Sony's new $119 a year PlayStation Plus Premium subscription just isn't worth it right now.
Sony recently announced all the new games coming to PlayStation Plus Extra and PlayStation Plus Premium. The offered games continue one big trend about Sony's new 3-tier PS Plus service: The more expensive Premium tier really isn't worth the price, at least right.
PS Plus Premium isn't much more expensive than PS Plus Extra. The Premium tier costs $119 per year, whereas Extra costs $99 a year. The main selling point for PS Plus Premium is access to a growing number of classic games across all PlayStation console generations, including PS1, PS2, PS3, and even PSP and Vita, access to Ubisoft+ titles, as well as being able to stream games to console and PC.
Most gamers would buy PS Plus Premium to access the classic titles. There's a ton of potential here for Sony to deliver a big blow to Xbox Game Pass. Apart from Nintendo titles, legacy PlayStation games can deliver some of the most powerful nostalgia in the video games industry.
Sony currently isn't tapping the massive potential that its PS Plus Premium classics library can offer. The selection is seen as lackluster and does not reflect what gamers had initially expected; the Premium tier was previously advertised to deliver over 700 games, but according to our count based on Sony's own A-Z list, there are only 459 games available for Premium members (this includes the new games that Sony had just announced).
The classics catalog is Sony's big advantage over Xbox Game Pass. Right now, Sony can't really compete on the multi-game subscription front. The company has even said so in public documents sent to the UK's anti-trust regulator, the CMA; Sony asserts that Xbox Game Pass has 29 million subscribers and substantially leads over PS Plus, which recently lost 1.9 million subscribers just months after releasing its new 3-tier subscription plan.
"Game Pass leads PlayStation Plus significantly - Microsoft already has a substantial lead in multi-game subscription services. Game Pass has 29 million subscribers to Xbox Game Pass Console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and is expected to grow substantially in the future. The multi-games subscription tiers of PlayStation Plus considerably lag, with fewer than [REDACTED] the number of subscribers."
PS Plus Extra and Premium simply are not competing against Xbox Game Pass in a meaningful way. Sony can help turn the tides with its PlayStation classics offering...but it needs to accelerate the release cadence and simply pressure Xbox with a fusillade of titles.
Sony is admittedly very busy right now. Its first-party teams are developing new games like Spider-Man 2 as well as a bunch of live service games that will release on both PS5 and PC. And Sony is even pushing into mobile games, too.
Still, PlayStation Plus has become a bedrock for Sony's business and the company needs to fortify the service and capitalize on its main strengths if it wants to adequately compete against the thundering power of Xbox Game Pass.