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PlayStation Plus adds new tiers, massive game library in June

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The upcoming PlayStation Plus tiers will give you access to hundreds of PS5, PS4, PS4, PS2, original PlayStation and PSP games.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

PlayStation unveiled its answer to Xbox Game Pass on Tuesday. PlayStation Plus will add Premium, Extra and Essential tiers in June, giving you access to a catalog of hundreds of games spanning from the original PlayStation to the PS5 eras. It follows months of rumors regarding Sony’s expanded gaming subscription service, which was reportedly codenamed Spartacus.

The Essential tier is the cheapest option, and is the same as the current PlayStation Plus, giving you access to online multiplayer, cloud storage, two monthly downloadable games and exclusive discounts. 

The price remains the same too, at $9.99 a month, $25 for three months or $60 for a year.

The Extra tier adds a library of around 400 PS5 and PS4 games to download, as well as the perks of the Essential tier. It’ll include Death Stranding, God of War, Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Mortal Kombat 11 and Returnal at launch, and will be “regularly refreshed” with first- and third-party games.

It’ll set you back $15 a month, $40 for three months or $100 for a year.

The Premium tier is the big one, adding 340 classic games on top of the cheapest tiers’ benefits. PS3 games will be available to stream, while classic PS1, PS2 and PSP games will be available to stream or download. It’ll also include time-limited game trials and the ability to stream PS4 games, as is currently available on the separate PlayStation Now service.

This will cost $17.99 a month, $50 for three months or $120 a year.

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Spider-Man: Miles Morales is confirmed as one of the games included in the PlayStation Plus Extra and Essential tiers.


PS5 Performance Mode/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Unlike Xbox Game Pass’ Ultimate tier, which costs $15 a month, it seems PlayStation’s major first-party games won’t launch into PlayStation Plus’ Extra and Premium libraries.

“It’s not a road that we’re going to go down with this new service,” CEO Jim Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz on Tuesday. “The level of investment that we need to make in our studios would not be possible, and we think the knock-on effect on the quality of the games that we make would not be something that gamers want.”

So we won’t be getting the upcoming God of War Ragnarok on PlayStation Plus at launch; you’ll need to buy it separately if you want to play it on release date. Xbox made Halo Infinite available on Game Pass at launch last December.

The expanded service will roll out regionally starting in June, kicking off in Asia, followed by the US, Europe and the rest of the world where PlayStation Plus is available. It’s aiming to have it available in most of these by the end of the first half of 2022, while its cloud streaming service will also be extended into new territories. 

PlayStation Now will cease to exist in its current form, with existing subscribers automatically moved to the Premium tier with no increase to the pricing they pay “at launch.” (suggesting that they’ll pay the new prices once their subscription period ends). It currently costs $9.99 a month, $25 for three months or $60 a year, so the price will double at the three-month and yearly rates.

Existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will remain on the Essential tier.



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Overwatch 2 Beta Begins Tomorrow: Start Time and What to Expect

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Overwatch 2 starts its second beta on Tuesday, June 28, for PC and console players. The beta begins at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT and runs through Monday, July 18. Sign-ups are still open for a chance to participate, and you can still get guaranteed access if you’re willing to spend some cash.  

The next beta will be our first look at Junker Queen, a new tank hero who first appeared in posters on the Junkertown map that was released in 2017. Fans have been hoping to play her ever since, and five years later, we’re finally getting the chance. The new beta also adds a new hybrid map, Paraiso. The developers have laid out their goals for the beta, which include testing server capacity and hero balance. 

Overwatch 2 is the sequel to Blizzard’s class-based shooter, featuring two teams of five players fighting over objectives. Overwatch devs announced in June that the game will be free to play and will launch in early access on Oct. 4. The first beta injected a frantic pace into the game, which was a welcome change from the slower, more grinding pacing that’s plagued Overwatch in recent years. The free-to-play PvP element will bring the game more in line with other competitive shooters, like Valorant and Apex Legends.

How to sign up for the Overwatch 2 beta

Anyone can sign up for Overwatch 2’s second beta, but it’s not technically an open beta. The game will add people gradually as it ramps up server capacity, and the first big wave of beta access will happen on July 5, according to the beta FAQ page. Even if you were in the previous beta, you’ll need to sign up again. 

