PlayStation’s Game Pass competitor ‘Project Spartacus’ to launch next week, report says

Sony will reportedly reveal their rival to the Xbox Game Pass service by next week. The video game subscription service has been in development under the codename ‘Spartacus,’ and is expected to bring first and third-party titles to the mix.

According to Bloomberg – who had also reported on the existence of such a project, the service will debut with recent titles. However, unlike Game Pass, users should not expect big releases like God of War: Ragnarok to appear on the platform, right on launch day.

The subscription-based model will blend two of its current services – PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus into one, offering customers multiple tiers to pick from. The PS Plus allows for online multiplayer gaming on the console, while the Now introduces a back catalogue of games for free – and the ability to play them on PC.

As confirmed by game journalist Jeff Grubb late last month, the service will be divided into three tiers – Essential, Extra, and Premium – priced at $10 (Rs 750), $13 (Rs 975), and $16 (Rs 1200) respectively. This also aligns with Bloomberg’s claims, which states that the most expensive tier will unlock extended demos and the “ability to stream games over the internet” (cloud gaming).

It is also expected to provide access to “classic games,” featuring a roster from previous Playstation eras – PS1, PS2, and PS3. The other two tiers are expected to be variations of this, with the Essential package offering the standard benefits of the free monthly games and online multiplayer. The Extra tier, however, is the one that functions more like the Game Pass, shelling out 300 downloadable titles that get disabled once the service expires.

Sony has yet to comment on these reports, and there isn’t any word on the price distribution and packages either. For reference, the PlayStation Plus service costs Rs 499 monthly and Rs 2999 for an entire year. PS Now, on the other hand, is currently not available in India, and is priced at $9.99 monthly and $59.99 per year.

In a November interview with TASS, President Jim Ryan was asked about his response to Xbox Game Pass, to which he responded saying, “There is actually news to come, but just not today. We have PlayStation Now which is our subscription service, and that is available in a number of markets.”

Just last week, Microsoft also lowered the prices for its Game Pass subscription service in India, taking the cost down to Rs 349 per month for the base version, on both PC and console. The Ultimate version dropped down to Rs 499 per month, from the existing price of Rs 699. The new prices are expected to take effect starting April 2022.

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