Do you think Sony are new PlayStation Plus is the setup ok? Do you think splitting the tiers into Essential, Extra and Premium was a wise move by Sony tacticians? Well, your thoughts aside, it seems the public reaction to the new subscription service hasn’t quite had the impact Sony hoped it would.
As part of a new development in the messy investigation into whether Microsoft should be allowed to buy Activsion Blizzard, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has published Sony’s response to the authority’s Issues Statement, and it revealed quite a bit of key information about its subscription arms. race the two platform holders are engaged in.
“Game Pass significantly leads PlayStation Plus,” writes Sony in its response to CMA. “Microsoft already has a significant lead in multi-game subscription services. Game Pass has 29 million subscribers on the Xbox Game Pass console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and is expected to grow significantly in the future. Multi-game subscription levels to PlayStation Plus significantly lag [behind the numbers for Xbox Game Pass.]”
It’s worth noting that the last official figures we heard from Microsoft about Game Pass suggested that the service was at 25 million subscribers – and that was back in January of this year. So that means the service has added 4 million more members in less than 12 months. Given that it’s also “expected to grow significantly in the future,” you can see why Sony is eyeing it with caution.
Earlier this year we heard that PSN topped 100 million users – so that means there are a number of people out there connected to PlayStation’s online infrastructure who don’t necessarily subscribe to PS Plus.
Data shown in Sony’s November 2022 earnings presentation revealed that the number of people subscribing to Sony’s PlayStation Plus has fallen from 47.3 million to 45.4 million this quarter. So that’s still more than the number of players subscribed to Xbox Game Pass – but Sony’s top-tier subscriber numbers must then be far lower than what you’d previously expect from those numbers.
So what is Sony’s goal then? It will likely be to convert as many people already included in the PlayStation ecosystem to PS Plus subscribers, at the highest level possible. Whether we’ll see the company add more content, more discounts, or something else entirely to provoke it remains to be seen.
I’m still waiting for more PS1 games to be added to the service as promised before I upgrade my membership from Extra to Premium.