PlayStation Plus’s Highest Tier Apparently Stops Classic Games

Sony Interactive Entertainment

As Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service keep on going subscriber accumulation, its biggest competitor Sony recently backed down with tweaks and upgrades to its PlayStation Plus service. Preparing for the relaunch of PlayStation Plus took some explaining, especially its variable prices and absorption of PlayStation Now cloud streaming service.


The dust has since settled enough for us to see her PlayStation Plus Review in action for more than two months, and as far as its optimization score goes, Sony scores well. If you prepay for the “premium” tier, you can access hundreds of games from every PlayStation generation for $10 a month, including a good mix of hits and acclaimed indies (as well as hundreds of games that don’t set sales charts or review lists on fire).

However, Sony isn’t ready to meet Microsoft in a key selling point: a subscription to first-party games available on launch day. If you want to play new games in Sony exclusive series like God of the war Where The last of us, these will continue to require payment of a full MSRP at launch; Xbox Game Pass is more generous with day one access to all its games, starting at Halo Infinite To Forza Motorsport. PlayStation Plus’s apparent counter to this came in a new “classics” library, exclusively on the service’s most expensive tier, which would contain the PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable game libraries.

Do the math on the classics “up to 340”

But so far, PlayStation Plus doesn’t feel representative of that original classics library target, and a blog post from Wednesday suggests Sony is dragging its feet.

The latest PlayStation Plus blog post confirmed that 11 games would land on the service’s premium and “extra” tiers in August. While this list includes three solid games from Sega Yakuza series, and the eccentric tastes of modern indie Bugsnax and classic RPG remake Mana Trials, it does not include games from any Sony console library outside of PS4 and PS5. It follows: an addition in July of just three “classic” games, all from PSP to PS Plus.

As a reminder, PS Plus’ classic selection launched in June with 27 games from the aforementioned system trio: 11 for PS1, 24 for PS2 and two for PSP. Two months later, we are at 30 conversions of the original versions of these consoles. And now that we’ve done the math, we fear those libraries won’t get much bigger unless Sony revises its advertising.

Sony tells PlayStation Plus Premium subscribers that its classics will expand to “up to 340” games, but that number includes titles that had previously been on the PlayStation Now streaming service, which revolves almost exclusively around PlayStation 3 games. North American PS Plus Premium users can access 294 PS3 games (although around five of them are rolling updates or DLC packages). Add 30 to this number, and you are left with 16 possible additions.

Sony has not yet emulated PS3 games on native PS5 or PS4 hardware, so they must be streamed from the cloud. This differs significantly from the service’s PS1, PS2, and PSP games, which can be downloaded and rendered natively without any cloud-induced latency or pixel fidelity issues. So some modern console owners looking to play classic games may find Sony’s current total of “324” classics misleading, as long as their home internet connection or data cap turns out to be prohibitive.

So many exclusives missing on PS1, PS2, PSP and PS3

Third-party contracts and arrangements limit the console maker’s ability to release additional classic games. For example, re-releasing all EA Sports classics from the ’90s on PlayStation Plus would require Sony to not only shake hands with EA, but also make deals with athletes and other potential licensees depicted in older games. But Sony’s proprietary content on its first three consoles is plentiful enough that it could dump 16 more games on PlayStation Plus tomorrow and still have dozens more games to choose from, should it ever upgrade the program to the future. coming. (And to clarify: PlayStation Plus Premium already includes third-party pricing from the PS1, PS2, and PSP eras made by studios like Capcom, Bandai Namco, Team 17, and THQ Nordic.)

Sony can be content to keep its classic game release plans to a minimum while emphasizing modern PS Plus additions like Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade and Lost. The company can swell its classics selection with hundreds of games that sat on the existing PlayStation Now service for years, all before being folded into the better-known PlayStation Plus fold. (We’ve already talked about Sony’s PlayStation Now branding issue.) But while PlayStation Now’s selection of PS3 games includes some gems, it’s missing some of the PS3’s best exclusives, including the wild animal simulation game Tokyo Junglethe local-multiplayer madness of call all carsthe eccentric puzzle-platformer PuppeteerSony-owned series sequels Killzone and Resistanceand the classic PS3 Metal Gear Solid 4.

Perhaps Sony will change its air of classic publishing as the shine of PlayStation Plus’ new tier fades to help generate titles and bring in new customers. But for PlayStation fans who pre-purchased a full year of PS Plus Premium with expectations of Sony celebrating its reign of the 90s and early 00s, the wait will apparently continue to be difficult, all the more that Microsoft is pushing a hardware-agnostic approach to attract more gamers. Sony representatives did not immediately respond to Ars Technica’s questions about what to expect from PlayStation Plus’ selection of classic games in the coming months.

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PlayStation Plus’s Highest Tier Apparently Stops Classic Games

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