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Sony planning new tiered subscription service code named “Spartacus” to take on Game Pass…


Romier S
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From the article:

 

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Details on Spartacus may still not be finalized, but documentation reviewed by Bloomberg outlines a service with three tiers. The first would include existing PlayStation Plus benefits. The second would offer a large catalog of PlayStation 4 and, eventually, PlayStation 5 games. The third tier would add extended demos, game streaming and a library of classic PS1, PS2, PS3 and PSP games. A representative for PlayStation didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

I have to say, this really does not intrigue me that much. I highly doubt Sony will put its own blockbuster titles up on the service day-and-date like Microsoft does its own titles on GamePass. It would be like if I subscribed to Netflix, but in order to watch whatever the latest hot new Netflix original series is, I'd have to pay them extra to buy a copy of the movie/show.

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30 minutes ago, JFo said:

From the article:

 

 

I have to say, this really does not intrigue me that much. I highly doubt Sony will put its own blockbuster titles up on the service day-and-date like Microsoft does its own titles on GamePass. It would be like if I subscribed to Netflix, but in order to watch whatever the latest hot new Netflix original series is, I'd have to pay them extra to buy a copy of the movie/show.

 

I'm seeing replies like this around the web and I find it interesting that as evangelical as you and others seem about Game Pass, apparently it holds little to no value outside of Microsoft first party content being there day one? Which again, is very interesting considering the dearth of said first party content until the latter half of this year. So what did you do with your subscription the rest of the time? :D

 

I'm being somewhat facetious so put the claws away. I totally get where you're coming from and the messaging for Game Pass is very simple when you're first party games are front and center on the service. However, I have to say that I get much more value out of Game Pass from the third party deals Microsoft makes to put titles I wouldn't normally buy like say a D&D Dark Alliance for example on the service. Or stuff like "The Ascent", etc. Not to mention the wonderful selection of indie titles that I can sample.

 

If Sony wants to position this in a way where they are paying to add games at the level of say Stray, Solar Ash, Kena Bridge of Spirits, etc. to one of these pricing tiers alongside other newer third party content,  catalog PS4/PS5 and legacy platforms? That's very enticing to me and it has plenty of value in that regard without Sony first party titles being there which was never going to be on the table. You might as well ask Nintendo to put Breath of the Wild 2 on NOS for free or release more than one N64 game at a time (madness!).

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26 minutes ago, Romier S said:

I'm seeing replies like this around the web and I find it interesting that as evangelical as you and others seem about Game Pass, apparently it holds little to no value outside of Microsoft first party content being there day one? Which again, is very interesting considering the dearth of said first party content until the latter half of this year. So what did you do with your subscription the rest of the time? :D

 

I'm being somewhat facetious so put the claws away.

 

Fuck you! The claws are comin' out, BITCH!!!! 😼

 

46 minutes ago, Romier S said:

I totally get where you're coming from and the messaging for Game Pass is very simple when you're first party games are front and center on the service. However, I have to say that I get much more value out of Game Pass from the third party deals Microsoft makes to put titles I wouldn't normally buy like say a D&D Dark Alliance for example on the service. Or stuff like "The Ascent", etc. Not to mention the wonderful selection of indie titles that I can sample.

 

Yeah, I agree that having access to all those third-party titles is a big draw for me. In fact, probably more than half the games I've played on Game Pass were not Microsoft first-party titles. But having those titles day-and-date on release adds a tremendous amount of value to the service that would be sorely lacking if Sony didn't follow suit. If I'm going to subscribe to another video game subscription service, I will want something to justify having it. Putting Sony's new first-party titles on there day-and-date would be a huge incentive for me to get it.

 

Fuck, if we're to believe this report, Sony wouldn't even offer PS5 games at launch! Why not? Give the owners who've shelled out money for your latest hardware something to entice them to subscribe?

 

51 minutes ago, Romier S said:

If Sony wants to position this in a way where they are paying to add games at the level of say Stray, Solar Ash, Kena Bridge of Spirits, etc. to one of these pricing tiers alongside other newer third party content,  catalog PS4/PS5 and legacy platforms? That's very enticing to me and it has plenty of value in that regard without Sony first party titles being there which was never going to be on the table. You might as well ask Nintendo to put Breath of the Wild 2 on NOS for free or release more than one N64 game at a time (madness!).

 

Here's the thing: If Nintendo did try to make their own version of Game Pass I would expect them to put their first-party games up day-and-date too. If these companies are truly interested in making these subscription services succeed, they need to put their best and newest exclusive content up as soon as they're available. Otherwise, they are destined to fail — or at the very least stagnate.

