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Sony has an Xbox Game Pass competitor coming to PS4 and PS5, new report says

Bloomberg says service codenamed Spartacus might offer PS1, PS2, and PSP games

logo of the PlayStation Plus service on a gradient blue background Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Sony is reportedly planning a new subscription service aimed at competing with Microsoft’s popular Xbox Game Pass, according to Bloomberg. Reportedly codenamed Spartacus, the unannounced subscription service could offer access to retro PlayStation games on top of existing PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now benefits.

Spartacus would merge two existing services, Bloomberg reports: PlayStation Plus, the subscription that unlocks online multiplayer in many PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 games and offers monthly access to a library of titles; and PlayStation Now, the cloud-gaming streaming service that gives subscribers access to PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4 games on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC.

Bloomberg says the new PlayStation subscription, which would retain the PlayStation Plus branding, would be multi-tiered, and only the highest level would allow access to retro PS1, PS2, PS3, and PlayStation Portable games.

Polygon has reached out to Sony for comment on Bloomberg’s report and will update when the company responds.

Sony’s PlayStation Plus subscription services launched in 2010, and initially offered subscribers access to digital bonuses like free games, game trials, and other perks for $49.99 per year. Sony later made PlayStation Plus a requirement for online play on PlayStation 4, and raised the price of an annual subscription to $59.99 in 2016. A subscription for PlayStation Now also costs $59.99 annually. Bloomberg’s report did not offer details on planned pricing for Spartacus, which is said to launch in spring 2022.

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