Here’s how to sign up:

1. Go to the Overwatch 2 beta site.
2. In the top right corner, log in to your Blizzard Account.
3. At the bottom of the Overwatch 2 beta page, choose your platform (and region for PlayStation players).
4. Then hit Request Beta Access.

If you want guaranteed beta access on June 28, you can purchase the Watchpoint Pack ($40). In addition to beta access on day one, you’ll also get two legendary character skins, a unique player icon and enough digital currency to buy the first two battle passes.

How do I download the Overwatch 2 beta?

Blizzard hasn’t released details on downloading the second beta, but it should follow the same process as the first beta. Here’s how that worked:

1. Log in to your Battle.net account and navigate to Overwatch on the game launcher.

2. In the bottom left, click the Game Version drop-down.

3. Select Overwatch 2 Tech Beta to install.

4. When the download is complete, hit the blue Play button to start.

Junker Queen spinning her axe

Junker Queen’s ultimate ability helps her close distance and end fights quickly.


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Junker Queen abilities

The new beta finally gives fans a chance to play as Junker Queen, a hero we’ve all been excited about and/or thirsting over since she was first teased on the Junkertown map. Here’s what we know about Junker Queen’s abilities, from the Overwatch Twitter account:

New Hybrid Map: Paraiso

The beta also adds Paraiso, a new hybrid map that explores Lucio’s home, including the DJ’s Clube Sinestesia. As with all hybrid maps, players will start by attacking or defending a control point, and if the attackers succeed, players will spend the rest of the map attacking or defending a payload. 

An underground club with light-up floor

Clube Sinestesia is where support hero Lucio found fame as a DJ.


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For more Overwatch 2 news, check out everything we learned from the Overwatch 2 reveal event.



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Icebergify: How To Create an Iceberg of Your Most Listened to Spotify Artists

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Been on social media today? Seen those bizarre musical Icebergs floating around in your feed? You’re not alone. Screenshots like this have been doing the rounds today, particularly on Twitter. 

It’s all created via the magic of a website called Icebergify.

Using the data from your Spotify listening habits, Icebergify creates an Iceberg of your most listened to artists ranked by popularity. At the tip of the iceberg? Your favourite “mainstream” artists. Your Taylor Swifts, your Beyonces, your Drakes, etc. The further down you go, the more obscure it becomes. It looks a little like this…

If you want to see your own iceberg, you can head to the website directly. Be warned: it does require your Spotify log-in. 

The Icebergify website was developed by Akshay Raj, a freshman studying Computer & Data Science at Rice University. He says he has no plans to monetize the site or use the data collected — which is limited to your username, Spotify account ID and the top 50 tracks and artists listened to over the past few years. 

How does it work? It’s fairly simple. Icebergify takes your most listened to artists and sorts them according to popularity rankings. Streams, shares, saves, likes, and followers are all taken into account. This is why Beyonce might be at the top of your iceberg, but lesser known artists are at the bottom, beneath the ocean. Also worth noting: It seems like Icebergify is being flooded due to its surprising popularity. Head back later if it doesn’t immediately work.





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Apple’s First Mixed-Reality Headset May Sport New M2 Processor

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Apple’s first mixed-reality headset could come with the company’s flagship M2 processor, just one of the “deluge” of new products the company is expected to unveil in the next year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported Sunday.

The M2, unveiled in June, features redesigned central processing units and a significant memory increase, which would provide a significant boost to the much-rumored headset over the previous M1 chip.

The much-rumored headset incorporating both virtual and augmented reality environments is expected to provide a boon to the gaming industry. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier week that the headset — expected to be announced in January 2023 — would be the most complicated product Apple has designed yet.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been vocal about his excitement about AR. Earlier this week, he explained that the tech industry is still in the “very early innings” of this technology’s possibilities.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we’ve seen in this space, and sort of stay tuned and you’ll see what we have to offer,” Cook told China Daily.

Other products Gurman expects to debut in the next 12 months include four iPhone 14 models, three Apple Watch variations, several Macs with M2 and M3 chips, iPads, updated AirPods Pro earbuds, a fresh HomePod, and an upgraded Apple TV. 

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read moreApple AR, VR Headset Rumors: WWDC, Release Rumors, M1 Chip and More



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