Sony Reveals Release Dates for the All-New PlayStation Plus Tiered Subscription Service

Last month, Sony announced the biggest change to PlayStation Plus since the service’s inception with the introduction of tiers. To be more competitive with Microsoft‘s offerings, Game Pass and xCloud, Sony doubled down on its pre-existing PlayStation Plus and decided to bolster it to new heights. The company revealed, going forward PlayStation Plus will be become a tiered service, with varying levels of benefits and prices to each tier. 

All-new PlayStation Plus overview

The main highlight here was the addition of backwards compatibility to the highest tier, PlayStation Plus Premium. For just $17.99 per month, or $119.99 for a year, you would get access to a massive catalogue of classics from PS1, PS2, PS3, PSP, and the PS Vita. Of course, this would be software-emulated backwards compatibility, but it’s better than having nothing, which has been the case since the PS4 launched back in 2013

Sony’s PlayStation 2 has one of the best game catalogues in history | The Fact Site

At the time, Sony didn’t give us a concrete release date for the “All-New PlayStation Plus“, we were told the service is slated to come out this year. It would, obviously, replace the current PlayStation Plus with the new tier model and you wouldn’t be able buy the old PS Plus anymore. Not only that, PlayStation Now would also merge with PlayStation Plus and become a part of the revamped service, ditching the PS Now brand forever.

Neither (the old) PlayStation Plus or PlayStation Now would be available as a standalone service and the only way of accessing those games that were offered by PS Now is to upgrade to either PlayStation Plus Extra or Premium. PlayStation Now on PC would also shut down as the service is slowly phased out in the coming months. So, we were left speculating as to when the transition will finally happen, and today we have an update on that. 

Release date breakdown

Sony has just announced their global availability plans for the new PlayStation Plus and it coincides with the release window they gave last month. The all-new PlayStation Plus will be available in Asian markets, starting May 23rd with a gradual rollout. Japan will get to experience the service on June 1st. Then, we have the Americas with a June 13th release date. Finally, Europe will be the last region, targeting a June 22nd release. 

All of these release dates are just an initiation point, which means that rollout in a particular region with begin on that date, and it’s not given that it arrives in your country on the same date as the continental release date. You’d have to be patient and trust Sony on that one. As is a tradition with these big tech launches, you can never expect day and date global availability but Sony has promised to bring their new PlayStation Plus to as many regions as possible.

Japan will be the second territory to get the new PlayStation Plus service after other Asian markets, despite the country’s relentless obsession with PlayStation | REUTERS via Japan Times

Case in point, along with this announcement, Sony also included a little tidbit about new markets getting the PlayStation Plus Premium tier this year. Those markets include Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Republic of Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. So, you can expect PS Plus to release on the respective date according to the continent each country falls in.

Not only that but Sony confirmed that 30 new markets will be getting access to cloud streaming. However, no names were listed in the press release. Regardless, it is important to note that these release dates listed above are targets. That means Sony is planning to and on track to release PlayStation Plus in certain regions on certain dates, but these dates are subject to change. Expect disappointment and you will never be disappointed.

  • Asia markets (excluding Japan) – targeting May 23, 2022

  • Japan – targeting June 1, 2022

  • Americas – targeting June 13, 2022

  • Europe – targeting June 22, 2022

PlayStation Plus, revamped

You can check out in-depth article covering the complete ins-and-outs of Sony’s overhauled PlayStation Plus service, if you wish to learn more. It will be interesting to see how the audiences react to this new service once it launches and people have had time to mess around with it. So far, Sony’s decision of essentially locking backwards compatibility behind a paywall hasn’t sat right with many users, who’ve taken to social media to adequately express their dismay.

All-new PlayStation Plus tiered subscription service | Antony Terence via Medium

However, it does make sense for Sony to still modernize PlayStation Plus to be more than just a multiplayer fee at this point. With xCloud and Game Pass offering insane value, competition has tightened significantly and now Sony wants to take the crown of the most value-oriented gaming service out there. While the backwards compatibility complain is a legit one as Xbox has offered their own infamous backwards compatibility program for years at this point at no extra charge, at least it’s a start for Team Blue. 

There is a silver lining here, though. Sony has said that all existing PlayStation Now subscriptions will be upgraded to PlayStation Plus Premium at no extra cost, for however long you have it stacked. Therefore, the $120/year PS Premium tier can be technically had for just $60 a year if you act fast. Moreover, the very first classic games coming to PS Plus Premium have also leaked, giving you a nice incentive to make the jump. 

PlayStation Now banner featuring GTA V, Uncharted 4, and God of War as titles offered on the service. Now, all of these titles will most likely be available as part of the PS Plus Extra and/or Premium tier subscriptions | Sony

Whether the backwards compatibility criticism comes in the way of this subscription’s success remains yet to be seen. But, since this is not a new player in the market, rather just a cash cow with an extension strategy, it seems hard to believe people won’t buy in. They don’t have the choice to just ditch PlayStation Plus all of sudden now and go with a rival brand, because that’s not how it works. Moreover, the base PS Plus Essential tier is the same price as the existing PS Plus anyways and offers the same benefits, so… no harm, no foul, I guess?

Huzaifa Haroon
Born and raised around computers, Huzaifa is an avid gamer and a Windows enthusiast. When he's not solving the mysteries of technology, you can find him writing about operating systems, striving to inform the curious.

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