PlayStation Plus’s highest slams for an apparent halt on classic games

Sony Interactive Entertainment

As Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service continues to rack up customers, its biggest competitor Sony recently swiped back with changes and upgrades to its PlayStation Plus service. The relaunch of PlayStation Plus required some explainers, especially given its changing prices and absorption of the cloud-streaming PlayStation Now service.

The dust has settled enough for us to see a revision of the PlayStation Plus for more than two months, and Sony scores highly as far as its blazing ratings go. Should you pre-pay for the “Premium” tier, you can access hundreds of games from each PlayStation generation for $10 per month, including a good mix of hits and acclaimed indies (with hundreds of games that don’t play well). So let the sales charts and neither the critics’ list fire up).

However, Sony isn’t ready to meet Microsoft in a major sales pitch: subscriptions to first-party games available on launch day. Do you want to play new games in Sony-exclusive series like God of war either the last of us, they will continue to be required to pay the full MSRP at the time of launch; Xbox Game Pass is more generous with day-one access to all of its games, from hello infinity To forza motorsport, The obvious counter to PlayStation Plus came in a new “classics” library, a notably invaluable tier of service, that will include PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation Portable game libraries.

Doing Math on the Classics “Up to 340”

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


The latest blog post from PlayStation Plus confirmed that 11 games will land on the service’s premium and “extra” tiers in August. Whereas Sega’s . Contains three solid games of Yakuza series, and the quirky choice of modern indie bugsnacks and classic rpg remakes test of mind, it does not include games from any Sony console library outside of PS4 and PS5. This follows the addition of only three “classic” games in July, all from the PSP to the PS Plus.

As a reminder, PS Plus’ classic selection launched in June with 27 games from all three systems above: 11 for the PS1, 24 for the PS2, and two for the PSP. Two months later, we’re doing a maximum of 30 conversions of the original versions of those consoles. And now that we’ve done the math, we’re worried that those libraries won’t be huge unless Sony revises its ad.

Sony tells PlayStation Plus premium subscribers that its classics will increase to “up to 340” games, but that number includes titles that were already on the PlayStation Now streaming service, which revolve almost exclusively around PlayStation 3 games. Is. North American PS Plus Premium subscribers can access up to 294 PS3 games (though about five of these are iterative updates or DLC packages). Add 30 to that number, and you have 16 possible additions.

Sony has yet to emulate PS3 games on native PS5 or PS4 hardware, so these have to be streamed from the cloud. This differs substantially from the service’s PS1, PS2 and PSP games, which can be downloaded and rendered seamlessly with no cloud-induced issues such as latency or pixel fidelity. Thus, some modern console owners eager to play classic games may view Sony’s current total of “324” of classics as misleading, as long as their home Internet connection or data cap proves prohibitive.

There are so many exclusives missing from PS1, PS2, PSP, and PS3

Third-party contracts and arrangements limit the ability of a console manufacturer to publish additional classic games. For example, to republish any ’90s EA Sports classics on PlayStation Plus, Sony would not only have to join hands with EA, but also deals with athletes representing older games and other potential license holders. Have to do But Sony’s wholly owned content in its first three consoles is plentiful enough that it could dump 16 more games on PlayStation Plus tomorrow and still have dozens of games to pick up, should it upgrade the program anytime in the future. (And to clarify: PlayStation Plus Premium already includes third-party rentals from the PS1, PS2, and PSP eras made by studios like Capcom, Bandai Namco, Team 17, and THQ Nordic.)

Sony can be satisfied by keeping its classic game publishing plans to a minimum, while the modern PS Plus is emphasizing extras like Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade And lost, The company could be expanding its classics selection with hundreds of games that sat on the existing PlayStation Now service for years, all before folding into the better-known PlayStation Plus fold. (We talked about Sony’s PlayStation Now branding problem earlier.) But while PlayStation Now’s selection of PS3 games has some gems, it’s missing some of the best PS3 exclusives, including wild animal-sim games . Tokyo Junglelocal-multiplayer madness calling all carsquirky puzzle platformer puppeteerSony-owned series sequels kill zone And resistanceand PS3 Classic metal gear solid 4,

Perhaps Sony will change its classic-publishing tune as the new-level luster of PlayStation Plus takes off to help hog the limelight and attract new customers. But for PlayStation fans who bought the PS Plus Premium a full year ago, with Sony’s hopes celebrating its ’90s and early ’00s reign, the wait is clearly going to be tough—especially since Microsoft pursues a hardware-agnostic approach to attract more gamers. Sony representatives didn’t immediately respond to Ars Technica’s questions about what to expect from PlayStation Plus’s classic game selection in the coming months.


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