PlayStation appears to be copying Xbox – and more specifically, Xbox Game Pass – by adding a new component to PlayStation Plus to better highlight what games people should pay attention to. PlayStation Plus subscribers noticed this week that PlayStation’s subscription service seems to now mark a given game as a “Day 1 Release” if it’s coming to PlayStation Plus Essential, PlayStation Plus Extra, or PlayStation Plus Premium on the same day that it’s widely available. Aside from the usefulness of this feature, the fact that it exists also bodes well for PlayStation’s future PS Plus plans.
The “Day 1 Release” badge is one that PS Plus subscribers may have noticed recently when PlayStation revealed December’s free games. One of those games, Divine Knockout, is “Launching directly into PlayStation Plus,” PlayStation said. The badge affixed to the game’s artwork in the tweet below signaled as much, too.
If you’re someone who’s also subscribed to Xbox Game Pass, you’ll know that day-one releases have been a thing there for a long time now. Xbox Game Pass is getting three of those types of releases in just the first half of December, for example, and they’re always marked as such within the Xbox Wire posts that announce them.
To be clear, this isn’t the first time that PlayStation has released a game this way. Bugsnax was available right from the start as a PS Plus game before the tiers got all shaken up, for example, and Stray launched as a day-one game for subscribers as well. Both of those games faired well upon release and were praised for their own merits, but one would imagine that them being free for subscribers played a part in the spotlight they got.
This banner signifying that a game is a day-one release didn’t exist back then, however. With the official introduction of this “Day 1 Release” badge, it looks like PlayStation is hoping to replicate that success by formalizing the process which, in turn, signals that we’ll see more day-one releases like this in the future.
PlayStation’s free PS Plus games for December will be available starting on December 6th, so you’ll be able to play Divine Knockout and more starting then.