The Xbox family may not be home to as many exclusives as its competition. However, if there is one thing that Microsoft has outclassed Sony and Nintendo on, it’s quantity and accessibility. The other two giants have struggled to preserve legacy content and provide the best value for software. Although, Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service has allowed consumers a means of accessing both old and new titles with relative ease without wrecking their wallets. Compare this to Nintendo’s joke of an online service or PS Now (which often requires players to stream its library instead of downloading titles directly), and it’s easy to see why they have the edge in this department.
Nintendo may be content to rest on its laurels when it comes to subscription-based services, but it would seem that Sony has been taking notes. Code named Spartacus, their answer to Game Pass set to be a three-tiered response that could very well beat Microsoft at their own game.
Admittedly, the information currently available on Spartacus is sparse and should be taken with a grain of salt as sources stem from individuals who wish to remain anonymous as “they weren’t authorized to speak to the press about the plans.” However, according to Bloomberg, the service would most likely be available on Playstation 4 and Playstation 5. That makes much sense considering that getting a Playstation 5 for a reasonable price is still nigh-impossible and may still be an issue for many by the time Spartacus sets to drop in Spring 2022.
The breakdown of the tiers themselves is where things get interesting. According to documentation reviewed by this source, “The first (tier) would include existing PlayStation Plus benefits. The second would offer a large catalog of PlayStation 4 and, eventually, PlayStation 5 games.” Sounds decent enough, no? But, if you’re a full-on nostalgia addict like yours truly, you may want to hold onto that Spyro the Dragon snapback for tier three.
“…The third tier would add extended demos, game streaming and a library of classic PS1, PS2, PS3 and PSP games.”
In the words of a certain marsupial known for being a threat to crates everywhere- “woah!”
If this checks out, it would mean that Spartacus’ library could easily topple Game Pass in terms of size. While the latter may have older Xbox and Xbox 360 games available, this supposed third tier would be covering almost 30 years of video game history in one fell swoop. It’s also worth noting that it can be pretty challenging to play PSP games on the big screen in 2021 outside of the ill-fated (and now quite costly) PlayStation TV micro console. This tier is all but guaranteed to command the highest price. Depending on what the price winds up being, Spartacus could make for an ideal way of revisiting the past as well as delving into the present.
As mentioned earlier, the service is slated to launch in Spring 2022. Although Sony declined to comment on Bloomberg’s article regarding Spartacus, chances are we’ll hear something from them on it shortly.