Gamers in the United Kingdom will no longer have the option to buy a subscription to PlayStation Now at U.K. retailers. By Friday, January 21, retailers in the country will have to pull PS Now cards from their shelves. This is according to messaging that is going out to stores like Game this week.
Here’s how the message from Game leadership reads:
“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 … .”
PlayStation Now is Sony’s cloud-streaming and game-subscription service. It hosts hundreds of games, but it currently stands apart from Sony’s other gaming subscription, PlayStation Plus.
But a recent report out of Bloomberg claims that Sony has plans to merge PS Now into PS Plus. The idea would be to make everything PS Plus while offering different tiers. The move to end PS Now subscription cards is potentially a step on the path to that eventual merging.
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I’ve also heard that retailers in the U.S. and Canada began pulling PS Now cards from their shelves and online stores weeks ago.
A PlayStation spokesperson had nothing to say about a new tiered PS Plus service:
“Globally, we are moving from PlayStation Now gift cards to focus on our current cash denomination PlayStation gift cards, which can be redeemed for PlayStation Now.”
Services remain a focus for PlayStation
While PlayStation is known for its powerful gaming hardware and massive, blockbuster games, it has slyly shifted to a service model that is bringing in record revenue and profits. Player spending on live-service games and subscriptions has enabled Sony to even offset the costly business of launching the PlayStation 5.
The company normally lost huge amounts of money during years when it released new PlayStations. But it reported a record operating profit of $3.2 billion during its last fiscal year. That should continue to grow thanks to the success of the PlayStation, but it can supercharge and stabilize that growth through the power of its services.
Updated at 1:20 p.m. Pacific time: Added more info about other retailers pulling PS Now cards in other countries.
Updated at 1:35 p.m. Pacific time: Added comment from PlayStation.
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