I’ve always been more of a PlayStation fan, but Xbox features like Game Pass, reliable Cloud Gaming, and genuine backward compatibility are slowly moving me in the other direction. Thankfully, it looks like Sony will shape itself up in Spring of 2022 with the launch of Spartacus, a Game pass-like service that may replace PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus.
As reported by Bloomberg, the Spartacus service will offer players an unlimited selection of old and new PlayStation titles. It will be available on both PS4 and PS5, and it will place a greater emphasis on free downloadable titles, cloud gaming, and backward compatibility with PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP games.
Details on the Spartacus service are pretty slim, though Bloomberg says that Sony is considering three separate payment tiers. The first tier will let players access online multiplayer, and like PlayStation Plus, it could provide players with a few free games every month. The second tier will introduce a library of free PS4 and PS5 titles, while the third tier will add cloud gaming and classic titles from older consoles.
My only worry is that Sony will rely on cloud gaming to deliver original PlayStation and PSP titles on the PS4 and PS5. Many of the classic titles available PlayStation Now are only available to stream, and frankly, Sony’s game streaming platform just isn’t good enough. Emulation would be a much better option, though of course, old PlayStation consoles are notoriously difficult to emulate.
We’re also not sure if Sony will actually call this service Spartacus. It seems more likely that Sony will stick with PlayStation Now branding, which players already associate with free games.