Sony removing PS Now retail cards is biggest hint that Xbox Game Pass rival Spartacus is incoming

Service is reported to launch on PS5 and PS4 later this year

PlayStation Spartacus
(Image credit: Future)

Sony is pulling PlayStation Now cards from retailers across the US and UK in a move that is expected to usher in the announcement of its Xbox Game Pass rival, Spartacus.

As reported by VentureBeat, retailers across the UK have been told to remove PS Now subscription cards by January 21st, 2021. Meanwhile, stores in the US were made aware of the move a couple of weeks back, according to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier (via Twitter). 

The new service will look to combine PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now into one package, in an attempt to challenge Microsoft's current offering of first-party titles being available on Xbox Game Pass day and date with launch, among other benefits. Spartacus is expected to launch sometime in the Spring for both PS5 and PS4. 

"Stores have until the close of day Wednesday, January 19th  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," a message to UK game retailers reads. 

Earlier in December, a report stated that the service would be split into three tiers but remain under the same PlayStation Plus brand with Spartacus simply being the codename for the project. While tier one would remain the same offering as today of online play and free monthly titles, tier two would then add a sizable collection of games. The highest-paid tier would then include demos, the ability to stream games and classic PlayStation games alongside the former benefits.

T3 has reached out to Sony for comment. With rumours circling a PlayStation event in February, this might just be the opportunity Sony takes to officially announce the service. 

Matt Poskitt
Freelance Writer

Matt is a freelance writer for T3, covering news and keeping up with everything games, entertainment, and all manner of tech. You can find his work across numerous sites across the web, including TechRadar, IGN, GamesRadar, Tom's Guide, Fandom, NME, and more. In his spare time, Matt is an avid cinema-goer, keen runner and average golfer (at best). You can follow him @MattPoskitt64