PS5 Game Pass rival could be revealed next week — what you need to know

Sony PS5 with PlayStation DualSense controller
(Image credit: Rokas Tenys | Shutterstock)

PlayStation’s answer to Xbox Game Pass, codenamed Spartacus, could get an official reveal as soon as next week, reports Bloomberg

A previous Bloomberg report claimed that the service will launch this Spring, and will be available on both PS5 and PS4. The same report suggested that Spartacus will combine Sony’s existing subscription services, PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus, with the former being entirely phased out as a result. 

The new service could offer the current features of PlayStation Plus, such as the ability to play online multiplayer games and access cloud storage. Furthermore, subscribers will get access to a large library of games including titles from the PS1, PS2, PS3 and PSP. Games locked to these platforms are not currently playable on Sony’s current consoles, except via PlayStation Now.

The same report suggests that the service will be split into three tiers. The first tier will be similar to a standard PlayStation Plus subscription, offering the ability to play online and download a small selection of rotating monthly games. The second tier adds an additional collection of PS4, and eventually PS5, games. The third level will offer all of the above, plus access to games from the classic Sony systems mentioned above.

Industry insider Jeff Grubb has suggested that the tiers will be called “essential,” “extra” and “premium,” and that pricing will start at $10 a month for the first tier, $13 a month for the second and $16 a month for the premium membership. Grubb was quick to acknowledge that these prices may be placeholders, but we expect the final prices to be in roughly the same ballpark, at least. 

Tom's Guide has cited Xbox Game Pass as “the best deal in gaming,” and Microsoft announced that the service surpassed 25 million subscribers in January. As a result, it's not a surprise that Sony feels PlayStation needs a stronger competitor in the subscription space. However, Sony may not replicate the biggest benefit of Game Pass: all first-party Xbox exclusives being available on the service at launch.

Upcoming PlayStation exclusives, such as God of War Ragnarok and Spider-Man 2, may not be a part of the service when they launch. However, as a sort of compromise, Grubb has suggested that Sony could instead offer Spartacus subscribers full game trials, which could include first-party PlayStation titles. 

This offering would pale in comparison to Microsoft’s willingness to allow flagship titles, such as Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5 and the upcoming Bethesda RPG Starfield to hit Game Pass at launch.   

Further indication that the reveal of Spartacus could be just around the corner comes via Greg Miller of Kinda Funny who has tipped PlayStation for as many as three big announcements this week.

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.