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At the end of next week, you won't be able to purchase a subscription to PlayStation Now from retailers in the United Kingdom, as stores have been instructed to remove all PS Now cards from their shelves. What a coincidence, isn't it? When we consider the rumours of a PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now merger have been rumbling along since December of last year.
The success of Xbox Game Pass simply cannot be ignored. Forza Horizon 5, which arrived on day one on the service, celebrated surpassing 15 million players in two months. Earlier in 2021, executive Sarah Bond stated that subscribers spend 20% longer gaming, splash 20% more cash, play 30% more games, and try 40% more genres of games than non-users. That's all time and money that Microsoft has in its pocket, and Sony is seemingly green with envy, especially seeing that PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now don't boast an allure like the streamlined service that is Xbox Game Pass.
Forza Horizon 5 was our Xbox Game of the Year and here's why - gorgeous gameplay exploring the natural beauty of Mexico. Check it out!
Merging PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now isn't a novel idea - in fact, fans suggested it when PlayStation Plus doled out a meagre offering in comparison to the PlayStation Now users who got bangers like Nier: Automata, Ghostrunner, and Undertale. Still, PlayStation Now is focused on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 games. Expect to find your favourites from PlayStation 2 and the original PlayStation to be omitted, which is a shame given how formative those games were to a lot of people.
A report from Bloomberg claimed that Sony was working on something called Spartacus, offering a collection of new and old games for a monthly charge, and was aiming for a launch in the spring of 2022. Spartacus would take over PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now as a hybrid of the two that possess their own benefits. For example, PlayStation Plus allows a subscriber to play online whereas PlayStation Now has the capability to stream older games to the modern console. Why not both?
As per this scoop from VentureBeat, GAME's leadership is advising its staff to phase out PlayStation Now retail cards before January 19th and to "update their digital bays in line with this week’s upcoming commercial update." Naturally, this doesn't necessarily mean that the launch of Spartacus is imminent, yet it does add credence to its existence. I'm interested to see how such a subscription service would compare to Xbox Game Pass as the latter has been entrenched for a number of years now. We'll have to wait and see.