How Will the New PlayStation Plus Service Change the Gaming Market?
A recent announcement from Sony confirmed that the company is revamping the PlayStation Plus service for gamers. This will bring in new tiers with different game libraries and the addition of their cloud-based gaming service. How will the changes affect users and what impact could they have on the overall gaming market?
What Are They Changing?
The most noticeable change in the service is the way that there are now three tiers to choose from. The lowest level is called PlayStation Plus Essential and it’s the same as the current option, with a £6.99 monthly cost, £19.99 each quarter or £49.99 annually. This is the tier that existing users are to be moved to, with the same features as before, meaning that you get a couple of monthly downloadable games, discounts and the ability to save in the cloud. if these rates are too high for you and you’re looking for a cheaper option, you can get a PlayStation Plus Membership at an affordable price at ApeCodes.
Their second tier is called PlayStation Plus Extra. This option is the same as Essential but adds in a catalogue of as many as 400 PS4 and PS5 games that members can download to play whenever they want to. In this case, the monthly cost is £10.99, with £31.99 each quarter or £83.99 each year if you choose an annual subscription.
As for the top tier, it’s named PlayStation Plus Premium. As well as everything we’ve looked at so far, the package also includes an extra 340 games, with the option of playing through the cloud streaming approach. Users can also trial new games before deciding whether to buy them. The cost of joining this tier is £13.49 monthly, £39.99 each quarter of £99.99 a year.
As part of the change, all of the existing PlayStation Now members will automatically be migrated across to the Premium level with no extra cost involved. However, it’s worth noting that this is only in regions where cloud streaming is available. Elsewhere, the Deluxe plan will be identical to the Premium tier but without the streaming element and at a lower cost.
The rollout of this new service will be staggered, starting with the Asian market in June 2022. North America will be next, followed by Europe and then the rest of the places where Sony operates.
How Will This Change Gaming?
When it launched in 2010, PlayStation Plus was the first console membership programme that had a refreshed library of games. They were also the first to bring out a console game streaming service when they launched PlayStation Now in 2014. Now, this new service provides a way for their members to get a combination of both of those ways of playing PlayStation games.
For those gamers who decide to stick to the Essential tier, there will be little difference from the existing service. However, the other levels offer the possibility of having a bigger selection of games on demand. This will allow gamers to choose exactly what they want to play at any given time. In particular, the easy access to cloud streaming will give many people the first chance to play in this way.
The trend for playing cloud-based games has been evident for some time now. Google Stadia, Amazon Luna and NVIDIA GeForce Now are some of the other top cloud gaming services according to this Geekflare list. It’s a way of playing that is highly flexible and means that gamers don’t need to use expensive hardware, but they do need a fast internet connection. Xbox Cloud Gaming was launched in 2019 and is currently available in over two dozen countries.
The Online Casino Betway also uses a cloud computing-based approach with no downloads needed. This site lets players choose from themed slots like Masters of Valhalla, King of Crystals and many others. Table games can also be played in this way, and the addition of live dealer games has moved casino gaming into a new area, as human dealers are streamed onto the player’s screen from a casino setting.
The cloud gaming market is expected to be worth a billion US dollars by the end of 2022 according to NewZoo, as more gamers move away from buying physical games to start paying for subscription services. However, the fact that it relies less on powerful hardware may mean that console-makers sell fewer devices in the future. In terms of the technology used, it’s anticipated that artificial intelligence could help to deliver a more personalised experience.
The new PlayStation Plus service is joining an ever more competitive market where players can choose exactly how they want to play. Since this market is expected to grow at a fast pace, Sony will be hoping they’ve got the pricing and content of their packages just right.