Sony Group Corp. is gearing up to introduce a new video game subscription service for the PlayStation as early as next week, people familiar with the plans have said.
The service, which was developed under the codename Spartacus, is Sony’s answer to Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox Game Pass, a kind of Netflix for video games that has amassed more than 25 million subscribers. Sony will debut a splashing lineup of hit games from the past few years, said the people, who requested anonymity because the plans are private.
Sony’s new service will combine two of its current offerings, PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus. Customers will be able to choose from multiple tiers featuring catalogs of modern games and classics from older PlayStation eras.
Documents obtained by Bloomberg last year showed that the most expensive tier will also give gamers access to extended demos and the ability to stream games over the internet. A Sony spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
PlayStation consoles have outsold Xboxes in recent years, but Sony is lagging behind Microsoft’s efforts in the streaming market. Xbox Game Pass offers hundreds of games for $10 per month. One of the biggest selling points of Game Pass is that subscribers get access to many titles the same day they go on sale in stores for $60 or $70 each. This includes this year’s highly anticipated Microsoft sci-fi game, Starfield.
Sony will likely be at a disadvantage there. The new service is not expected to feature its biggest hits on release day. The upcoming God of War Ragnarok, for example, probably won’t hit the streaming platform anytime soon, said one of the people familiar with the plan.
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