Sony will no longer let users stack subscription memberships to PlayStation Plus or PlayStation Now, a policy shift blatantly preventing PS5 users from scoring long-term discounts on the revamped PlayStation Plus service.
The new PS Plus, now broken into three tiers — Essential, Extra, and Plus — essentially combines PlayStation Now and the soon-to-be-former PlayStation Plus. As a reminder, PS Now is a streaming service that gives users access to hundreds of games made for current and former console generations, while the current PS Plus gives users access to online multiplayer games, discounts, and a few free games each month. Both of those services will be retired on June 13 and combined into the new PS Plus.
Previously, PlayStation users could “stack” PS Now and PS Plus subscriptions by purchasing multiple (say, if there was a discount) and activating them all at once or one after another. With this newly instated hold, PS Now and PS Plus subscribers are unable to redeem voucher codes that had been sitting dormant until either their current membership ends or the new PS Plus service becomes available in their region — whichever happens first.
“As we prepare to launch the new PlayStation Plus membership service, we are doing some work behind the scenes to make the transition as smooth as possible for all of our existing members,” Sony wrote in a blog. “As part of this work, we’ve temporarily disabled stacking memberships for existing customers until after the launch.”
If you have a voucher code and aren’t currently subscribed to either service or if your membership runs out before the new one, then you can still redeem it. If you have an active PS Plus membership when the new version launches, you’ll be placed into PS Plus Essential, the lowest tier of the new service. If you have an active PS Now account, you’ll migrate to PS Plus Premium, the highest tier.
Here is where the fine print matters: if you weren’t already an active member, a PS Plus voucher redeemed after the new version arrives will net you PS Now Essential access for the length of time denoted on your original voucher (12 months=12 months). The same goes for PS Now but with PS Plus Premium. If you were an existing PS Plus or PS Now customer, any unredeemed voucher will convert to a length of time equivalent to the monetary value of the voucher you are redeeming.
What does that conversion look like? Sony published a table showing how much of each new tier an old PS Now or PS Plus subscription gets you. As a taster, a 1-month (previous-gen) PS Plus voucher gets you a full month of PS Plus Essential or 21 days of PS Plus Extra or 17 days of PS Plus Premium.
Those who already redeemed codes and are subscribed to both services are in luck; Sony clarified earlier this week that it will honour whichever subscription remains active the longest. So, for example, if you have a PS Now subscription expiring in one month and a PS Plus subscription expiring in three years, you will get PS Plus Premium access until 2025.
This is the exact loophole Sony is plugging by preventing users from stacking subscriptions, then migrating to the new service to enjoy the additional perks without paying the price difference. As a reminder, the PS Plus Premium service costs $US17.99 ($25) a month and gets all the benefits of the original PS Plus plan, plus access to more than 400 PS4 and PS5 games and 340 additional titles from previous Sony consoles via cloud streaming.