President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Jim Ryan, has provided an update to the original announcement post on the official PlayStation Blog, stating that the company is “making fantastic progress with our launch efforts” and that the service will be launched “a little earlier in selected markets in Asia, followed by Japan.”
It then goes on to detail the new release dates for each of the four countries. These reveal that the deployment will take place over many weeks, with Asia markets excluding Japan slated first for late May and Europe scheduled last in late June, respectively. The following is the timetable:
- Asia markets (excluding Japan) – targeting May 23, 2022
- Japan – targeting June 1, 2022
- Americas – targeting June 13, 2022
- Europe – targeting June 22, 2022
The PlayStation cloud streaming service will be extending to Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic and Greece as well as the Republic of Cyprus and the Republic of Cyprus as well as Bulgaria and Croatia. Ryan says that the newly added markets will have access to the Premium tier of PlayStation Plus at launch and that the cloud streaming will be accessible in a total of 30 countries.
There will be more updates on the PlayStation service as we approach closer to launch, Ryan says, thanking the PlayStation community for its continued support.
What’s new, then?
After a flurry of reports surfaced suggesting that Sony was planning to create a service to compete with Xbox Game Pass, the company finally confirmed the claims late last month.
There are three levels to the new PlayStation Plus, which is effectively a combination of PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now. With PlayStation Plus, you get all the features of the monthly subscription, plus online multiplayer, cloud storage, and special deals.
All of the features of the Essential tier are included in the Extra tier, but you get access to up to 400 first and third-party PS4 and PS5 titles.
For those who can afford it, Premium is the most costly plan at $17.99 a month (USD $17.99/€16.99/£13.49/1,550). 340 more games are included with Premium, including PS3 titles through cloud streaming and games from the original PlayStation, PS2 and PSP generations that may be streamed and downloaded for a short period before purchasing.
Players who are interested in exploring older games that may be tough to get may benefit from Sony’s many levels that give increasingly more perks.
Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass is proven to be a successful endeavour, and Sony’s service will allow customers access to a wide library of games to download and watch. PlayStation Plus, unlike Game Pass, won’t have fresh new first-party products available on day one of their release, which might be a substantial difference for certain users.
Jim Ryan has previously said that Sony isn’t interested in doing this, telling the PlayStation podcast that “putting these games into a subscription service immediately upon their release would disrupt this virtuous loop, and we wouldn’t be able to spend in the manner that we’re now able to. So we won’t be doing it either. We’re going to remain with the strategy that has worked for us for a long time.
This seems to be on track with Sony’s previously stated goal of launching the service in most countries “by midway through 2022,” as seen by the company’s recently disclosed target release dates.