Report: Game Pass Rival Has a Plan
A Bloomberg report revealed that Sony plans to launch a new subscription service to compete with Microsoft Game Pass.
Spartacus is the current codename for the service. It will allow PlayStation users to subscribe to it and access a collection of classic and modern titles. Given the success of the PlayStation 4 and how difficult it is for consumers to buy the PlayStation 5, the Bloomberg report suggests that both the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5 will support the service.
Bloomberg’s source requested anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose these plans.
Spartacus will launch in spring 2022 and replace PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now. PlayStation Plus was used to play online multiplayer games and offered a few titles each month. PlayStation Now allowed subscribers to stream or download older PlayStation games but in a smaller number than Game Pass.
Bloomberg reports that Spartacus has a three-tiered system. The first would extend current PlayStation Plus features. The second would allow users to access certain PS4 and eventually PS5 titles. The third tier would allow players to access older PS1, PS2, PS3, or PSP titles.
Although Sony has outsold Microsoft in recent years in console sales, Microsoft has had more subscribers to its game streaming services with over 18 million.
The third tier includes games from past generations. This is also reflective of a trend among significant console developers. For example, Nintendo’s Switch online expansion package brought N64 games to Switch (albeit in an unstable version). Xbox recently announced that it would support more than 70 classic Xbox games backward-compatible to commemorate the console’s 20th anniversary.