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Sony has begun the marketing cycle for what it is calling the “all-new PlayStation Plus.” That service is launching in June, and if you’re wondering what is new about it — well, so is everybody else. The new tiered service — which launches in June — is mostly a reshuffling of the features that were previously available separately in Plus and PS Now. But Sony has added a handful of extra perks, like the ability to play PlayStation 1 and PSP games through the top tier as well as game trials for new releases from Sony. But what isn’t changing is how fans will access the back-catalogue of PS3 games. Just like with PS Now today, you’ll need to play those games through the cloud. And that is going to create some headaches depending on where you live.
“For markets without cloud streaming, PlayStation Plus Deluxe will be offered at a lower price compared to Premium, and includes a catalog of beloved classic games from the original PlayStation, PS2 and PSP generations to download and play, along with time-limited game trials,” reads a PlayStation blog post.
So if you live in a territory without PS Now currently, you’re going to get the secret fourth tier. PlayStation Plus Deluxe is just a discounted version of Premium that has everything except for cloud streaming and PlayStation 3 games.
And that is one of the biggest disappointments with Sony’s reworking of Plus and Now. This seems like a chance for Sony to invest in its service. Ideally, that would mean building a PlayStation 3 emulator. The company has the capability to do so, and the PS5 is powerful enough to support that. But that would require engineering resources that are likely busy working on things that will make PlayStation more money.
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But if not native emulation, Sony should at least expand the availability of cloud streaming. PS Now is only in 19 countries. You can get it in Japan, but not Australia. It’s in Luxembourg, but it isn’t in Poland. And Sony did not reveal any plans to expand PS Now’s global footprint.
This lack of investment in the “all-new PlayStation Plus” makes the entire thing feel like an exercise in branding. It also makes it feel like Sony is aiming to squeeze more money out of its most loyal fans.
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