Everything we know about Project Spartacus: PlayStation Game Pass rival 
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Everything we know about Project Spartacus: PlayStation’s Game Pass rival

Published: 17/Jan/2022 10:00 Updated: 17/Jan/2022 13:54

by Sam Smith

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Sony is working on an alternative to Xbox Game Pass for PS5. Here’s everything we know about Project Spartacus. 

Xbox Game Pass has existed for a while now, but in recent years the service has exploded in popularity, changing the way many people experience games. The service offers value and convenience, meaning Sony was bound to take notice eventually and create their own Game Pass service for PS5. This is what Project Spartacus comes in.

Project Spartacus is Sony’s take on the Game Pass service and will likely appear on the PS5, although it could also make an appearance on PS4. Its existence was originally reported by Bloomberg. Here’s everything we know about Project Spartacus as well as speculation on what the service will look like.

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Contents


PlayStation reportedly launching their own version of Xbox Game Pass
PlayStation / Xbox
What do we know about Sony’s Game Pass service?

What is Project Spartacus?

Project Spartacus is believed to be a service from PlayStation that delivers similar features to Xbox Game Pass. This means it will be a monthly subscription service that allows users access to a catalog of games through their PS5 (or PS4) console.

Like Xbox Game Pass, Spartacus users will be able to download and play a range of titles providing their subscription is active.

Will Spartacus replace PS Plus?

While it’s purely speculation at this point, Project Spartacus may adopt a similar approach to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. This steadily replaced Xbox Live memberships and included that as part of its features. We imagine that Spartacus will also come bundled with PS Plus, although there’s a chance it’ll be tiered. For example, you can get an Xbox Live Gold membership without Game Pass.

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Those who own a PS5 and an active PS Plus membership also get access to the PlayStation Library. This provides a selection of PS4 games available for download at any time. Each is also enhanced for PS5. It’s likely that Project Spartacus will be an expansion of this service in some way.

PlayStation 5 console
Sony
PS Plus on PS5 also provides access to the PlayStation Library, containing multiple PS4 classics.

What will Spartacus include?

We expect Project Spartacus will include most, if not all, PlayStation exclusives. Like Xbox Game Pass, the service may also offer day-one access to all Sony exclusives that release once it’s live.

A variety of other third-party titles are also likely to be added to bulk out the service as they do on Xbox Game Pass. This could also include the free monthly games that arrive as part of a PS Plus service.

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The service may offer backward compatibility and access to games from older PlayStation consoles like PS3, PS2, and PS1. This could be via PS Now or some other means. However, it’s entirely possible that the service could bundle in PS Now or replace it entirely.

Sony is already pulling PS Now cards from some UK retailers, which could be a sign that the service is set to undergo a change.

Ps5 exclusive games
Sony
Could games like Demon’s Souls or Returnal come to Sony’s service?

Backward compatibility?

In mid-January 2022, PS3 titles (including Dead or Alive 5) started appearing on the PS5’s store, fuelling speculation that the console may be set to introduce further backward compatibility with older PlayStation consoles. Although, users were unable to purchase and download the titles when they tried and Sony has stayed silent regarding the situation.

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It’s likely that this was just Sony making adjustments to the PS Now service, and the titles weren’t supposed to be seen by the public. However, it could also be connected to Sony’s plans for Project Spartacus, with PS3 backward compatibility potentially making up one of the services’ tiers.

Remember, this is all speculation until Sony state otherwise.

How much will Spartacus cost?

Sony’s own Game Pass service will need to compete with Microsoft’s. One way it could do this is by offering a cheaper alternative. PS Plus costs $60 a year at present, while Xbox Game Pass’s top tier costs $14.99 a month. So, we expect the price to land closer to the latter than the former.

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Like Xbox Game Pass though, the service may offer a range of tiers all starting at different prices. Some tiers may offer PS Plus, while others may omit this from the bundle.

When will Spartacus be released?

No official roll-out date for Spartacus has been announced yet, but the wheels are clearly turning behind closed doors at Sony. Therefore, we wouldn’t be surprised if we see the service soon.

We’re hopeful we’ll hear more in 2022, perhaps even as soon as spring. We’ll be sure to bring you the updates as they arrive.


With so many games to look forward to, be sure to check out our guides to the following PS5 exclusives.

God of War: Ragnarok | Wolverine | Spider-Man 2 | Horizon Forbidden West | Forspoken | Gran Turismo 7 | KOTR Remake