According to a Bloomberg report, PlayStation is working on a competitor to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service.
Codenamed Spartacus, the new service would offer a catalog of modern and older titles for a monthly fee. Subscribers would then download the titles onto their consoles.
The report claims Spartacus would feature three tiers, with the first including existing PlayStation Plus benefits.
The second tier would include access to PlayStation 4 and, eventually, PlayStation 5 titles. The third and most expensive tier would include game streaming, extended demos, and access to PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP titles.
This means the new service would replace the existing PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now services.
PlayStation Plus is required for most online multiplayer modes and includes free monthly games. PlayStation Now lets subscribers stream or download older titles.
Strangely enough, Sony will reportedly keep its PlayStation Plus branding. However, it will reportedly phase out any mention of PlayStation Now.
According to the report, Spartacus will launch sometime in Spring 2022. It also noted that Sony did not yet finalize plans for the service, so things could change between now and next year.
PlayStation and Xbox Statistics
Xbox Game Pass has grown in popularity since its launch in 2017. As of January 2021, the service has over 18 million subscribers.
Its growth is slowing a bit, however. Although Xbox Game Pass grew by 37 percent over the last fiscal year, it did not hit Microsoft’s goal of 48-percent growth.
As for Xbox Live, it surpassed over 100 million active users as of January 2021.
By comparison, PlayStation Plus has around 46.3 million subscribers. It’s a drop from the 47.6 million subscribers it had in the first quarter of the 2021 fiscal year.
Then there is PlayStation Now, which last reported a subscriber base of 3.2 million. It’s nowhere close to Xbox Game Pass, which features access to Xbox’s cloud streaming service in the Ultimate tier.