Update (1/13/2022, 1:52 PM Eastern Time) - A PlayStation spokesman has confirmed to VentureBeat that it is indeed removing PlayStation Now gift cards from stores around the world.
Here's the statement from PlayStation:
"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."
This update arrives from VentureBeat (via PlayStation LifeStyle). Unfortunately, it seems that Sony has not yet confirmed the earlier reports of changing the PlayStation Plus service with multiple tiers and a game library.
Our original story continues below.
UK retailers have reportedly been ordered to remove PlayStation Now gift cards from stores, suggesting that a rumored PS Plus replacement will debut soon.
PlayStation Plus is Sony's subscription service for its gaming consoles which gives gamers access to multiplayer functionality and a batch of bonus games every month. It's had some issues with leaks in the past; for example, the August 2021 and December 2021 game lineups were revealed a bit early.
PlayStation Now, however, is a bit different -- it's a game-streaming service where players can get access to a large library of games from PS, PS2, and PS3 and stream them to their console or PC. Now, it seems that a big change may be coming soon to the service.
What's Going On with PlayStation Now Gift Cards?
As VentureBeat reports, retailers in the United Kingdom have been ordered to remove PlayStation Now gift cards from store shelves. The deadline for UK retailers to remove these cards is set for next week.
Here's what was said in a message reportedly sent out by leadership from UK retailer Game:
"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[...]"
If you're wondering what this means, it may have to do with a report from last month that Sony was building a competitor to Xbox Game Pass. This new service would effectively combine PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus into one service, offering gamers a variety of options including a catalog of playable games and game streaming at higher tiers. Simply put, Sony seems to be building out a competitor for Xbox Game Pass.
We've reached out to GameStop on this matter but have not yet received a reply at the time of writing.
Nothing is certain yet -- but at first glance, this seems to be a sign that Sony is putting its plans for a Game Pass competitor in motion. We'll continue to monitor this situation as it develops.
Would you be interested in a new version of PlayStation Plus that offers similar benefits to Xbox Game Pass? Do you think PlayStation Now is a good value? Let us know in the comments below!