Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Sony’s take on Game Pass arrives in Australia as PS Plus

Owners of a PlayStation are about to get a whole lot more for their dollar if they subscribe to PS Plus, as Sony expands the service considerably.

The idea of a “Netflix for games” isn’t a totally new concept, and is one that has been kicking around long before even Netflix became the all-you-can-watch movie and TV buffet it is now.

Back in the 90s, Sega dabbled with a concept this young gamer had, delivering lots of games to the Genesis consoles in the US (Mega Drive locally), arriving in Sega Channel, which was basically a console cartridge connected to a cable line getting a regular feed of games updated each and every month. It was something ahead of its time before the internet became common, but now that high speeds are common thanks to the home broadband, the idea has been revived once again.

If you own an Xbox, you may know it better than any other gamer, particularly if you have a subscription to Xbox Game Pass or Game Pass Ultimate. Basically the modern equivalent, it delivers a bunch of games for Xbox or PC — or both on Ultimate — allowing you to game your heart’s content out, and depending on if you have the ultimate edition, maybe even play on your phone, computer, or via a Samsung TV using the power of Xbox Cloud Gaming.

It’s something Xbox gamers have had access to for some time, but not PlayStation gamers. While Microsoft has been providing an all-you-can-play service for over a year on its Xbox consoles, Sony has been without, offering PS Plus with a few titles provided free, changing and rotating each and every month, whether you have a PS4 or if you game on a PlayStation 5.

However Sony appears game to change that, as it shifts what its PS Plus service looks like, and similar to Microsoft, offers up a couple of tiers depending on the type of gamer you are.

PS5 reviewed

Announced earlier in the year and launching in Australia this week, PS Plus looks set to offer an assortment of options depending on just how much you want to spend, if you do at all. There are three tiers of PS Plus in Australia, covering Essential, Extra, and Deluxe, with each subsequent tier adding an extra cost, but also bringing the features from its lower model as you go up.

At the lowest level, there’s PS Plus Essential, which is what all current PS Plus subscribers will essentially be transferred to. Priced at $11.95 monthly or $79.95 yearly, it’s the same PlayStation Plus Australian PS4 and PS5 gamers have previously had, getting one or two monthly games free rotated each month, plus discounts on games and downloadable content.

Slightly above it, Sony has added a PlayStation Plus Extra plan, which adds $7.95 monthly to that cost and almost doubles the yearly cost for Aussies, bringing the price to either $18.95 monthly or $134.95 yearly for PS Plus Extra.

Aside for the one or two monthly free titles across PS4 and PS5 in the lower tier, PS Plus Extra will offer up to 400 PS4 and PS5 titles to play, essentially expanding and offering a plan similar to Xbox Game Pass, but on the PlayStation consoles instead.

Just above this, there’s also the PS Plus Deluxe, which will cost $21.95 monthly or $154.95 yearly, similar to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate cost, which tends to hit around $150 in Australia, as well.

Sony’s PS Plus Deluxe plan expands on the PS4 and PS5 games by adding support for PSP, PS2, and even original PlayStation games playable on current consoles.

“The global launch of the all-new PlayStation Plus represents a massive evolution of our game subscription service offering, and we are pleased that fans worldwide can now enjoy hundreds of fantastic games available in the PlayStation Plus catalogue,” said Jim Ryan, President and CEO for Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Playing the PlayStation 5

There does appear to be at least one thing missing in action for Australian PS Plus subscribers, and that’s the assortment of PS3 games that would normally be available. That’s something overseas markets are getting, alongside cloud streaming, which is also missing in action it seems for Australian gamers, placing us in the “PlayStation Plus Deluxe (Select Markets)” section noted on Sony’s website, rather than the same PS Plus plan the US is getting.

We’re checking with Sony as to what this means, but it seems as though we may be getting a lower version because of broadband issues, a slightly confusing situation given Xbox has managed to overcome those concerns with local Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Gaming availability, yet not Sony.

Without those features — without PS3 titles and cloud gaming — Sony’s new PS Plus service is online, and available to any with a PlayStation 4 or PS5 console, even if you’ve previously subscribed or paid for a PS Plus account. Sony has also confirmed that folks will be able to upgrade at a pro-rated fee if they upgrade, meaning they won’t have to pay the total yearly cost if they’ve already paid for some of the previous year of PS Plus.

For those folks, or anyone else for that matter, the three tiers of PS Plus are available now locally.

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