Sony has agreed to update its policies surrounding the current PlayStation Plus service to better aid active members in cancelling their subscription if they're not actively using it. This is the result of an investigation from the UK Competition and Markets Authority into auto-renewal processes, with Nintendo also agreeing to change how its Nintendo Online service is handled.
Henceforth, the PlayStation 5, PS4 manufacturer will remind long-term members how to cancel a PS Plus subscription if they haven't used it in a while. If the service still isn't being used and the user hasn't cancelled it thereafter, Sony will stop taking payments. Presumably, using the service is tracked through online multiplayer sessions and redeeming the monthly free PS Plus games. This means all three hardware makers have now been affected by the investigation, with Microsoft agreeing to change its Game Pass service in accordance with suggestions.
In a statement, executive director of enforcement at the CMA Michael Grenfell said: "As a result of our investigations, a number of changes have been made across this sector to protect customers and help tackle concerns about auto-renewing subscriptions. Today's announcement therefore concludes our investigations into the online video gaming sector. Companies in other sectors which offer subscriptions that auto-renew should review their practices to ensure they comply with consumer protection law."
These policy changes will, of course, also apply to the new PS Plus membership tiers being introduced in June. The PS Plus service we know today will be rebranded as PS Plus Essential, with two more expensive options introducing a big catalogue of PS5, PS4 titles and PS3 game streaming.