Sony PlayStation Launches Video Game Subscription Service

%Sony ($SONY) has officially launched its new video game subscription service for the PlayStation console, giving users access to hundreds of popular new and old titles.

Called %PlayStationPlus the new subscription service is Sony’s attempt to compete directly with the %Microsoft ($MSFT) %XboxGamePass as both companies focus on allowing consumers to stream video games online, replacing the physical discs that video games have traditionally been developed on.

The new PlayStation subscription service is available in three tiers. The basic tier, called “Essential,” costs $10 U.S. a month and provides two downloadable games per month and access to online multiplayer games.

The “Extra” tier, at $15 U.S. a month, provides people with access to 400 PlayStation 4 and 5 games. The highest “Premium” level, at $18 U.S. per month, adds hundreds of classic PlayStation games, mostly from the PlayStation 3 console.

PlayStation Plus is different from Xbox Game Pass in that it doesn’t include any brand-new titles. The game “Horizon Forbidden West,” which came out in February of this year, isn’t yet available on the service, and the upcoming “God of War Ragnarok” won’t be available through the online service either.

Sony, which relies on its blockbuster video games to sell tens of millions of copies, has said the economics wouldn’t make sense for it to put titles on PlayStation Plus when they first come out. This is different from Microsoft, which has committed to making all its games available on the Game Pass service as soon as they are released.

Sony stock is down 34% year to date at $83.93 U.S. per share. Microsoft’s stock has fallen 28% on the year to $242.26 U.S. a share.

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