pass Rival 'Next Spring'

PlayStation Reportedly to Launch Xbox Game Pass Rival 'Next Spring' - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 02 February 2022 / 2,575 Views

Sony Interactive Entertainment plans to introduce a new subscription service with the codename of Spartacus that is meant to be a rival to Xbox Game Pass in Spring 2022, according to Bloomberg citing "people familiar with Sony’s plans and documents reviewed by Bloomberg."

The service will allow give subscribers access to a catalog of modern and classic games for a monthly fee. It will be available on the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 and will reportedly merge PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now.

Spartacus will reportedly come in three tiers. The first tier includes existing PlayStation Plus benefits, the second includes a large catalog of PlayStation 4 and, eventually, PlayStation 5 titles, while the third includes extended demos, game streaming, and a library of classic PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PSP games.

Sources familiar with PlayStation's plans also said the company plans to expand its efforts in cloud gaming. 

A representative for PlayStation did not immediately respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


More Articles

38 Comments
aTokenYeti (on 03 December 2021)

This is neat and I think a much needed simplification/consolidation of their current subscription offerings but I do not think this is a competitor to game pass (not that there is anything wrong with that).

Tier 1 is what PS+ is currently
Tier 2 sounds like what PS Now is currently just combined with PS+ for one flat rate, which is good but also not what game pass is
Tier 3 sounds nice in theory but hopefully they allow you to download and play back compat games locally and also allow you buy them independently of a subscription service.

Until they start paying large money for third party AAA day one launches and also launch exclusives day and date on the service i don’t think it ought to be compared to gamepass. It still feels apples to oranges. But again, that is not necessarily a bad thing.

  • +9
scrapking aTokenYeti (on 03 December 2021)

"Tier 2 sounds like what PS Now is currently just combined with PS+ for one flat rate, which is good..."

Good or bad based on the pricing, I would argue.

  • +3
scrapking (on 03 December 2021)

"...the second includes a large catalog of PlayStation 4 and, eventually, PlayStation 5 titles, ..."

Eventually?? A big part of the appeal of Game Pass is getting all first-party, and a selection of third-party, games available on Day 1. Get The Master Chief Collection via subscription? That's a big shrug for most people. Get Halo Infinite on Day 1? That's a big draw for people.

Get Zombie War 4, and Outriders, and Back 4 Blood on Day 1? Those are great Game Pass games as they could be really fun, but could be games that I'd pass on, and reviews are mixed, so playing them Day 1 on Game Pass rather than just going by reviews is really awesome.

So that "eventually" for PS5 games sounds ominous.

If those PS4 games in this service are also available for PS5, will PS5 owners have to pay $10 for each one to upgrade to play the PS5 version (without owning either version)?

So many questions.

  • +4
gtotheunit91 scrapking (on 03 December 2021)

Not to mention you get Game Pass on PC as well. I know Sony is starting to put their games on PC now, so will maybe the top tier include PC games?

So many questions indeed.

  • +3
hiccupthehuman scrapking (on 03 December 2021)

When Xbox Game Pass launched in 2017, it was mostly 360 games with a few Xbox One games. A year later in 2018, first-party Xbox One games were announced coming day and date. Spartacus will also include PS5 games soon after launch as well, IMO. And day one PS5 releases as well, both from first-party and third-party soon. MS's current business model is great, and I think Sony will emulate it really closely.

MS
2016: Move first-party onto PC
2017: Xbox Game Pass launches for console, mostly 360 games, some Xbox One games
2018: Xbox Game Pass launches for PC, now include more Xbox One games, and day one first-party titles
2020: Xbox Game Pass launches for cloud

Sony
2021: Move first-party onto PC
2022: Spartacus launches for consoles, mostly PS4 games, "eventually" PS5 games
2023: ??

  • 0
scrapking hiccupthehuman (on 04 December 2021)

Good summary.

Some differences, as Microsoft moved into PC with a commitment to day-and-date PC releases. Sony's not there yet.

Microsoft also had a lot to prove with Game Pass. Sony can just point to Game Pass' success in explaining their actions to their shareholders and to third-parties, which is another key difference.

But yes, I can hardly deny some of the similarities you've noted, despite those differences.

  • -2
KratosLives scrapking (on 04 December 2021)

I bet the majority are in it for the library and access to many games, not the first party day one releases. They want that feeling of having unlimited access anytime.

  • 0
zero129 KratosLives (on 05 December 2021)

I bet you would be wrong and most Sony fans wont upgrade past the normal PSPlus sub if it doesnt have new games for them ya know just like they dont right now with PSNow..

