According to a new report by GamesBeat, Sony is planning to quietly pull PlayStation Now retail cards from stores soon, hinting towards the release of the expanded PlayStation Plus service codenamed “Spartacus.”

Sony may not have officially announced anything about this expanded PlayStation Plus subscription just yet, or any changes to their game streaming service PlayStation Now, but it’s clear that they’re definitely up to something thanks to this new report. 

In the report, GameBeat writer and industry insider Jeff Grubb shared a message reportedly sent from upper management to the staff of the UK retailer Game, telling them to remove PlayStation Now retail cards from store shelves.

“Stores have until the close of day Wednesday 19, January 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,” the message reads. 

In the message we’re privy to no reason for the removal of the cards is stated however, it’s believed that this decision is the precursor to the announcement of Sony’s Xbox Game Pass competitor which will be incorporated into the brand of PlayStation Plus

As Bloomberg reported back in December, Sony’s planned Xbox Game Pass competitor is reportedly codenamed Spartacus and will be available sometime this spring, so it shouldn’t be too long before we get an official announcement. 

Likely using the existing PlayStation Plus name, this Spartacus service will be available in three tiers. The first tier will reportedly be equivalent to existing PlayStation Plus offerings, while the second tier gives users access to a catalogue of PlayStation 4 and PS5 games to download and play. 

The third tier of Sony’s revamped PlayStation Plus service will reportedly take over the role PlayStation Now currently embodies, offering on-demand game streaming as well as a library of classic PlayStation 1, 2, 3, and PSP games to enjoy.

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