PlayStation Plus: Everything You Need to Know as Sony Makes Big Changes

Sony’s PlayStation Plus subscription service for PS5 owners went through a major overhaul earlier this week. The new version brings together both of Sony’s previous PlayStation subscriptions, the original Plus service and the now-defunct PlayStation Now. The former offered online play and access to a handful of games; the latter offered cloud streaming of some games.

The new single subscription, still called PlayStation Plus, combines online multiplayer, free monthly games and a standing game library available for download or streaming. That includes the games previously available on the old PS Now. Whether you just got a PS5 or are a long-time PS4 owner, here’s what you need to know about the service change.

PS Plus is required to play many multiplayer games online, and subscribers get access to new games each month (usually two) at no extra cost. The now-defunct PS Now is the originator of modern console cloud gaming (and Sony even bought the assets of OnLive, the long-dead originator of PC cloud gaming), although the service was not up to snuff when compared to its newer competitors.

Game subscriptions like PS Plus and Microsoft’s Game Pass offer a sizable library of games for a monthly fee. They can also get a bit confusing due to frequent changes in features and available games. PlayStation Plus is additionally split into three tiers, Essential, Extra and Premium, with different prices for each.

Read more: PS5 Restock Tracker

New PlayStation Plus
Essential tier: $10 a month; Extra tier: $15 a month; Premium tier: $18 a month
Sony overhauled PS Plus to be more competitive with Microsoft’s Game Pass. The revamped subscription service comes in three tiers.

Essential is the base tier for PS Plus at $10 a month, or $60 per year. This tier is largely the same as the old PS Plus and includes:

Two monthly downloadable games
Store discounts
Cloud saves
Online multiplayer
Current PS Plus subscribers transitioned to this tier on June 13.

Extra includes the benefits of the Essential tier while adding a catalog of up to 400 PS4 and PS5 games available for downloading. The catalog includes first- and third-party games including Death Stranding, God of War, Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Mortal Kombat 11 and Returnal. This tier costs $15 a month, or $100 per year.

Premium has features from both tiers and adds an additional 340 classic games to stream from the PlayStation 1, PS2, PS3 and PSP. Current subscribers to PS Now saw their subscriptions automatically convert to the Premium tier when the new PS Plus went into effect. Premium also has time-limited game trials that let you play the game for two hours before deciding to buy it.

The Premium tier costs $18 a month or $120 per year. Subscribers can stream on their PS4, PS5 or download the PS Plus app for PC to play from their computers.

See at Sony

Old PlayStation Plus
$10 per month
To compete with Xbox Live Gold, Sony created PS Plus in 2010 for the PlayStation 3. The subscription allowed for online multiplayer, discounts in the PSN Store, cloud saves and monthly extra games. Initially, PS Plus free games included PS3 and PSP titles. Eventually, it included Sony’s other devices such as the PS Vita, PS4 and most recently, the PS5. Extra games included with the subscription are only available while a PS Plus subscription is active. Stop paying $10 per month, or $60 per year, and you lose access to those games.

Grandfathered PS Plus subscribers were changed to PS Plus Essential subscribers on June 13.

See at Amazon

Old PS Now
$10 per month
Cloud gaming may be hot right now, with major players like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna and Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming beta, but it was Sony that first tried to make cloud gaming mainstream with PS Now in 2014. Earlier pioneers like OnLive and Gaikai (both eventually purchased by Sony) are now largely forgotten. More than 800 PS2, PS3, PS4 and PS5 games are available to stream or download on the PS4, PS5 or PC.

But lag remains a factor, like with other cloud gaming services. Game resolution has been recently updated from 720p to 1080p for some games, but that falls behind the 4K offered by Stadia. There’s also a lack of newer titles in its library. Even major titles published by Sony such as The Last of Us Part 2 aren’t on the service, nor is there any indication that they will be added. Those games that are added sometimes don’t stay in the library for that long, with some available on PS Now for as little as three months. On the plus side, many of the PS4 games on the service can be downloaded rather than streamed, and there’s a PC client for cloud gaming on computers as well.

PS Now subscribers automatically converted to the Premium PS Plus tier on June 13.

See at Sony
What changed on June 13 if I prepaid both PS Plus and PS Now subscriptions?
For those who are subscribed to both services and prepaid for them before the big change, Sony converted subscribers to PS Plus Premium with the expiration date being whichever of the two is the farthest out. This means that if you subscribed to PS Now until December 2022, but to PS Plus through December 2023, December 2023 will be the new expiration date for your PS Plus Premium subscription.