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1 hour ago, JFo said:

 

Yeah, I agree that having access to all those third-party titles is a big draw for me. In fact, probably more than half the games I've played on Game Pass were not Microsoft first-party titles. But having those titles day-and-date on release adds a tremendous amount of value to the service that would be sorely lacking if Sony didn't follow suit. If I'm going to subscribe to another video game subscription service, I will want something to justify having it. Putting Sony's new first-party titles on there day-and-date would be a huge incentive for me to get it.

 

  
Let me level set by saying that I would certainly jump at the chance to have Sony first party titles on the service. Who wouldn't for god sakes? I'm not arguing against that all.  I'm viewing it through the big picture lens of folks NOT like us that spend thousands of dollars on games and subscribe to multiple services like these.  The reality is that Sony have no incentive to do it. I think we need to look back and understand why Microsoft has moved their model so heavily towards Game Pass. It's because they needed a paradigm shift to compete. The Xbox brand was very nearly dead with Microsoft entertaining getting out of the business and the PS3 for as much of a debacle as it was, still ended up selling more units worldwide than the 360 which was a massive success for Microsoft. Game Pass isn't an act of altruism despite its fantastic value. Microsoft want you in their ecosystem and they're wiling to give away their first party titles to build that install base and they're betting on that growth for future revenue. Sony already has 45+ million subscribers on Playstation Plus. A service that isn't nearly as enticing in the free games department as it once was. Despite that, that number has seen mostly steady growth and their first party titles continue to sell in the multi-millions regularly. Their supply constrained console which has still seen stock levels nearly matching the PS4 in its initial months and more than double its competition is still impossible to find.

 

To circle back to my original point - until Sony feels the heat/need to offer up their first party for free, they are never going to do it. In fact, they've not only told you flat-out NO thus far to freebie NEW first party games on their service, but they've outright delivered the message that they view their games as more valuable than the rest and are tacking on a $10 premium to buy them. Which especially sucks for our European friends.

 

Sony doesn't need to add their first party line-up to their service for it to succeed in my opinion. I disagree with that viewpoint fundamentally. PS Now which I think we'd agree is a "failed" service for all intents and purpose still has nearly 3.5 million people subscribed to it. If Sony can convert 20% of existing Plus subscribers to these new pricing tiers, you're talking nearly 10 million subscribers handing them more money. They need to bring a worthwhile value proposition to the table obviously. On that front, I do think something Game Pass like with newer third party titles, new indies releases and a healthy library of classic games can be a very easy success for them. I think its important to remember that multi-console owners like us are NOT the norm. For many, the Playstation 4/5 is their primary platform and those folks won't experience the cross-pollination of those titles you and I would see if we were subscribed to both. That's a healthy base of users to convert.

 

1 hour ago, JFo said:

 

Here's the thing: If Nintendo did try to make their own version of Game Pass I would expect them to put their first-party games up day-and-date too. If these companies are truly interested in making these subscription services succeed, they need to put their best and newest exclusive content up as soon as they're available. 

 

Disney doesn't put their newest content on Disney + without you paying the premium fee of $30 to view one of their theatrical releases early. Many studios have followed suit with at home pricing as an example. That newest content only appears when they've extracted what monies they could from the theatrical run. So no, I disagree that a one size fits all model is necessary for success here. Microsoft certainly set the bar high but that was out of necessity and we're not going to see others try to match on that level just because.

 

On the Nintendo front, I would say you can absolutely have that expectation. I would also say, its an unrealistic one. It's also a lot to expect from a company that can barely manage 5-10 bog standard emulated releases per year for their now premium priced service.;)

 

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Also, its a good time to revisit this story:

 

https://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2021/03/23/sony-patent-trophies/

 

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Trophies are a part of PlayStation games nowadays with more than 10,000 games sporting the familiar feature, but not all PlayStation 3 games had them. As spotted by ResetEra, Sony submitted a patent at the end of November that looked into using a process of emulation to unlock Trophies on older titles that originally didn’t have the feature.

The patent describes how an emulation process could be triggered by “a client device” and would be used to detect whether requirements had been met to unlock one or more Trophies. If all of the requirements have been met, the process would then assign those Trophies to the player. The patent is specifically aimed at “previously released or sold video games”. Using current methods, developers of titles that didn’t have Trophies would have to modify their games to implement them. For many of the older titles, this is no longer possible, nor is it worth the time and money to do this. However, the new patent would remove the need for modifying the games.

 

 

 

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On the one hand, EA seem to get away with only making their stuff subscription after a year or so. On the other, this is going to look so weak against Gamepass, you can see why they might just not do it at all. 
 

But most of all, irrespective of the mess Nintendo are making, telling PS4/5 owners they can finally play their PS1/2 games again, but it’s a pay for subscription rather than just using the licenses they have already purchased, is going to go down even worse. 

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