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Sony could be preparing Xbox Game Pass rival with PS Now card directive

Sony has instructed the removal of PS Now subscription cards from physical retailers, suggesting that its rumoured answer to Xbox Game Pass could be forthcoming.

GamesBeat is reporting that Sony has sent out instructions to UK retailers such as Game, requesting that they pull PS Now cards from their shelves by January 21.

“Stores have until the close of day Wednesday 19, January to remove all POS and ESD cards from all customer-facing areas and update their digital bays in line with this week’s upcoming commercial update,” reads the demand.

This has led to speculation that Sony’s expanded subscription offering could be imminent.

We’ve been reporting on the rumours of a Sony Xbox Game Pass rival for some time now. Most recently, it was hinted that such a service could be arriving in the Spring.

It seems as if a product known internally as Spartacus will combine the existing PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now services, providing multiplayer, monthly free games, and a library of downloadable or streamable legacy games under one umbrella.

This seems likely to operate under the existing PlayStation Plus banner, with the PlayStation Now brand being phased out altogether.

While Sony’s PS5 seemingly has built up sales lead early in this console generation, Microsoft has made considerable headway with its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offering. A large part of the appeal is the offer of brand new first and third-party games as part of the package.

Given that Sony’s current model relies heavily on purchases of full-priced stand-alone tentpole releases like God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn, it’ll be interesting to see how it responds to Microsoft’s premium tier.

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