Sony Reportedly Planning a Game Pass Subscription, Codename ‘Spartacus’

PlayStation Game Pass

Say what you will about Xbox and Microsoft, they’ve got a good thing going with their Game Pass subscription. It was only a matter of time before Sony decided to jump on board the same train. I’ll admit that, at first, I didn’t think Game Pass would be sustainable. I was worried titles would be too sparse, or would come and go too quickly due to licensing.

So far though, neither of those things seem to be true, and I’d welcome a similar service on PlayStation in a heartbeat. According to a new report from Bloomberg, we would be seeing something like this from Sony in 2022. Let’s dive in and see what the rumors are saying!

PlayStation’s Answer to Game Pass is Codenamed ‘Spartacus’

The internal name for Sony’s plans around their Game Pass competitor is “Spartacus,” but the concept is quite similar. They are aiming for spring 2022 as a potential launch, and according to Bloomberg, the service will come in three different tiers:

  • A standard PlayStation Plus style subscription
  • A selection of PS4 and PS5 titles for subscribers to download and play
  • A third tier with extended demos, game streaming, and backwards compatibility

To remain competitive with Microsoft, Sony would need to keep their pricing around $15 a month for the top tier to match a Game Pass Ultimate subscription. Unlike Microsoft, I also hope they continue to offer a 1-year subscription instead of the 3-months that Xbox offers (I know they stack, but I’d prefer one purchase).

Did You Say ‘Backwards Compatibility’?

Saw that one, did you? Yes, the third tier could include access to a library of backwards compatible titles. Bloomberg states that this could include PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP games. This is one area where Microsoft has Sony beat, with an option to play hundreds of older titles dating back to the original Xbox on your Series X.

If Sony can bridge this gap and offer access to older titles, it would be a huge boon in their favor. It would also go a long way towards the game preservation many believe is incredibly important to the history of gaming.

I don’t know if these titles would have enhanced elements like the ones on Xbox, but it would certainly help. For example, an older title like the original Max Payne runs upscaled at 4K on Xbox Series X, and let me tell you, it’s a lot easier to stomach the old graphics when they look that crisp.

One thing I didn’t really like about PlayStation Now was that older games ran at their original resolutions, which just looked muddy and blurry on a modern screen. It would be great to not only get classic titles, but also a way to play them in modern resolutions.

Show Me The Exclusives

Another major benefit of Game Pass is that first-party games are always available on day one for subscribers. This is how people can play games like the recently released Halo Infinite without paying $60 for the campaign.

Unfortunately, at least according to rumors, this won’t be the case for the upcoming Spartacus service. This new service is supposed to be stronger than PlayStation Now’s offerings, but it won’t go so far as to offer subscribers God of War Ragnarok or Horizon: Forbidden West on day one.

What do you think of this rumor? Would you subscribe to a Game Pass service for PS5? Let us know in the comments!

Article by – Bradley Ramsey
Insert date – 12/10/2021

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