Sony's 'Spartacus' Game Pass rival set to have three tiers of subscriptions - report

The Xbox Series X console and the PS5
Whether all those tiers come to New Zealand remains to be seen. Photo credit: Getty Images

Sony's rival to Xbox Game Pass is set to have three different tiers of access, according to a new report.

VentureBeat reports the long-rumoured PlayStation (PS) alternative to Microsoft's popular subscription service, codenamed 'Spartacus', will have Essential, Extra and Premium tiers when it's launched.

However, given not all subscriptions were made available to New Zealand gamers in the past, it's not yet clear if all tiers will be accessible here.

PS Now, Sony's platform for streaming and downloading older games, which was launched in 2014 and rolled out to other regions, but never in Aotearoa.

According to the report, the PS Plus Essential tier will function much like the existing PS Plus subscription, with free games each month as well as access to online gaming.

That's likely to cost US$10 per month, VentureBeat reported.

For US$13 per month a catalogue of "hundreds of older, downloadable games" will also be made available as part of the PS Plus Extra tier. VentureBeat says this is likely to be based on the PS Now catalogue.

Finally, the PS Plus Premium gets all of the other benefits plus streaming capabilities, classic games and game trials, which will allow subscribers a time-limited option for trying new games. That's set to cost US$16 per month.

If those prices are accurate that means Sony's pricing its new offering more expensive than Microsoft's Game Pass, which allows access to brand new releases and older titles on both Xbox consoles and/or PC, depending on the level of subscription.

Ultimate, which covers both consoles and PC as well as access to EA's Play service, currently costs $19.95 per month in New Zealand and gives access to some blockbuster games the day they are released.

"While Sony will not include full versions of its blockbuster games in PS Plus on day one, game trials will at least give a bigger audience a chance to sample those games," the website stated.

Even if there's no additional costs for Kiwis, the US$16 per month, based on current exchange rates, would put PS Plus Premium at around $24 per month here.

When first reported in December, Spartacus was rumoured to be launching in the southern hemisphere's autumn, which officially starts tomorrow.

VentureBeat said Spartacus will begin testing in the next few weeks and the new program could be announced as early as March, depending if it's ready to roll out.

It also said the names of the tiers could yet change prior to launch.