PlayStation Now cards are receiving their eviction notice from Sony, causing further speculation that a ‘PlayStation Game Pass’ style service is on its way to PS5 and PS4. Reports from UK-based gaming retailers plainly state that this method of purchasing a PS Now subscription is to become null and void, along with the rest. This is allegedly setting the stage for Sony’s upcoming merger of PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now into a GamePass-ish service for PS gamers.
What’s on the Horizon for PS Now?
— GamesBeat (@GamesBeat) January 12, 2022
According to a report from Jeff Grubb at GamesBeat, by “close of day” on Wednesday, January 19th, Game — a popular UK gaming retailer — has received instruction to “remove all POS and ESD cards from all customer-facing areas.”
PlayStation Now is currently unavailable in the UK PS Store, as well.
Undoubtedly, all retailers will soon be hit with a similar notice. According to Bloomberg, Sony’s new subscription service is set to launch in the spring, which makes this move a bit earlier than speculated but inevitable.
Currently, PS Now and PS Plus stand as completely separate subscription services that don’t offer comparable value to gamers the way the all-inclusive Xbox GamePass does. Regardless of that fact, though, Sony’s fiscal gains in the wake of a major console release are historically positive, due to subscription service profits. Prioritizing a rehaul of their subscription model to provide better value to gamers, which will, in turn, make Sony profits sing from proven demand, is just smart business.
Bloomberg’s December report confirmed that Sony fully recognized this, the change was incoming, and a subscription tier system would be implemented as part of the savvy merger.
Code-named “Spartacus,” the new service will likely be available on PS4 and PS5, and will “phase out” the PlayStation Now branding. Details are yet to be finalized, but the three-tier system is reported to include a low tier for existing PS Plus benefits, a mid-tier that further includes PS Now benefits, and an “ultimate” tier that encapsulates all, along with an extensive back-catalog, demos, and cloud gaming.
All to keep stride with Microsoft’s lucrative and wildly popular Xbox GamePass Ultimate, at an affordable monthly price point that plays ball in today’s subscription game.
In other news, PS5 shortages are resulting in further production of PS4s, sparking some debate, but our January 12th restock update should assure you that next-gen consoles are making their way to both Walmart and GameStop over the next few days.