Sony Group Corp.’s video game unit is bolstering its subscription options,
part of an industry-wide trend to lock in players to specific hardware, franchises and apps.
Starting in June,
Sony says it will begin to fold its cloud-games service PlayStation Now, into its online multiplayer service, PlayStation Plus, for its console customers.
The new service comes in variations with monthly, quarterly and annual price options for each.
The current services combined have more than 50 million subscribers.
*PlayStation tweet on plus
All-new PlayStation Plus launches in June with three flexible membership options.
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) March 29, 2022
“We think this is a cleaner, more coherent proposition,” said PlayStation boss Jim Ryan.
Sony’s main videogame rival, Microsoft Corp., has a single subscription service with multiplayer and cloud-games support for its Xbox users called Game Pass. It was launched in 2017, and Microsoft said in January that it had 25 million subscribers. WSJ reports
Sony and Microsoft consider cloud gaming, also known as game streaming, to be the future of game distribution.
The nascent technology eliminates the need for people to download games to their devices, which takes up memory, or invest in dedicated games hardware such as a console or a high-end computer.
- Move joins industry trend seeking to lock in players to specific hardware and franchises
Amazon.com Inc., Nvidia Corp. and Google,
have also launched subscription-based cloud-games services in recent years. Meta Platforms Inc. began adding free cloud games to its Facebook Gaming platform in 2020.