What do you think of Sony’s new PlayStation Plus The settings are decent? Do you think splitting the tiers into Essential, Extra and Premium is a smart move by Sony’s tacticians? Well, whatever you think about it, the public reaction to the new subscription service doesn’t seem to have had the impact Sony had hoped.
As part of a messy investigation into whether Microsoft should be allowed to buy Activsion Blizzard, the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has published Sony’s response to the authority’s statement of questions, which reveals a lot about the subscription business in which the two platform holders compete. .
“Game Pass is significantly ahead of PlayStation Plus,” Sony wrote in its response to the CMA. “Microsoft has already taken a significant lead in multi-game subscription services. Game Pass has 29 million Xbox Game Pass console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, and is expected to grow significantly in the future. PlayStation Plus’ multi-game subscription tier is quite lagging [behind the numbers for Xbox Game Pass.]”
It’s worth noting that the last official number we’ve heard about Game Pass from Microsoft puts the service at 25 million subscribers — and that was in January of this year. That means the service has added another 4 million members in less than 12 months. Given that it’s “expected to grow significantly in the future,” you can understand why Sony is viewing it with caution.
Earlier this year, we heard that PSN had surpassed 100 million subscribers–meaning a large group of people attached to PlayStation’s online infrastructure, but not necessarily subscribed to PS Plus.
Data shown in Sony’s November 2022 financial report shows that the number of people subscribing to Sony’s PlayStation Plus fell from 47.3 million to 45.4 million during the quarter. So, that’s still more than the number of gamers subscribing to Xbox Game Pass–but Sony’s high-end subscriber numbers are certainly much lower than you’d expect from those numbers.
So what is Sony’s goal? It’s likely to convert as many people already included in the PlayStation ecosystem as possible into the highest tier of PS Plus subscribers possible. Whether we’ll see the company add more content, more discounts, or something else entirely to pique interest remains to be seen.
On the one hand, I’m still waiting for more PS1 games to be added to the service as promised before I upgrade my membership from Extra to Premium.