PlayStation Reportedly Working on a Competitor to Xbox Game Pass Named 'Spartacus'

PlayStation Reportedly Working on a Competitor to Xbox Game Pass Named 'Spartacus'

Richard Walker

A new report reveals that Sony is apparently working on its own competitor to Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass, offering a three-tier service that would reportedly merge PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now.

Sony is reportedly working on an Xbox Game Pass competitor that will include three tiers of service and essentially see PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now merge. Bloomberg has the scoop (via Game Informer), stating that the planned service, currently codenamed 'Spartacus', would require a subscription, granting access to a library of classic and modern games for PS5 and PS4.

According to the report, the cheapest tier of the Spartacus service would work as PlayStation Plus does now, with access to three or more games each month (like December's latest batch of PS Plus titles), while the second tier would offer a more expansive library of PS4 titles, and, eventually, PlayStation 5 games, too.

The third, and most expensive, tier would encompass the PlayStation Plus-style first tier and second tier with its catalogue of PS4 and PS5 games, as well as offering access to “extended game demos, game streaming, and a library of classic PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP games”.

Bloomberg's report adds that Spartacus could be lined up for a spring roll out, when PlayStation Plus and PS Now will merge, and Sony will retain PS Plus branding, whole phasing out PS Now altogether. The reports also notes that the documentation regarding Spartacus for PlayStation features details that have yet to be finalised - as such, it could change considerably before its spring 2022 launch, assuming the report is legitimate.

  • ... all they need to do is merge PS+ with PS Now and get some newer (first party/exclusive) games onto the service. - Pretty much what every user thinks
    We need a convoluted subscription theme with multiple tiers - what the 1000 USD/hour consultant said.
  • No thanks, rather 'own' my stuff, not subscribe it

  • I really don't understand the benefit of Game Pass and definitly not why people think it's better than PS Now. They're both the same price, but Now has like 6 times bigger library of games. In general you would need to really only play GP or PN to truly benefit from it. Personally I don't have the time and I would pay €10 a month just to play 1-3 games.

    GP has a nice feature with 'newer titles' and 'exclusives' on day 1, but how often does that happen? Also not beneficial for Sony, since their exclusives are actually good and people are willing to pay full price at launch. And since it's so easy to switch games, they risk people starting 10 games and not finishing them.

    But that's just my take.
  • What an awful name.
  • I’ll wait until they make the base tier actually equivalent to the base tier of Game Pass before even thinking about getting this (though I have a feeling the base tier of Spartacus will just roll in the current PS+ model into it, so I guess I’ll already have the base tier in that case)
  • @Unger: For one, PS Now isn't available worldwide, not here in Australia for instance. Game Pass easily better when it's actually offered here. And being easy to switch games is a convenience and benefit, no? It ain't exactly the service's fault if someone doesn't finish games they start.
  • I totally predicted this years ago. It doesn't take a genius to understand that Sony needs to compete with Xbox's Gamepass and this is the way to do it. As long as they don't jack up the price too much this is going to be great.
  • @stuntlyd4 have fun living in a cave while the world moves on ))
  • @rrdude_pbb well enjoy yourself not owning anything then. Like the Chinese regime
  • Depends on the price, might just drop plus all together because it'll get even more lackluster being the first tier.
  • @RRDude_PBB

    Sounds like a cave worth living in to me. If the rest of the world wants to get ripped off, more power to them.
  • @Floodclaw, Didn't know it was not available world wide actually. But I was just comparing the products regardless of availability. What would you spend your $10 on (if both were available): choice of 100+ games (mostly indies too) or 600+ games.

    In regards to not finishing games, yes it's definitely more convenient for us. But it makes us less engaged with individual games I think. Sony has some great exclusives and they keep existing, because we buy these games and play them fully. On Game Pass (or Now) Sony would get less money and these games won't be played as much, which could lead to missing some great gaming experiences and in the long term it would be mean these type of games will be produced less.
  • @Unger You are reaching really far with that one. Buying games doesn’t mean those games will get finished to completion. If Sony actually wants to compete with Microsoft as far as Game Pass goes, there’s no reason to stop them.
  • Been all digital for games since ‘13 to eliminate all the physical clutter. I have and love all these services. Only recently got PS Now when I tested it and it worked pretty well on wired connection, and CD Keys had a small discount code for a year. Game Pass is great! I don’t play as much as I used to so it’s a demo service as well as having all the first party day one. I was originally going to buy only a month of it any time a game released. Play it and be done with it for $15 a game essentially rather than $60-70 on release. Again, I have 3 years of Game Pass from a steal of a deal last holiday season. Cost me $150 instead of over $700! There was a promotion to convert any Gold on your account to GP Ultimate for $1.
    For what Sony is doing, my digital life is all for it. It may be pricey so short history from above - wait for holiday sales on this stuff hehe
  • @K-BAN you don't mind paying thousands extra just to get rid of physical clutter? Because I know I saved thousands by sticking to physical and not buying day 1. Besides that I also like to have the physical discs
  • @ruben-fcu:
    Whether physical is cheaper highly depends on where you live and where you look at. Here physical barely ever matches a digital sale. I've also seen the original version of a game being sold for 70 euros right next to its Playstation Essentials version for 20.
    And it's not like you unable to buy an older game for a fiver digitally.

    If you tend to buy a lot of games having them digital is way preferrable to having the physical clutter. Physical space is limited and your games will compete with such silly things like paper works or your spouse's and childrens' stuff. And god help if you have another hobby like table top wargaming ...
    Digital will also not suffer from small children, pet, or fogetting which friend you've borrowed it to or other ways of getting lost.

    Your phyiscal discs won't do you any good if the game needs an online connection that's shutdown either or if you have to install 100s of GB of patches.
  • Depending on the PS1/2 games that's on for selection i'm sold.
  • if theres trophies for older ps1 and ps2 games, i could be pursuaded into this...
  • @JuggernautClone, I don't know, if you'd test it when a game is more likely to be finished when it's released A: 'normal' B: through streaming. I'm pretty sure in general players that stream will not finish it spend significantly less time on it. There's so much 'distraction' from all the other games on streaming right at your fingertips.

    I think Sony is already competing with Now, I just fear that taking over the strategy of day 1 first party launches on streaming will not be beneficial for anyone long term.
  • @Unger:
    Generally speaking gamers don't finish their games anyway. Look at any trophy percentage for "complete the game". Even the trophy tracking secific percentages are rather low with 20-30 %.
    Batman Tell Tale Series has a PSN ratio of 22.6 %, H:ZD is at 31.7 %. Even an old game generally well acclaimed like AC2 is just at 44.6 %.
  • @c1ned1ne, And personally I think those percentages will be cut in half if they would be made available straight or mainly from a streaming service;)
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