As Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service continues to rack up subscribers, its biggest competitor, Sony, recently bounced back with changes and updates to its PlayStation Plus service. The run up to the PlayStation Plus relaunch required some explaining, notably its variable pricing and the takeover of the PlayStation Now cloud streaming service.
Since then, the dust has settled enough that we’ve been able to see the PlayStation Plus review in action for over two months, and in terms of its bang for the buck, Sony scores high. If you prepay for the “premium” level, you can access hundreds of games from every generation of PlayStation for $10 per month, including a good mix of hits and acclaimed indie games (along with hundreds of games that don’t set sales charts or critics). burning lists).
However, Sony isn’t ready to take on Microsoft on a key selling point: a subscription to first-party games available on launch day. If you want to play new games in exclusive Sony series like God of War either The last of us, will still require payment of full MSRP at launch; Xbox Game Pass is more generous with day one access to all your games, from infinity halo a Forza Motorsport. PlayStation Plus’ apparent counterattack to this came in a new “classics” library, exclusively on the service’s most expensive tier, which would contain the PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable game libraries.
Calculating the classics “up to 340”
But so far, PlayStation Plus doesn’t feel representative of that original classics library goal, and a blog post on Wednesday suggests that Sony is delaying.
The latest PlayStation Plus blog post confirmed that 11 games would be coming to the premium and “extra” tiers of the service in August. While this list includes three solid games from Sega’s Yakuza series, and the peculiar tastes of modern indie Bugsnax and classic RPG remake mana trials, does not include games from any Sony console library outside of PS4 and PS5. That follows the July addition of just three “classic” games, all from PSP, to PS Plus.
As a reminder, the PS Plus Classics selection launched in June with 27 games from the aforementioned trio of systems: 11 for PS1, 24 for PS2, and two for PSP. Two months later, we have up to 30 conversions from the original versions of those consoles. And now that we’ve done the math, we’re concerned that those libraries won’t grow much unless Sony revises their advertising.
Sony tells PlayStation Plus Premium subscribers that its classics will grow to “up to 340” games, but this number includes titles that had already been on the PlayStation Now streaming service, which revolves almost exclusively around PlayStation games. 3. North American PS Plus Premium subscribers can access 294 PS3 games (although five of them are iterative updates or DLC packs). Add 30 to that number and you are left with 16 possible additions.
Sony has yet to emulate PS3 games on native PS5 or PS4 hardware, so these have to be streamed from the cloud. That differs greatly from the service’s PS1, PS2 and PSP games, which can be downloaded and rendered natively without any cloud-induced pixel fidelity or latency issues. Therefore, some modern console owners eager to play classic games may find Sony’s current total of “324” classics to be misleading, as long as their home Internet connection or data cap proves prohibitive.
So many PS1, PS2, PSP and PS3 exclusives are missing
Third party agreements and contracts limit the console manufacturer’s ability to publish additional classic games. For example, re-publishing any 90s EA Sports classic on PlayStation Plus would require Sony to not only shake hands with EA, but also strike deals with athletes and other potential license holders represented in older games. But Sony’s wholly owned content on its first three consoles is plentiful enough that tomorrow you can download 16 more games on PlayStation Plus and still have dozens of games left to choose from, should you update the program in the future. (And to clarify: PlayStation Plus Premium already includes third-party fees from the PS1, PS2, and PSP eras created by studios like Capcom, Bandai Namco, Team 17, and THQ Nordic.)
Sony can be content keeping its classic game publishing plans to a minimum while emphasizing modern PS Plus additions like Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade Y Lost. The company is able to inflate its selection of classics with hundreds of games that had been on the existing PlayStation Now service for years, all before being incorporated into the more well-known PlayStation Plus. (We discussed Sony’s PlayStation Now branding issue earlier.) But while PlayStation Now’s selection of PS3 games includes some gems, some of the best PS3 exclusives are missing, including the local multiplayer madness of calling all carsthe peculiar platform and puzzle game Puppeteersequels to the series owned by Sony kill zone Y Enduranceand the PS3 classic solid metal gear 4.
Perhaps Sony will change its classic post tone as the shine of the new PlayStation Plus level fades to help generate headlines and attract new customers. But for those PlayStation fans who pre-purchased a full year of PS Plus Premium in the expectation that Sony would celebrate its reign of the ’90s and early ’00s, the wait will apparently continue to be a tough one, especially as Microsoft pushes a hardware-agnostic approach. to attract more players. Sony representatives did not immediately respond to questions from Ars Technica about what to expect from PlayStation Plus’ selection of classic games in the coming months.