  • -4
scrapking zero129 (on 05 December 2021)

I agree with you. But Sony may not value additional subscribers enough to give up $70 (or $80 for digital deluxe edition with dual-entitlement) per copy for their big AAA titles.

Whereas Microsoft owns all their own cloud infrastructure so their costs to build and support Game Pass is probably less per user than it is for Sony (which is building on top of licensed Azure technologies). And Microsoft having SO much cloud infrastructure means their economies of scale per user are probably lower when spread across their entire cloud portfolio, than it is for Sony. Microsoft has Game Pass, and Office Online, and so much more.

So not only does Microsoft's cloud services probably cost them less per user, Microsoft is also still charging only $60 for games (not $70-80 like Sony) so Microsoft is both giving up less revenue per game to include Day 1 releases in Game Pass.

Also, to the degree that Game Pass is including Day 1 PC releases in Game Pass, that's probably stealing sales away from Steam moreso than it's hurting Microsoft's PC distribution channels.

So as much as I think Sony's cloud ambitions would be more far more successful with Day 1 triple-A releases, I don't expect to see that anytime soon.

  • 0
scrapking zero129 (on 05 December 2021)

And I don't think Sony's ready to give up that sweet, sweet $70 per copy (or $80 for the nearly identical Digital Deluxe edition with dual-entitlement) just yet. I think Sony would prefer to charge $70 for PS5 releases, and $80 for dual-entitlement, and wouldn't even be offering the $10 upgrades from PS4 to PS5 editions if not for the Forbidden West pricing controversy.

And before I get downvoted by a bunch of Sony fans, I also think Microsoft wouldn't have moved to not requiring Gold for free-to-play games if not for the Gold price hike controversy, so this isn't a Sony-exclusive thing at all. (Great, now I'll probably be downvoted by BOTH PS and Xbox fans. :P )

(I think for most people, things like additional character emotes in photo mode are unlikely to be important to them, which is why most digital deluxe editions are essentially identical in value to most purchasers, aside from coming with dual-entitlement, meaning most people buying the $80 digital deluxe editions are likely doing so for the convenience of out-of-the-box dual-entitlement, I suspect! :) )

  • 0
KratosLives zero129 (on 05 December 2021)

I bet many would upgrade if sony put every ps1,2 /3 , 4 title up there.

  • 0
scrapking KratosLives (on 05 December 2021)

A lot of that back-catalogue stuff you can buy very inexpensively, on disc or during sales. Whereas if Ragnarok (for example) was dropped into a subscription service Day 1, people would be signing up in droves.

I agree with you that some people would be very interested in a large and growing back catalogue of older games, but the number of people who would do so is small IMO. Many of Sony's biggest fans will already own a lot of those games, and people who aren't a big fan of those games/franchises are unlikely to value them.

I think back catalogue-based services are highly driven by nostalgia, which means gamers who had other systems back then, or younger gamers without nostalgia for older games, would be far less likely to sign up without Day 1 releases of AAA titles to tempt them in. And as I say, the people with the most nostalgia for those games are the ones most likely to already own them already.

  • +3
Vizigoth04 (on 03 December 2021)

As one who subscribes to both and also GamePass it would be nice if plus and now was lumped together. Also I’m certain eventually they’ll add their streaming video services or Crunchyroll. They should call it PlayStation Portal. And make a PC version for games that have already gone to PC. PlayStation Studio Exclusives and third party.

  • +3
Shiken (on 03 December 2021)

Then what is PSNow supposed to be? Wouldn't it be more productive to expand and maybe rebrand the service than to make another one? Unless they are going the Nintendo route with their retro games, it doesn't make any sense. And even then, I would rather see it all under one service.

  • +1
gtotheunit91 Shiken (on 03 December 2021)

Supposedly, PS Now will be phased out. But it does seem like they're going the Nintendo route for sure with their retro games locking them to a subscription service, unless they're also planning on selling their back catalogue of games individually like how they used to. Unlikely though

  • 0
aTokenYeti Shiken (on 03 December 2021)

Reading the article it sounds like they are phasing out PS Now

  • +1
Shiken aTokenYeti (on 03 December 2021)

I get that, I just don't see what the point is when they could just expand PSNow and add tier plans as needed. I cannot see how this new service could be much different than what PSNow is currently, just expanded to include more platforms.

  • +1
aTokenYeti Shiken (on 03 December 2021)

I think a whole branding reboot for the subscription plans could be wise. I know a number of people that still think PS Now is streaming only, which it is not.

