Late last year Bloomberg reported
was repositioning PlayStation Plus
into an Xbox Game Pass
-like service, with a launch happening as soon as Q2 2022. In a new interview over at IGN
Head Phil Spencer he responds to the question of Sony following in the footsteps of Xbox as "an inevitability".
"I don't really look at it as validation," Spencer remarks. "When I'm talking to our teams, I talk about it as an inevitability." With Spencer adding, "We should continue to innovate, continue to compete, because the things that we're doing might be advantages that we have in the market today, but they're just based on us going first, not that we've created something that no one else can go create."
Phil Spencer then goes on to state that the Xbox Game Pass model of first-party games appearing day and date is something he expects to see on the PlayStation subscription service. "I think the right answer is to ship great games, ship them on PC, ship them on console, ship them on cloud, make them available Day 1 in the subscription," Spencer states. "And I expect that's what our competitor will do."
Of course as to what the retooled PlayStation Plus will look like is anyone's guess, though reports are hinting at a three-tier model. The first being what PS Plus currently is, online services with free monthly games. The second offering PS4 games and PS5 games, the "Game Pass" option. With a third tier expanding this to include backwards compatible titles. Odds are all of this is true, as this week players have noticed PS3-era games appearing on the PlayStation 5's digital store front with pricing and no option to purchase.
It's worth stating that in the past Sony has been clear that it doesn't see titles like God of War and Uncharted appearing day and date on a subscription service. So, it's also fair to assume that Sony might play it safe and not go all-in as Microsoft has by focusing on key third-party and indie titles to begin with. And maybe expand with first-party titles down the road.
2022 is going to be a massive year for games, so something like PlayStation Plus evolving into an Xbox Game Pass like service is great news for gamers. Stay tuned.