Well, that was fast. Just one day after Sony accidentally shared an image promoting its new “PlayStation Plus Video Pass”, the company has confirmed that the feature is live and being publicly tested right now. The only catch? You need to be in Poland to use it.
“We know very well that we have a large base of players in Poland who stand out due to their commitment and activity in the network and social media,” Sony Interactive global head of subscriptions Nick Maguire told Spider’s Web (via Video Games Chronicle). “In addition, they like to use VoD platforms. For us, this is the perfect combination, the perfect market, to introduce a test service as part of the PS Plus program and see what our key users think about it.”
Consoles like the PlayStation 4 and 5 have long hosted apps for on-demand video services like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and more, and from what we understand, Video Pass isn’t really equipped to compete with them. So far, testers have access to 15 movies and six TV series, including such bangers as Arrival, Blade Runner 2049, Baby Driver, American Hustle, and all six seasons of Community. (Maguire was quick to note, however, that the content available through Video Pass will rotate every three months.)
Of course, Sony isn’t really trying to compete with those streaming heavyweights at all. Instead, the promise of free movies and TV is mostly a nice little bonus to incentivize paying for a subscription service that offers access to 100GB of cloud storage and monthly access to a selection of free, downloadable games. (Well, free as long as you remain a PS+ subscriber, anyway.) Considering the portfolio of media Sony retains the rights to, it only seems natural it would eventually be folded into PlayStation Plus somehow — especially since Sony will discontinue selling films and TV shows at the end of August.
Really, only one big question remains: when will the rest of the world get to try Video Pass? Not for a while, it seems. Maguire noted in his conversation with Spider’s Web that Sony plans to run its Video Pass in Poland for a year, after which the company will review its findings. “At this stage, however, I cannot say whether it will be created and what the test process will look like for other markets, as well as what the future is for PlayStation Plus Video Pass after the test period,” he said.