The new, more robust (and more complicated) PlayStation Plus is officially out in North America as of Monday. Sony’s new version of its subscription service now offers three tiers: Essential, Extra, and Premium.
If you’re unfamiliar with Sony’s new subscription service play, you may be wondering: Is this PlayStation’s version of Xbox’s Game Pass? No, and, well, sort of. The higher-priced tiers do offer a catalog of new and classic games for subscribers, much like Xbox’s service. However, Sony has said it doesn’t plan to add new, first-party releases to PlayStation Plus the day they come out — a major Game Pass perk.
Still, even without day-and-date delivery of its biggest games, the service has some potentially nice bonuses, and each tier will appeal to different kinds of players.
The PlayStation Plus Essential tier is the version of PS Plus that’s existed for years. Subscribers will get access to monthly games, multiplayer access, discounts, exclusive content, cloud storage, share play, the PlayStation Plus Collection, game help, and free shipping from PlayStation. As it has been, a month will run players $9.99, a year is $59.99.
The PlayStation Plus Extra tier ($14.99 monthly/$99.99 yearly) is the enhanced version of the Essential tier. It comes with all the Essential features and only adds a game catalog of 400 first and third-party PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 titles that subscribers can access — although selections will likely rotate in and out as the months go by.
The PlayStation Plus Premium tier ($17.99 monthly/$119.99 yearly) is the most enhanced version of PlayStation Plus and the most expensive. It comes with all the features in both Essential and Extra. It also adds a classic catalog of PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation Portable games, game trials for certain titles, and PlayStation 3 cloud streaming games.
As for the classic games emulation, American players are getting a better deal than other regions. When PlayStation started rolling out Premium in Asian territories a few months ago, its classic emulators were running the 50 Hz PAL versions of the game. However, in North America the titles are reportedly running the 60 Hz versions — which, practically speaking, means they’ll run faster for American players.
All three different tiers are live as of this writing, and players can dive into a whole catalog of games they didn’t have access to before — plus a handful of surprises that Sony didn’t announce ahead of release (like Resident Evil: Director’s Cut). You can visit the PlayStation Plus website for a full list of the PlayStation Plus game catalog, trials, and classic games.