Sony's reportedly working on "Spartacus," an Xbox Game Pass rival that combines PS Plus and PS Now, slated for a Spring 2022 launch
According to a report by insider Jason Schreier, Sony is reportedly working on a new subscription service, codenamed "Spartacus," to take on Xbox Game Pass. Spartacus is set to combine elements of PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now, Sony's existing subscription services, and will also offer access to classic PS1 and PS2 titles.
According to Schreier, Spartacus will feature a three-tier subscription plan. The base tier will offer the same functionality as PlayStation Plus currently does. The second tier will give PlayStation gamers access to a large collection of PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 games in a similar way to Xbox Game Pass. Tier three will throw PlayStation Now game streaming into the mix, and will also grant access to a library of classic PS1, PS2, PSP, and PS3 titles.
While it offers elements of both PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now, the report indicates that Sony will use the "PlayStation Plus" brand for the new, combined service.
Spartacus is meant to counter the success of Xbox Game Pass, which has racked up over 18 million subscribers as of Q1 2021. If Sony manages to get the pricing right, Spartacus could offer significantly better value than PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus currently do.
What isn't clear yet, though, is whether Spartacus' top two tiers will offer launch-day access to first-party titles. Sony's first-party exclusives like God of War and Uncharted have always offered a compelling reason to buy into the PlayStation ecosystem. With Game Pass, however, Microsoft is offering day-one access to all first-party titles. If Spartacus does the same, it could be a major coup for Sony.