Sony's PlayStation Plus overhaul revealed, but New Zealand missing out on Premium tier

Sony PlayStation Plus
The price and timing for the new tiers to launch here are still unknown. Photo credit: Supplied / Sony

Sony has unveiled its long rumoured PlayStation Plus overhaul as it attempts to take on Microsoft's Game Pass - but Kiwis are likely to be left disappointed again.

Early rumours that the revamped subscriber options, codenamed 'Spartacus', were to have three tiers proved correct.

However the top tier, known as PS Plus Premium, will only be available to countries that currently have the PS Now game streaming service, which doesn't include Aotearoa.

That leaves New Zealanders, at least initially, with a watered-down version called Deluxe instead.

"For markets without cloud streaming, PS Plus Deluxe will be offered at a lower price compared to Premium, and includes a catalogue of beloved classic games from the original PlayStation, PS2 and PSP generations to download and play, along with time-limited game trials," the company said.

While dates and prices have been announced for some markets, Kiwi gamers will have to wait a little longer to find out how much the tiers will cost and when it will roll out here.

"As this is a massive launch effort, we're rolling out the new PlayStation Plus offering in a phased regional approach," Jim Ryan, president & CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment wrote in a blog post.

"In the June timeframe, we'll begin with an initial launch in several markets in Asia, followed by North America, Europe and the rest of the world where PlayStation Plus is offered.

"We aim to have most PlayStation Network territories live with our new PlayStation Plus game subscription service by the end of the first half of 2022," Ryan wrote.

However there was some hope that New Zealand may get access to cloud streaming games in the future after waiting in vain for PS Now since its launch in 2014.

"We also plan to expand our cloud streaming benefit to additional markets, and will provide more details at a later date," Ryan wrote.


The PS Plus Essential tier, the cheapest at US$9.99 per month or US$59.99 per year, is essentially exactly the same as the current PS Plus subscription, giving access to two downloadable games per month plus discount offers and online multiplayer access.

The new Extra tier offers the same as Essential, but with a catalogue of up to 400 PS4 and PS5 games. That will include "blockbuster hits" from the PlayStation Studios catalogue and third-party partners, the company said.

It's going to cost US$14.99 per month or US$99.99 for a year's subscription.

The Premium tier offers the benefits of the other tiers, along with 340 additional games including PlayStation, PS2, PS3 and PSP games via cloud streaming using PS4 and PS5 consoles and PCs.

Time-limited game trials will also be offered in this tier, so customers can try select games before they buy, Sony said.

Premium will set gamers back US$17.99 monthly or US$119.99 yearly.

"With these tiers, our key focus is to ensure that the hundreds of games we offer will include the best quality content that sets us apart," Ryan wrote.

"At launch, we plan to include titles such as Death Stranding, God of War, Marvel's Spider-Man, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Mortal Kombat 11, and Returnal.

"We're working closely with our imaginative developers from PlayStation Studios and third-party partners to include some of the best gaming experiences available with a library that will be regularly refreshed."

One thing that will be missing from the new subscription tiers, however, is 'Day One' games, where blockbuster games are made available to Microsoft's Game Pass subscribers to play on the day they're released for free.

This has included the likes of Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite.

Doing so would impact PlayStation's overall quality, Ryan said.

"This is not a road that we've gone down in the past. And it's not a road that we're going to go down with this new service," he told

"The level of investment that we need to make in our studios would not be possible, and we think the knock-on effect on the quality of the games that we make would not be something that gamers want."

It didn't take long for Microsoft to respond. A tweet from the company's Xbox Game Pass account said: "We love options! Play brand new games on DAY ONE."