When Sony’s updated PS Plus comes out in June, its most expensive tier will cost twice what you’re paying now. But there’s a way to cut that in half: if you can get a PS Now subscription for a year now, you’ll be able to temporarily block the new service at a lower price. Unfortunately, perhaps because Sony is wise to people’s attempts to do so, securing this year seems harder than ever.
First announced last month, PS Plus 2.0 (note: this is not an official name, but just my joke to make the whole shift more digestible) is Sony’s redesign of monthly (or annual) subscriptions. For all intents and purposes, the redesign combines PS Plus, a subscription required for online gaming, and PS Now, an on-demand gaming service, into one subscription available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. It is available on three levels:
PS Plus Essential is essentially the same service as the current PS Plus. It costs $10 a month or $60 a year — the same price at which PS Plus is currently listed.
PS Plus Extra is the same as PS Plus Essential, but adds access to a library of 400 downloadable games for PS4 and PS5 and costs $15 per month or $100 per year, competing with the monthly price of a similar Game Pass service from Microsoft.
PS Plus Premium, the highest tier, has all the advantages of the two lower tiers, but adds another 300 games for streaming and downloading from previous generations. (Details can be clarified here.) That’s $18 a month or $120 a year.
Regions where streaming is not allowed can subscribe to PS Plus Deluxe, which offers the same privileges as PS Plus Premium, but presumably at a lower price, but Sony has not yet disclosed specific prices.
If you are currently subscribed to PS Plus, Sony informs you that your subscription will automatically convert to PS Plus Essential. But those who have subscribed to PS Now, at least in the US, will see their subscriptions converted to PS Plus Premium. A month of PS Now currently costs $10 ($8 less than the Premium rate). Meanwhile, a year will cost you $60 ($60 less than the Premium rate). As a result, players are buying up annual PS Now subscriptions in bulk, and some players are reportedly accumulating subscriptions until the actual sci-fi year 2031, much later when Sony releases the PlayStation 7 and its more expensive PlayStation 7 Pro model (complete with a sealed module designed to protect against the worst effects of climate change).
Keep in mind that this workaround is a bit shaky at the moment. One of my colleagues was able to buy a year through a direct link in the PlayStation Store (thanks to the venerable game deal corrector Wario64). Another one had problems with making a purchase. By going directly through the PlayStation website, you will be taken to a page where you will see only PS Now, available in monthly installments, currently priced at $10. Major retailers like GameStop and Amazon show annual subscriptions as “currently unavailable,” although you may have better luck with third-party sites.