PlayStation Plus is changing—here’s what that means for subscribers
Have or want a subscription? Here’s what you should know about the new PlayStation Plus.
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Starting June 13, 2022, Sony will combine its current PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now subscription services into a single service, PlayStation Plus. Even though it keeps the same name, Sony’s subscription service will now boast three different membership tiers to better compete with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. What that means for you and your wallet depends on which subscription(s) you have now and if you want to stack your membership with prepaid gift cards.
Here’s all the important stuff PS Plus and PS Now subscribers should know ahead of Sony’s official PS Plus re-launch.
What are the new Playstation Plus tiers?
Like Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation Plus will soon have three separate tiers: Essential, Extra, and Premium.
The Essential tier costs $10 per month (or $25 quarterly, $60 yearly) but still provides the same benefits current PS Plus subscribers receive: the ability to download one PS4 game and one PS5 game per month (only available while subscribed), discounts on certain games, cloud storage for game save files and access to online multiplayer so you can keep playing games like Fall Guys and Dead By Daylight. The Essential tier price is the same price that current PS Plus subscribers pay for the service.
The Extra tier costs $50 per month (or $40 quarterly, $100 yearly) and provides the same perks as the Essential tier, but also gives subscribers access to more games—up to 400 popular PS4 and PS5 games are downloadable.
The Premium tier costs $18 per month (or $50 quarterly, $120 yearly) and provides the same perks as the Essential and Extra tiers as well as the option to play hundreds of PlayStation games in the cloud. That list of up to 340 games includes PS3 games and classic games from the PlayStation, PS2, and PSP generations. (Direct download is also available.) Subscribers can stream those games from PS4 and PS5 consoles, and PC. Premium subscribers will also have access to timed game trials before purchase.
What will happen to my active PlayStation Plus subscription?
If you currently subscribe to PlayStation Plus, you will automatically be rolled over to the new Essential tier. Your monthly fee does not change, and you still get all the same perks as before. The only thing that changes for you is the name of the service: PS Plus to PS Plus Essential. Should you wish to try out the higher tiers and come back to the Essential tier you’ll get the same benefits at the same monthly price (or the same quarterly or yearly price).
What about my active PlayStation Now subscription?
Sony says current PlayStation Now subscribers will automatically be rolled over to the Premium tier at launch with no increase to their current subscription fee. That means if you currently pay $10 a month for the service, that rate is locked in if your account gets automatically rolled over. (It currently costs the same as a separate PS Plus subscription.) However, once it’s time to renew, that special price goes away and you’ll have to pay $18 a month, or $8 more.
What if I currently have both PS Plus and PS Now?
You will be rolled over into the new PlayStation Plus Premium tier and your new payment date will be based on the longer of your two subscriptions. That should mean whichever of the two subscriptions has the most time left on it will decide your new payment date, but Sony says it will send out an email to the address you used to register your account confirming the new payment date and fee.
What happens if I prepaid for several months or a year of PlayStation Plus?
Sony considers you to have an active subscription, so once you get rolled over to the new Essential tier all those prepaid months come with you, too. You paid for ‘em, so you get to keep ‘em!
If you decide to upgrade to a higher tier before you have used up your pre-paid months, keep in mind Sony will charge you for the difference, so make sure to check up on your account to see exactly how much you are being charged.
What if I have prepaid time left on my PlayStation Now subscription?
Again, you will be automatically rolled over to the Premium tier at the same rate you are currently paying. However, if you cancel you will no longer be grandfathered into that special rate, so enjoy paying less until you’ve used up all your pre-paid time.
If I have a prepaid gift card, should I redeem it before or after the new service launches?
That is ultimately your decision, but here are a few things to keep in mind:
It’s easier to redeem a PS Plus or PS Now gift card or voucher before the new service launches if you are not currently a member. You’ll be able to redeem your voucher immediately, and when the change happens Sony will automatically roll your account over to either the Essentials or Premium tier, depending on the service you had before.
If you are not currently a member but want to subscribe after the new service launches, you can still redeem all the gift cards or vouchers you want. If you have PS Plus vouchers, you’ll have access to the new Essentials tier for the length of time denoted on your voucher, but if you wanted to upgrade to a higher tier, Sony will deduct the difference from your prepaid gift cards or vouchers. For instance, one month of PS Plus equates to about three weeks of the Premium tier.
PS Now vouchers will also give you access to the equivalent monetary value of the new Premium tier. So, if you redeem a one-month PS Now voucher, that would be the equivalent of three weeks on the new Premium plan. (That’s right—you can be grandfathered in on the PS Now price, but your vouchers are not.)
If you currently have an active PS Plus or PS Now subscription, Sony has placed a hold on redeeming gift cards or vouchers for both services until your membership expires and deactivates, or the new PlayStation Plus service launches, whichever happens first. So, you can’t redeem any of those right now but don’t worry—your voucher codes will remain valid. Sony has only disabled stacking memberships until after the new service officially launches.
For example, I have an active PS Plus subscription that lasts until December 2022, and I have a voucher for a year. If I want to use that voucher to extend my subscription to December 2023 I must wait until Sony’s new PlayStation Plus service launches before I can redeem it. But I could also give that voucher to a friend who doesn’t currently have PS Plus, and they can redeem it now.
Can I use a PS Now voucher to redeem time on one of the new PS Plus tiers?
Absolutely. Sony has provided a comprehensive FAQ of how all those prepaid PS Plus and PS Now vouchers convert into the new paid tiers but pay careful attention to how PS Plus vouchers convert compared to PS Now vouchers.
PS Plus vouchers have the most direct conversions. If you’re a non-member or a current PS Plus subscriber, you get 31 days of PS Plus Essential for the same price with a one-month voucher, for instance. But if you want to use the same voucher to upgrade to the Premium tier, you’ll get just 17 days of access because of the price difference between the two new tiers.
PS Now conversions are a little more confusing because cloud gaming is only available on the new highest tier, PS Plus Premium. Still, they follow the same conversion principle. If you have a prepaid month of PS Now you want to redeem, but you were automatically rolled over into the Premium tier, those vouchers will get you 17 paid days of service instead of 31 days.
So, if you wanted to get the most play time out of that voucher, you’d need to downgrade to the Essentials tier and forgo both cloud gaming and your grandfathered-in price from the soon-to-be-discontinued PS Now stand-alone membership.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.