PlayStation Game Pass could be imminent as Sony remove PS Now cards from shops

Are its days numbered? (pic: Sony)

Sony’s rumoured rival to Xbox Game Pass may be closer than many realised, as retailers are told to stop promoting PS Now.

For months now there have been rumours of Sony working on its own equivalent of Game Pass, codenamed Spartacus, with PlayStation boss Jim Ryan hinting about exactly the same thing.

The rumours have previously suggested that Sony would unveil the new service in the spring and now that seems to be exactly what they’re building up to, as shops in the UK and North America are told to remove PlayStation Now retail cards and promotions by January 21.

Spartacus is believed to combine PlayStation Plus and streaming service PlayStation Now into one tiered service, available at various different price points, and with State of Play events rumoured for both February and March an announcement could be relatively soon.

GAME was the first retailer found to be removing the cards, after VentureBeat obtained an internal email with the following instructions:

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

Stores in the US and Canada have been told to do the same thing but Sony, so far, has denied it, insisting only that they’re phasing out gift cards.

‘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’, claimed a Sony spokesperson.

Obviously, Sony isn’t going to announce such an important new step except via a carefully choreographed reveal event, but it seems likely that the State of Play livestreams this spring could be the venue they use.

The one rumoured for early February seems to be only for games but another is predicted for March and that may well be the moment at which Sony unveils its answer to Xbox Game Pass.

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