Earlier this week, Sony finally confirmed its plans for the PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium program, set to kick off this June. Ranging in price between $9.99 and $17.99 monthly (or a lesser rate for a full-year subscription), it’ll feature a number of PS5 and PS4 releases. Going with the highest Premium tier will also net you streaming PS3 games, as well as favorites from classic PS1, PS2 and PSP eras.
But the real question is if it’ll unseat Xbox Game Pass in terms of popularity. As you’re aware, Microsoft’s program has millions of subscribers across both Xbox and PC, as well as with cloud services. Sony isn’t really ready to take that top spot anytime soon. That said, however, with time, it’ll build into a substantial service for the company.
The Classics Are the Thing
Sony’s got some good PS4 and PS5 games that will be part of the program, even if they aren’t day one releases. We already know about God of War, the Spider-Man games, Death Stranding, Returnal and Mortal Kombat 11. But the thing we really want to see, though, are the classic games that will be included.
Remember, Sony will have 700 titles in all, which means we’re going to get a bunch of classics.
At least 100. Needless to say, the PS3 library will look as it does now on PlayStation Now, with favorites like the Sly Cooper games, the Ratchet and Clank trilogy, the earlier God of War titles and many others.
Where does that leave the PS2 and PS1 classics? Likely with Sony. Though we’re sure to see some third-party favorites, this will likely be a showcase of first-party games that fans can enjoy from a nostalgic perspective. For that matter, we’ll see some third party games as well.
Remember the PlayStation Classic console? Something along those lines – but hopefully in a better resolution.
The PS2 games will likely be the biggest draw, since that was Sony’s best-selling console for years and amassed a library of guaranteed classics. Obviously licensing will keep some games off the system, but others – with negotiation with key third parties – will live again and make the service worth talking about. Sony can also earn bonus points making them easy to stream, so others can see the benefit of the service. (Downloading would also be nice, but that hasn’t been finalized just yet.)
Whatever the case, Sony needs to do classics right. New games are great, too, but variety goes a long way. Both Nintendo Switch Online w/Expansion Pack and Xbox Game Pass have shown that.
It’ll Get Better With Time
The one key element that people need to realize when it comes to the new PlayStation Plus service is that it’s going to take time to be popular. Keep in mind that it took Xbox Game Pass years to get where it is, and it’s still a work in progress, particularly with its cloud streaming service (which is outstanding by the way).
Sony needs to be open to allow playability of its games across several devices. This means making PlayStation Plus not only accessible to PC, but also mobile devices. Hell, work out a deal and make them playable on Nintendo Switch even – that’d be a big hit with those people and actually open up a small partnership with the big “N”. (Just an idea.)
Accessibility can go a long way here. But Sony also needs to get some good community support with streamers, possibly even to the point that it offers some welcome rewards for those that bring in others. A referral program would hit the spot. It obviously has no trouble with this kind of courtesy, since it’s already allowing PlayStation Now subscribers to convert over and use their remaining months as full-price months for PlayStation Plus. That’s smart.
We’ll just have to see, but there are sooooo many ways for this program to expand. So far, it sounds like it’ll have a good launch point. But we need game lists, features and other things to get us truly excited for what rolls around in June. Fingers crossed that we get them soon enough!
We’re giving away a game console of your choice! Find out how to win here.