Can I extend my current subscriptions with a prepaid card?
Sony discontinued the ability to redeem prepaid PS Plus cards in April. The company has yet to say when it will allow redemptions again and how it will adjust the prepaid cards to the new PS Plus tiers.

See also
PS5 Review: Exclusive Games Power Sony’s Sky-High Space-Age Console
Xbox Series X Review: Game Pass Is the Secret Weapon
Xbox Series S Review: The Console Making Next-Gen Gaming More Affordable
Oculus Quest 2: Facebook’s $299 VR Headset Feels Too Good to Be True
Nintendo Switch Review: Pure Fun on a Big-Screen TV or on the Go

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‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’: Release Schedule, Plot and Everything to Know as Episode 5 Hits Disney Plus
Ewan McGregor’s beloved Jedi master and his fallen apprentice Darth Vader have returned in the Star Wars series. Here are the trailers, backstory and all the info you need now that the penultimate episode is on Disney’s streaming service.

Sean Keane headshot
Sean Keane
June 15, 2022 11:54 a.m. PT
8 min read
Obi-Wan Kenobi welds his blue lightsaber with defeated Stormtroopers in the background
Obi-Wan Kenobi wields his lightsaber in his Disney Plus series.
Jedi-in-exile Obi-Wan Kenobi has made his epic return on Disney Plus, with Ewan McGregor stepping back into the role he played in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. The series finds Kenobi during his time on Tatooine a decade after Revenge of the Sith, as he tries to avoid the gaze of the Galactic Empire and former apprentice Darth Vader.

The first five episodes are available on Disney’s streaming service, with the sixth and final episode set to land on Wednesday, June 22.

Sign up for Disney Plus
Disney and Lucasfilm announced the series in 2019. Here are all the spoiler-free details you need.

When is Obi-Wan Kenobi out on Disney Plus?
The series kicked off Thursday, May 26 with two episodes. It’ll run for six episodes, so here are the dates you’ll be able to watch the rest:

Episode 1: Available now.
Episode 2: Available now.
Episode 3: Available now.
Episode 4: Available now.
Episode 5: Available now.
Episode 6: Wednesday, June 22.
Is there a trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi?
Yes, there are two. The most recent trailer was released on Star Wars Day 2022, May 4th (be with you).

The first trailer and imagery dropped in early March.

When in the Star Wars timeline is it set?
It takes place 10 years after Revenge of the Sith and nine years before A New Hope, in an era after the Jedi Order has been all but wiped out.

Moses Ingram in Obi-Wan
Reva, aka the Third Sister, is among the Imperial Inquisitors hunting Obi-Wan.

What happened with Moses Ingram?
Ingram, the Black actor who plays Imperial Inquisitor Reva, was targeted with racist abuse after the first two episodes aired. The Star Wars Twitter account called out this behavior, with actors Ewan McGregor, Kumail Nanjiani and others following suit to speak highly of Ingram.

A personal message from Ewan McGregor.

— Star Wars (@starwars) June 1, 2022
“I just wanted to say as the leading actor in the series, as the executive producer on the series, that we stand with Moses. We love Moses,” McGregor said in a video message posted in Twitter. “And if you send her bullying messages, you’re no Star Wars fan in my mind. There’s no place for racism in this world. I totally stand with Moses.”

It isn’t the first time a Star Wars actor has been subject to online abuse. Kelly Marie Tran, the Asian actress who portrayed Rose Tico in The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, deleted her social media accounts in 2018 after harassment. John Boyega, the Black actor who played Finn in The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, noted that he was hit with similar abuse.

Who’s Obi-Wan Kenobi?
If you really don’t know, you should watch a few Star Wars movies. The quick version: Obi-Wan Kenobi is a Jedi master who first appeared on screen in 1977’s A New Hope, played by Alec Guinness. This movie saw him helping young Luke Skywalker take his first steps into the larger world of the Force. Later in that movie, Obi-Wan was struck down by his former apprentice Darth Vader, who was ultimately revealed to be Anakin Skywalker, Luke’s father and a Jedi turned to the Dark Side.

Obi-Wan, as he’s seen in A New Hope. He won’t look quite this old in the Disney Plus show.

Despite his death, Obi-Wan returned as a spirit (a Force ghost, in Star Wars-speak) to guide Luke in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. He even gave Rey a little help in The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker.

The prequel trilogy, which kicked off with The Phantom Menace in 1999, brought in McGregor as a younger Obi-Wan and introduced us to his master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson). Qui-Gon discovered Anakin on the desert planet Tatooine, but was slain by Darth Maul, and the responsibility of training the boy fell to Obi-Wan.

