Gaming

PlayStation Plus Adds New Tiers, Massive Game Library From June 13 in US

The upcoming PlayStation Plus tiers will give you access to hundreds of PS5, PS4, PS2, original PlayStation and PSP games.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET

What's happening

Sony is combining its PlayStation subscription services, giving console owners an option that includes online play, free games and cloud gaming for one monthly price, starting June 13 in the US.

Why it matters

PlayStation now has a service to rival Xbox Game Pass, which has been a big success for Microsoft, with more than 25 million subscribers.

What's next

Sony will reveal more about the new PlayStation Plus games catalog and rollout ahead of its release.

PlayStation unveiled its answer to Xbox Game Pass last month and revealed approximate release dates on Friday. PlayStation Plus will add Premium, Extra and Essential tiers from June 13 in the US, giving you access to a catalog of hundreds of games spanning from the original PlayStation to the PS5. This follows months of rumors regarding Sony's expanded gaming subscription service, which was reportedly code-named Spartacus.

The global rollout will kick off in Asian markets on May 23, with the Japan rollout set for June 1. The service is scheduled to hit the US on June 13 and Europe on June 22. These are targeted release dates, the company noted, so it's giving itself a little wiggle room.

The Essential tier is the cheapest option and is the same as the current PlayStation Plus, giving you access to online multiplayer, cloud storage, two monthly downloadable games and exclusive discounts. 

The price remains the same too at $9.99 a month, $25 for three months or $60 for a year.

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The Extra tier adds a library of around 400 PS5 and PS4 games to download, as well as the perks of the Essential tier. It'll include Death Stranding, God of War, Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Mortal Kombat 11 and Returnal at launch and will be "regularly refreshed" with first- and third-party games.

It'll set you back $15 a month, $40 for three months or $100 for a year.

The Premium tier is the big one, adding 340 classic games on top of the cheapest tiers' benefits. PS3 games will be available to stream, while classic PS1, PS2 and PSP games will be available to stream or download. It'll also include time-limited game trials and the ability to stream PS4 games, as is currently available on the separate PlayStation Now service.

This will cost $17.99 a month, $50 for three months or $120 a year.

We don't know what classic games will appear on the service yet, but a South Korean rating might've given us a hint. Four games from the Syphon Filter action-adventure series -- 1, 2, Dark Mirror and Logan's Shadow -- were rated for PS5 and PS4 in the country, as reported by Gematsu. The first two came out on PlayStation in 1999 and 2000, while the latter pair hit PSP in 2006 and 2007.

miles-morales-on-avengers-tower

Spider-Man: Miles Morales is confirmed as one of the games included in the PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium tiers.

PS5 Performance Mode/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Unlike Xbox Game Pass' Ultimate tier, which costs $15 a month, PlayStation's major first-party games apparently won't launch in PlayStation Plus' Extra and Premium libraries.

"It's not a road that we're going to go down with this new service," CEO Jim Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz on Tuesday. "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."

So we won't be getting the upcoming God of War Ragnarok on PlayStation Plus at launch. You'll need to buy it separately if you want to play it on release date. Xbox made Halo Infinite available on Game Pass at launch in December.

Its cloud streaming service will be extended into new territories, so the Premium tier will also be available in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Poland, the Republic of Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

PlayStation Now will cease to exist in its current form, with existing subscribers automatically moved to the Premium tier with no increase to the pricing they pay "at launch," which suggests that they'll pay the new prices once their subscription period ends. It currently costs $9.99 a month, $25 for three months or $60 a year, so the price will double at the three-month and yearly rates.

Existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will remain on the Essential tier.

Correction, March 29: The story misstated which tiers will include Spider-Man: Miles Morales. It will be available in the Extra and Premium tiers.