Play Forever

PlayStation’s new subscription service seems like it’s dropping soon

Game Pass better watch its back.

Three DualSense controllers in different colors

If you haven't thought about PlayStation Now for a while, you're not alone — indeed, it often feels like Sony's cloud gaming service is forgotten next to Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass.

Well, it seems that the Japanese console titan is preparing to launch something new, and a report from Bloomberg suggests that it's going to be in the vein of the Xbox offering.

Making adjustments — According to Bloomberg, this new service, which has the goofy codename "Spartacus," is aimed as a direct rival to the Xbox and PC Game Passes. The service will combine the online service PlayStation Plus with the cloud service PlayStation Now. Bloomberg further says that this newly-revamped PlayStation Plus may offer three tiers.

The lowest of those would include the existing Plus benefits of online play and free monthly games; the middle would offer a large catalog of existing PS4 and PS5 games; and the top tier would add extended demos, game streaming, and a library of backward compatible titles from the PS1, PS2, PS3, and oft-forgotten PSP. The report does note that these details may be subject to change, however.

Future indications — As usual with these sort of anonymously-sourced reports, it's best to treat these claims as unconfirmed rumors until proven otherwise. However, it is clear that Sony is planning something pretty major, as Twitter user Shaun Mcilroy noticed a new patent from Mark Cerny that does… something with processor clock speeds necessary for software emulation. (We'll leave that part to the experts.)

It also seems that Sony has discontinued physical card subscriptions for the PlayStation Now service at retailers in the United Kingdom, which certainly doesn't bode well for the long-time survival of the service. According to GamesBeat, retailers in the US and Canada started pulling these cards from their shelves weeks ago.

Still to come — Given the mammoth success of Xbox Game Pass, it isn't surprising that Sony would try to come up with a more compelling service in order to compete. What exactly that service ends up offering is still very much up in the air, however.