The fearsome black helmet of Darth Vader.
Darth Vader makes his terrifying return.

Anakin succumbed to the Dark Side in Revenge of the Sith and became Darth Vader, then helped Emperor Palpatine wipe out the Jedi as they established the Galactic Empire. Obi-Wan survived and fled to Tatooine with Luke, the son Anakin didn’t know he had, while Luke’s twin sister, Leia, went to live with the royal family of Alderaan.

Cast: Who’s in Obi-Wan Kenobi?
Aside from McGregor returning as Obi-Wan, Hayden Christensen — who played Anakin in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith — returns as Vader. The actor rewatched all the movies, along The Clone Wars and Rebels, to prepare for his return as Anakin, told Entertainment Weekly in April.

“They did a lot with these characters in those shows. And they did further explore the relationship,” he said of Obi-Wan and Anakin’s roles in the shows. “There was interesting stuff there to learn about. It was great fun getting to go back and re-immerse yourself in this world that just continues to grow and become more and more vast.”

Joel Edgerton as Owen Lars in Obi-Wan Kenobi
Joel Edgerton is back as Owen Lars (aka Uncle Owen).

Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse are also back Owen and Beru Lars — better known as Luke Skywalker’s Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. At this point in the timeline, they’re raising Luke far away from now-evil dad Darth Vader.

Moses Ingram plays Jedi-hunting Imperial Inquisitor Reva, along with Rupert Friend as the Grand Inquisitor and Sung Kang as playing the Fifth Brother. The Dark Side-wielding Inquisitors were previously seen in CGI animated series Rebels and video game Jedi: Fallen Order — their fortress from the end of the game appears in the show.

Reva is a new character, but the Grand Inquisitor and Fifth Brother previously appeared in the CGI animated series Rebels. Indira Varma, whom you might remember playing Ellaria Sand in Game of Thrones, is seen as an Imperial officer.

Grand Inquisitor, Reva and Fifth Brother step off their ship on Tatooine
The Inquisitors are coming for Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Joining them are Kumail Nanjiani, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Simone Kessell and Benny Safdie.

None of them has previously been in Star Wars, and Nanjiani told USA Today in November that his experience on the show was “absolutely amazing.”

“When you’re on set, you have to put out of your head that you’re in Star Wars, which is very hard to do because it really looks like you’re in Star Wars. I’m dressed like I’m in Star Wars,” he said. “The guy who I’m talking to looks a lot like Obi-Wan Kenobi. It was my first job outside of quarantine: I got vaccinated, went right to set and honestly had the best three months.”

Indira Varma’s Imperial officer in Obi-Wan Kenobi
Indira Varma’s Imperial officer gets her uniform all sandy. Lord Vader won’t be pleased.

There’s one other actor who’ll almost certainly show up, as suggested near the end of Revenge of the Sith.

“In your solitude on Tatooine, training I have for you. An old friend has learned the path to immortality — one who has returned from the netherworld on the Force. Your old master,” said Yoda as he and Obi-Wan go into exile. “How to commune with him, I will teach you.”

Qui-Gon Jinn
Qui-Gon Jinn could make an appearance, in ghost form.

Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn died in The Phantom Menace, but Neeson returned to the role in The Clone Wars. He was the first Jedi ever to become a Force ghost and guide his allies in the material realm. By the time of the original trilogy, Obi-Wan has learned this skill, having been taught by Qui-Gon. We’ll presumably see this in the show. Neeson told Collider in October 2020 he hadn’t yet “been approached” about reprising the role, but it could happen.

Who’s handling the music for Obi-Wan Kenobi?
Composer John Williams, who scored all nine Skywalker Saga movies and turned 90 in February, wrote the show’s theme. Outside the movies, he also wrote themes for Solo: A Star Wars Story and Disney Parks’ Galaxy’s Edge.

Natalie Holt, who was responsible for the music in last year’s Marvel Cinematic Universe series Loki, is handling the rest of the show’s music composition duties.

“It’s reflective, and it’s just entirely appropriate,” Holt said of the theme Williams composed. “It’s wistful, but there’s an element of hope to it. It’s doing something new and I think people are going to be really blown away by it.”

Who else is involved with this Star Wars show?
Deborah Chow, who helmed episodes 3 and 7 of The Mandalorian’s first season, directed the Obi-Wan series, which was written by Joby Harold. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Chow, McGregor and Harold will serve as executive producers.

What do we know about the plot of Obi-Wan Kenobi?
“During the reign of the Galactic Empire, former Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi embarks on a crucial mission. Kenobi must confront allies turned enemies and face the wrath of the Empire,” reads Disney’s synopsis for the show.

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