  • 0
Shiken aTokenYeti (on 03 December 2021)

I agree with rebranding, it needs to happen. I just don't see why they would start something new just to phase out something that is essentially the same thing. I think it would be better to expand on what they have and rename it (if that isn't what they are already planning).

  • +1
scrapking Shiken (on 03 December 2021)

A lot of Sony fans rag on Game Pass for being a subscription, and seem to suggest that renting games (no matter how cheap) is somehow inferior, and that buying games (no matter how expensive) is somehow superior. I wonder how those fans will react to this news?

  • 0
Shiken scrapking (on 03 December 2021)

I think we already know the answer to that.

  • +2
gtotheunit91 Shiken (on 03 December 2021)

They dropped the ball on PSNow. Marketing for the service was as bad as Nintendo was with the Wii U. So Sony could try to reboot the service, or they could choose the route of something that already has success, which in this case is PS+

  • 0
Shiken gtotheunit91 (on 03 December 2021)

Yeah I know, thats why I feel it would be better to expand on what is there but rebrand it and change the name.

  • 0
mjk45 Shiken (on 04 December 2021)

it may well have something to do with their move to azure

  • 0
victor83fernandes (on 04 December 2021)

''PlayStation Reportedly to Launch Xbox Game Pass Rival 'Next Spring'
Why is is in quotes? Is the service called Next spring? Strange name for a service

  • 0
KratosLives (on 04 December 2021)

I don't want them to go the way of all first party being exclusive, like microsoft. Considering sony put out more exclusives, don't think it will work.

I would like to see a perk system , the longer you stay connected, the more rewards you get. That way they keep people connected for longer and not just temporary to play certain games. And ofcourse the library all the way to ps1.

  • 0
zero129 KratosLives (on 05 December 2021)

Great so you want it to be worse then gamepass and then try huck people with predatory schemes to keep them paying instead of ya know just putting good games on the service.

  • +4
KratosLives zero129 (on 05 December 2021)

I didn't say to not put good games. The exlusives would get on there , not all day one.

  • 0
LivncA_Dis3 (on 04 December 2021)

just merged psnow and ps plus haha!

  • 0
VAMatt (on 03 December 2021)

Much of the appeal of Gamepass is day one games. If Sony doesn't put every first-party exclusive on there day-one, this is not going to be a competitor.

  • 0
KratosLives VAMatt (on 04 December 2021)

Not true. Most are in it for the game library and access to hundreds/thousands of games at any time.

  • 0
VAMatt KratosLives (on 04 December 2021)

I certainly haven't done any scientific studies of it. But, whenever subscribers talk about Gamepass, day-one first party games are usually the first thing mentioned.

I'm a subscriber myself, and that's the main attraction for me. It isn't so much the "day one" factor, but the fact that I get to play all of the big games during the launch window. So, Sony could probably appeal to me with a service that includes their games 30 days after launch, for example. Even 90 days after launch might work if the price is low. But, if it's $15 per month and doesn't include PC and near launch first-party releases, that's not a real competitor to Gamepass, in my eyes.

  • +4
zero129 VAMatt (on 05 December 2021)

Thats the main attraction for everyone and is the only reason im subbed. Also how you know what his saying is wrong is why is PSNow not doing that great if all people want to play is old games PSNow should be doing just as good as gamepass if not better since its been around longer.

  • +3
KratosLives zero129 (on 05 December 2021)

Psnow isn't even advertised well, let alone available in most countries

  • 0
zero129 (on 04 December 2021)

Ahh yes them lovely down votes i got for pointing this out in that controller topic. Who was right now??.

  • -3
zero129 zero129 (on 05 December 2021)

Let the down votes keep coming Sony fans, it puts a smile on my face with every down vote knowing everything i been saying is turning out right ;-) . How long before you guys a begging for Day 1 exclusives to match GP after this launched will be so funny to watch.
I guess you guys are used to being followers with Sony instead of doers. How many times have Sony copied Nintendo and MS now isnt even funny at this stage..

  • -5
LudicrousSpeed (on 03 December 2021)

No day one PS5 games. Hard pass.

Also I guess this is why there’s no legacy BC on PS5, it’s part of a premium service.

  • -5
KratosLives LudicrousSpeed (on 04 December 2021)

Would you get it if the $15 a month was locked in for a year contract? I think that way it would be feasible for them to offer a service with all exclusives. Which I think they might do. Or they may better microsoft and something like 12.99 a month, but no cancellation and cancel anytime that microsoft has going.

  • 0