New PlayStation Plus: What Australians need to know
Big changes are coming to PlayStation's subscription service. Here's everything you need to know about the new PlayStation Plus.
Rumours surrounding "Project Spartacus", an expanded version of PlayStation Plus, have come to fruition. Sony today confirmed the multi-tiered revision is set to launch in June. It's a pretty major upheaval, so here's a handy guide to what Australian gamers need to know about the new PlayStation Plus. And you can also compare PlayStation Plus vs Xbox Game Pass.
About new PlayStation Plus
The key thing to know about the PlayStation Plus update is that it will essentially combine PlayStation Plus - the monthly subscription service that allows Playstation gamers to play online and access a number of free monthly games - with PlayStation Now. If PlayStation Now sounds unfamiliar to you, it's because it has never been available, in any form, in Australia. But with this new update, that will change.
In the territories Sony has historically deemed worthy, PlayStation Now has offered a Netflix-style library of games for gamers to jump into whenever they want, including a bunch of classic games from previous consoles. Gamers can access these games either by downloading them, or via cloud streaming.
Great, so the new PlayStation Plus update will finally allow us to enjoy this amazing service just like everyone else? Well, it's not quite that simple. To explain further, we need to go into the other key feature of the revamped PS Plus - subscription tiers.
New PlayStation Plus subscription tiers
The PS Plus update will come with three tiers. PlayStation Plus Essential will offer the same benefits presently available in PS Plus, including 2 monthly downloadable games, exclusive discounts, cloud storage and online multiplayer access. The price is set to remain the same as PS Plus - for Aussie gamers, that's $11.95 a month.
The cheaper of the 2 new tiers is PlayStation Plus Extra. PS Plus Extra offers all the benefits of the Essential tier, plus access to up to 400 PS4 and PS5 games available to download and play, but not to stream via the cloud. It seems this tier will be fully available to Australians, with a price of USD$14.99/month (∼AUD$19.99).
For most territories, the third tier is PlayStation Plus Premium. However, for select markets who do not have access to cloud streaming, this tier will be titled PlayStation Plus Deluxe. Unless Sony unexpectedly gives Australia cloud streaming capability between now and June, that will include those of us Down Under. This tier will have all the benefits of the Essential and Extra tiers, plus access to a download-and-play catalogue of games from the original PlayStation, PS2, and PSP.
Deluxe differs from Premium, in that games available only via cloud streaming cannot be played. That includes all PS3 era games. That's going to sting for customers who grew up playing the likes of Modern Warfare 3 and Dark Souls. The international Premium tier will cost USD$17.99/month (∼AUD$23.99), but Sony has stated that the Deluxe tier will be cheaper than Premium.
You'll have plenty of time to decide which tier is best for you before the update launches in June. Can the new PlayStation Plus be the Xbox Game Pass rival Sony hopes it will be? We'll just have to wait and see.
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