Project Spartacus Is Finally Here - And It's A Complete Disaster
Well, well, well. The day is finally here. After months of rumours and speculation, the result of PlayStation putting its hot brain to use in attempt to take on the new gaming landscape forged by Xbox's Game Pass has finally been revealed. It's been a long time coming, and frankly, a lot has rested on the result of this creation.
PlayStation Plus is officially getting a revamp, and it's absorbing PS Now to create an all-new service that lets players choose exactly what they want to play, when they want to play it, and how they want to play it.
The only problem is, the brand-new PS Plus has already been an incredibly confusing phenomenon, leaving players not knowing how to approach it - or even approach it at all, for that matter. Because so far, it looks like a complete disaster on all fronts.
PS Plus Is So Far, Bored Of Itself
Even in reading the insanely dull announcement blog post on the PlayStation site, it's clear to see that this idea for a merger is entirely half-baked. The announcement is about as dry as its offerings - detailing the pricing of each tier of the new service without particularly spending much time enjoying the positive qualities that comes with each.
It's coming with three tiers - Essential, which is a simple continuation of the PlayStation Plus we know, Extra, which offers 400 PS4 and PS5 to download and play, and Premium, which piles on an extra 340 games from the PlayStation, PS2 and PSP, with some PS3 games available to stream too.
It might seem like a hell of a lot to include with such numbers on the table, and with the suggestion that most major game publisher is involved to some extent, the prospect could seem exciting (if it were delivered in any way other than a blog post that seems deeply uninterested in itself.
But, there are layers (or tiers, if you're nasty) to this, and distressingly, it seems as though the new revamped subscription service can't do what it was designed to do - to prove itself a better deal than Game Pass, and offer consumers a compelling enough reason not to defect to Xbox.
PS Plus Is Missing One Key Component
Even offering what it is when it launches in June, and revealing that some semi-recent titles like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Returnal would be making the cut of some of the available games, it has now officially been made clear that day one releases aren't a part of the plan for PS Plus.
Though a lot of what draws players into Game Pass is its extensive backlog of games, once players are in, it takes a lot to keep them there beyond finishing off the games they most wanted to play on the list. It's what makes the arrival of the likes of Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5 and even indies like Tunic and Unpacking so important - the promise of bigger and better things yet to come, and somewhere to play the biggest games of the year for no extra charge the moment it becomes available.
It's a huge bonus that makes Game Pass hanging onto, and makes it much more viable to just keep paying by the month rather than cramming a game before your month trial expires. PlayStation's hopes not to cheapen their AAA titles by adding them to PS Plus has put them at a huge detriment, and has proven that they're not really sure of what makes their competitor so impressive in the first place.
There's not much of a future for the new approach to the service, and while Game Pass continues to announce and add dozens of games monthly and PlayStation inevitably struggles to keep up, the competition is likely to become non-existent by the time a few months since launch have passed. It's sad, but it simply doesn't look like PlayStation can stand up to Game Pass, except to players who have sided with Sony since the days of the original PlayStation, simply looking for the backwards compatibility that the PS5 should have had in the first place.
PS Plus Simply Can't Stand Up To Game Pass - But It's Not All Bad
On a fundamental level, it looks as though PlayStation Plus' new revamp is set to fail to do what it was designed to. But, there's still every chance it can be a success, though each of its positives can be met with an easy negative.
Despite its PC pricing and generally lacklustre reveal, the chance to take a trip through the history of PlayStation could yet be enough for newcomers to Sony's hardware and its die-hards to take the bait. Whether they'll stay there or bail after a month or two remains to be seen, but there could yet be something to be found in these subscriptions, if its pricing structure doesn't immediately draw a huge red cross through the whole concept.
PlayStation doesn't really have the chance to take on Game Pass anymore, but it has the chance to do something totally different - and all it takes to make PS Plus a success is for Sony to be wise enough to embrace that.